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A book is a written work typically longer than an article, on the indieweb, there are examples of publishing whole books on IndieWeb sites, as well as collections of their personal library of books both physical and electronic.

For people publishing lists of books they've bookmarked, want to read, have acquired, or collections of digital or physical books in their personal library please see those pages for examples and details.

IndieWeb Examples

Jeremy Keith

Jeremy Keith publishes books on his own personal domains in addition to through publishers. E.g.

Kathleen Fitzpatrick

In 2009, Kathleen Fitzpatrick released Planned Obsolescence in draft form for open peer review in fall 2009 (she was an editor on the site). It was later published in physical form by NYU Press in 2011, but the original with annotations is still available online. The book was built on CommentPress for WordPress.

Beginning in 2016 she followed roughly the same process again for her book Generous Thinking by inviting an initial group of 40 people to comment online as she wrote, and then later opened it up to a wider audience. The online copy can be found at The physical book was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in February 2019.

James Shelley

James Shelley has posted two draft manuscripts on his own website which he's allowing people to annotate using

Matthew Butterick

Joel Dueck

Frank Chimero

Frank Chimero's book can be read online on its own website at The Shape of Design.


Main article: Pressbooks

Pressbooks is a book content management system which produces multiple formats: ebooks, webbooks, print-ready PDF, and various XML flavours.

Silo Examples


WattPad is a silo book writing/publishing platform that allows writers to create, edit, publish, and get feedback from fans.



The mobile app version of Pocket has a "page flip" functionality which allows readers to swipe left/right as if they were reading their articles in e-book format rather than the traditional up/down scrolling UI typical of most browsing experiences.


Brainstorming session to get an overview of some of the process, workflow, and current tools

A few people have books of either their own or those of others available online. Some may even be building OER (open educational resource) systems for distributing books related to teaching. What is the best way to own them, display them, use them on one's own site? Let's discuss examples, UI, tools, methods, and related tidbits to flesh out the /book page on the wiki to jumpstart additional research and work into the area.


There are a variety of goals one may have with relation to books and the IndieWeb:

  • Authors writing/editing books
  • Authors publishing books
  • Authors marketing books
  • Authors selling books (see ecommerce / IndieWeb for business)
  • Displaying collections of owned books in one's personal library

Some of these portions of a books' early life overlap dramatically and some tools are evolving that subsume all of these pieces of work in one platform.

Big problem (particularly for self-publishing authors): writing and distributing books in a DRY (don't repeat yourself) way from start to finish

  • It would be nice to do all of these pieces on a single website in a simple way


Software and tools for writing and editing of texts and materials for books

  • Github - multiple users and version control
  • Overleaf - an online LaTeX editor
    • some features require a paid account
  • Quip
  • Google Docs
  • Scrivener
    • does epub, mobi,
  • Wikis
    • MediaWiki - potential issue of plugins
    • Allows multiple users writing/editing different sections simultaneously
  • Calibre - like the iTunes of books for document management
    • Will do file conversion from one format to another reasonably well
  • Sigil - for ebook epub document editing
  • Confluence (from Atlassian the owners of Jira, Bitbucket, etc.)
  • Pandoc- convert between document formats
  • Pressbooks - built on multi-site WordPress installation
    • Pressbooks is a GPL-licensed plugin that transforms a WordPress Multi-Site install into a book production Content Management System, which exports in multiple formats: ebooks, webbooks, print-ready PDF*, and various XML flavours.

What we're looking for in an editor generally

  • editing
  • collaborating
  • spell check
  • grammar check
  • backup
  • accessibility

General advice

  • Don't edit in your CMS so you don't accidentally loose work or it doesn't get backed up

Book writing communities


Books can be published in physical or digital formats. Even for physical books, one almost always begins with digital versions of texts to send to print shops for manufacturing.

Many editing software (see above) can be used to create digital outputs (.epub, .mobi, .pdf, etc.) which can then be distributed via digital means on one's own website or via a variety of silo methods (see below).

Publicity/ Marketing

Author platforms - general term for author websites for promoting their books and writing

  • Most publishers want/require authors to have them for publicity
  • IndieWeb could be an excellent way to build such sites, particularly for cross-platform conversations especially with POSSE and backfeed
    • Fewer places to check and maintain
    • Makes posting and maintaining content a lot more DRY

IndieWeb examples

Silo Examples

Advance Reader Copies / Advance Reader Editions


Selling books often involves e-commerce

IndieWeb tools, methods, and examples

  • danah boyd has pdfs on her website which are downloadable for free
  • how does Corey Doctorow distribute books on his site?
    • He gives the product away and has indicated in the past that this actually helps with discovery as well as to drive longer term sales.
    • He'd definitely against DRM.
  • Patreon model of writing and using a subscription model of $x per month as the book is written


  • IndieBound - a community of independent local bookstores
  • Amazon
  • Google books
  • Alibris
  • Smashwords
  • Bookshop, a platform which is designed to appear indie but is owned by the American Booksellers Association in collaboration with wholesaler Ingram, something they make non obvious to discover.[1]
    • Some people are using this as a bookshelf to track books they've read
      • "I created a shop on for all the books I read this year for easier browsing and, if interested, purchase."—Patrick Rhone
    • Bookshop offers an affiliate program for authors and influencers to earn a percentage of referred sales
  • Others...

Distribution Sites/Silos

  • Project Gutenberg
  • books - The Internet Archive offers over 15,000,000 freely downloadable books and texts. There is also a collection of 550,000 modern eBooks that may be borrowed by anyone with a free account.
  • CreateSpace
  • Leanpub - Authors, companies and universities use Leanpub to easily write, publish and sell amazing in-progress and completed ebooks and online courses. Create up to 100 books or courses for free.
  • Wattpad
  • Fanfic sites
    • Archive of Our Own - A fan-created, fan-run, non-profit, non-commercial archive for transformative fanworks, like fanfiction, fanart, fan videos, and podfic

IndieWebCamp Sessions

Previous IndieWebCamp related sessions

See Also