Creating and Managing Books on your Desk

What is the Desk?

The "Desk" is your private workspace in Publitory. Here you can perform tasks like:

  • starting a new book project from scratch,
  • starting a new book project by uploading a previously authored word (*.doc) or open office (*.odt) document and continue authoring the converted book on Publitory.
  • uploading a complete and ready-to-publish "epub format" ebook, to publish and sell on Publitory.
  • click any book in the "Work in Progress" or "Published Books" areas and access its contents for authoring.
  • click any book in the "Shared with Me" area to access the contents and author them as a contributor.

Can everybody see what I'm working on?

Nope. The Desk is your private area. Only you can see the contents of the Work in Progress area.

Sometimes you might want to ask for support from Publitory staff or from contributor peers by granting them access to your book. In that case, your book appears on "their Desk" in the "Shared with Me" area from where they can reach it's content and contribute. This access right holds until their pre-defined work period is finished after which the authorization expires and they won't be able to access your book anymore.

How do I start a new book project?

If you don't have any previous work done on a text document and want to start writing your book on Publitory, simply click on the "Add New" button in the top right of your Desk page. You will see the drop-down options. Click "New Book" and you will be directed to the fill-out forms page for the new book project to be defined. The language selection comes as default from your profile setting. However, you may change it in case your book will be written in a different language. Every book has a distinct language setting which determines which store it will land (in case it is published). The only mandatory field in this form to be filled in order to continue, is the title of the book. The rest can be filled out or edited later on from the "meta-data" section of the book, while you are working in the "Book Editor".

My book is in a word document. What now?

If you already have your book in a MSWord ".doc" format or OpenOffice ".odt" format text document file or have started writing on any of these and want to upload and continue editing in Publitory, you can upload the file to Publitory which will in turn do the following operations on-the-fly:

  • create a new book project,
  • detect the chapters from "heading" styled paragraphs and split the document to distinct files for each chapter (splitting the ebook content to multiple sub-files is a convention in ebook formats and it aims to allow an easier reading experience in e-reader devices assuring minimal memory loading delays as the user progresses along the pages).
  • create an OEB (open ebook format file) structure from the processed files
  • place your book project under the "Work in Progress" area in your Desk ready to be edited for final publication.

Uploading a document file always creates a new book project. You cannot upload content to an already existing book in progress. Uploading a document should be chosen if you already have completed your book or have a considerably accumulated work and want to continue editing on Publitory to fine tune and finally publish it.

To upload your document file and create a new book project simply click on the "Add New" button in the top right of your Desk page. You will see the drop-down options. Click "Upload New". On the Upload screen you will see two upload buttons: "Upload Document (Word, OpenOffice)" and "Upload Epub". Choose to upload a document file. In the following screen fill-out the title and sub-title, if you have one, choose the file to be uploaded from the related button and choose how you want your chapters to be detected: from "heading 1" styled paragraphs (default) or from "heading 2" styled paragraphs. If you have styled your chapter headings in "heading 1" style, simply leave the checkbox labeled "Page break before 2.nd level headers" disabled. Then, the converter will split the document (create page-breaks) at the beginning of each "heading 1" style detected in the document. Some folks prefer to style their chapter headings with "heading 2". In this case make sure the checkbox "Page break before 2.nd level headers" is enabled.
Click the Upload Document button. The conversion will start and you will be directed to a page displaying the progress bar. Once finished, the editor will display your ebook in the editor interface and you can start editing your book on the Publitory editor.

The conversion process is NOT seamless. You should not expect all formatted elements to be converted to Epub as they appear in the word document. a Desktop text processor is a totally different medium as an ebook reader. Ebook standards have their own restrictions and cannot possibly accomplish all features provided in desktop word processors.

Therefore the strategy should be: simplify your text document to the basics (preferably create a copy of the orignal and work on that). Make sure every chapter heading is styled with "heading 1" (or alternatively "heading 2"). Disregard the formatting done for fixed-size printed paper layout since an electronic book environment is not as such and is intended for variable-screen size, free-flow resizable text. The major thing we want to achieve when uploading a document is to get the chapter splitting correct so that we save time while finalizing the editing of the ebook. You will be finalizing the ebook on Publitory and still need some editing to do until the ebook is ready to be published.

The pictures and illustrations will not be included in the upload for two reasons: their original sizes and resolutions in documents are normally too high for an ebook environment since they are intended for printed matter. Document image resolutions are 300dpi on the average while only 72dpi would suffice for ebooks. This yields a tenfold file size which is nor efficient for ebooks. You will need to resize the images to be used in the ebook and upload them from the editor. The second reason is that you may want to change the layout as compared to fixed-layout placement of the image. Usually, in a free-flowing resizable and scrollable text environment the best way to handle images is to center them in order to display them as large as possible considering the small screen sizes of e-readers. Many text format features will also be needed to be checked revised after upload.

I already have a finalized Epub file. Can I upload and publish on Publitory?

I you already have authored your Epub format file on a software tool like for example Sigil or converted to Epub from another format using some tool like Calibre you can directly upload it to your Desk and consequently publish it on Publitory.

When you upload an Epub file, it is assumed that it is a finalized file, formatted the way you want it to be published. Therefore, Publitory uploads it as is and allows no further editing. It will try to detect its cover image and capture it for the record to display on the shelves. Further you will be asked to fill-out metadata relevant for the subject categorization and audience of the book as well as descriptive fields for the proper marketing of the book on the Publitory shelves and distribution network.

To upload an Epub file simply click on the "Add New" button in the top right of your Desk page. You will see the drop-down options. Click "Upload New". On the Upload screen you will see two upload buttons: "Upload Document (Word, OpenOffice)" and "Upload Epub". Choose to upload an Epub file. In the following screen fill-out the title and sub-title, choose the file by clicking the "choose file" button and selecting the Epub file from your file browser. Click "Upload Epub" and the upload process will begin.

Once finished, the Epub file structure will be displayed on the editor layout with the meta-data page selected. Select the subject category and audience from the relevant buttons and fill-out the descriptive fields. Check the cover. In case cover detection has failed to detect the existing cover, upload the cover image you want to be displayed in Publitory shelves.

Note that unlike your editable OEB files, in uploaded Epub files the original cover is never altered. The cover uploaded in Publitory ONLY affects how your ebook is displayed on the Publitory shelves and store. Therefore, in case your original cover has not been detected during the upload, you should only upload the same cover image as the original. Otherwise there will be an image discrepancy between the cover displayed in Publitory and the original Epub cover.

Are my published books still editable on the Desk?

When you publish your ebook, it will not appear in the "Work in Progress" area of your Desk anymore, but instead it will be displayed under the "Published Books" list.
You book is still editable. You can click open the editor and make changes at your convenience and save your work. However, the published version is a distinct file created during the publish procedure and put in the store database. The changes made on the Desk file will not affect the ebook in the store until it is published by clicking the "Publish" button from the editor Ebook button drop-down. At present there is no versioning in the Desk environment and therefore any changes made to the ebook overwrites the previous version. Therefore, caution is advised when re-editing already published books on the Desk. You should not edit an already published book unless you really want to publish the amendments and revisions as a new edition in the store.

What happens when I un-publish my ebook?

You can un-publish you ebooks anytime. Simply click "Unpublish" from the Ebook button drop-down in the editor. This will take the book out of the Publitory store immediately. On the Publitory Desk, your book will be put back to the "Work in Progress" area and taken out of the "Published Books" list. You can still open, edit, revise and re-publish your book.

Note that you do not need to un-publish your book in order to make revisions. You can always edit and revise your ebook on the Desk, even if it is listed under "Published Books". Once your revisions are complete, you can publish the revised book the same way you published it the first time. Simply click "Publish" from the Ebook button drop-down in the editor. This will overwrite the ebook in the store and revisions will take effect for all the books downloaded/sold from that point on.

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