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Writing Your Own Textbook|Planning and Distributing

Writing Your Own Textbook:  Planning

May 7th, 2012
Repeated August 21, 2012

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

Introduction
There is no magic book-generator that takes arbitrary documents as input.  Plan for:
  • Input and Output Specifications

    Intended audience and reading systems, input formats, publisher's requirements

  • Manuscript Elements

    Graphs, figures, and tables; notation; table of contents and index; footnotes or endnotes; internal cross-references and external links, Libraries proxy.

Components Necessary
Choices of distribution format, authoring software, other applications for better organization or content types, proprietary versus standard-conformant, commercial versus free.
Examples
Method Project Authoring and Organizing Transforming to EBook
Free and Simple Course materials packet for Logic I, from course website
(RH)
Amaya editor to write XHTML (materials assembled from course website)
Sigil to create EPub
Professional Law for Business textbook for publisher
(RS)
Scrivener (for organization) to MS Word
InDesign to EPub, mobi, PDF
iBook Author to iBook
Technical Textbook with notation, Research Writing in Computer Science
(RH)
Text editor to write LaTeX, TtH to convert to HTML Sigil to create EPub

Author Review
Preliminary publishing to proofread.
Considerations for Mass Distribution
Devices and platforms for your students, with costs; media content; adaptability.

The second workshop in this series, Writing Your Own Textbook: Distribution, is tentatively scheduled for August 22nd.

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