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Writing Your Own Textbook

Planning and Distributing



Writing Your Own Textbook:  Distribution

Aaron Perrell, Instructional Technologist, Wyoming Distance Learning Consortium
Robert Sprague, Associate Professor, Management and Marketing
Robin Hill, Coordinator of Instructional Computing, and Adjunct, Philosophy

August 22nd, 2012
The first workshop in this series, Writing Your Own Textbook: Planning, was held on May 7th and repeated on August 21st.

PowerPoint Materials


Results of Examples Undertaken in Spring
Method Project Authoring and Organizing Transforming to EBook Outcome and Comments
Free and Simple Course materials packet for Logic I, HTML
Amaya editor to write XHTML (materials assembled from course website)
Sigil to create EPub Targets and links added by Amaya.  No chapter numbers.  Index idea given up, but Jutoh would allow that.
Professional Law for Business book for publisher
Scrivener (for organization) to MS Word
InDesign to EPub, mobi, PDF
iBook Author to iBook
Recommend conformity to iAuthor templates
Technical Book with notation, Research Writing in Computer Science
Text editor to write LaTex, TtH to convert to HTML Sigil to create EPub Fine. But links (to sections, tables, etc. would be nice; must be added manually.)
Another Free and Simple, with Notation
Philosophy and Computer Science textbook Mostly text, with links for some references, some notation, exercises.
Amaya to write text (and include chapter numbers), Sigil to create ePub, calibre to track and transfer.
Fine. Will distribute as students desire.  Still miss page numbers!  Students with e-readers can annotate.

Content Methods and Issues

To reach the UW Libraries via student access privileges, link through the Library proxy -- Chad Hutchens, Electronic Resource Librarian,
  For information, go to and click tab "Resources for Teaching" (then "Creating Links to Articles").

How should you provide:  Student Convenience?  Student annotations?  Author modifications?

File Format Issues

How can I read a PDF on my e-reader?
Not smoothly. Your options are:

  1. Load directly onto your e-reader, scale the font up or down, and read through the odd text wrapping and footnote intrusion, or enlarge and drag the page image around to see parts of it.
  2. Save the PDF as HTML or a web page-- possible if created with newer version of Acrobat that preserve editing characters.
  3. Use an application that will recognize and extract the characters, so that they can be interpreted as text, then saved as HTML.

EBook Readers

 Device Type
E-Readers, purpose built (but with different content formats) Sony PRS-T, Kindle, Nook
Mobile Devices iPad and smartphones
Computers, via applications or browsers Toshiba Portege tablet, Ubuntu netbook, standard laptop

Distribution Methods and Issues

Case Studies from the Chronicle --

The first workshop in this series, Writing Your Own Textbook: Planning, was held on May 7th and repeated on August 21st.

Copyright -- See Kelly Visnak, Scholarly Communications Librarian;

Possible Student Preferences for Final Version

  • Electronic (with adaptation for accessibility)
  • Printed
  • Audiobook

The UW Library offes some e-books for checkout and will consider faculty requests -- Cheryl Goldenstein, Associate Librarian,

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