Gitbook is a website to publish books online with offline book editor. It means that all the stuff related to book publishing happens online but the stuff related to editing book happens offline via its offline book editor. Gitbook website is owned by very popular Git repository web-based hosting service Github. You can choose to publish books within 8 default categories mentioned by Gitbook: Programming, Startup, Science, Technology, Sport, Food, Nature, and Architecture. The Gitbook provides you with the freedom of making your book Public or Private. Each of the book published on Gitbook is available in following formats: Online Reading, PDF, ePUB, and Mobi.
You can also choose your book as Free or Paid (Gitbook keeps 20% fee per transaction for paid books). For free books, Github also offers you the feature of accepting donations if you want to. Apart from just publishing books, you can also read books published by other Gitbook users. All the books are well-categorized for better accessing and searching. Another feature of Gitbook is Contribution, which lets you edit books published by other users, if they have enabled this feature for their book.
How To Publish Book Online Using Gitbook:
First of all, you are required to have a registered account with Gitbook. You can get one by either signing-in with Twitter/Github account or by simply registering via registration form. After registration, you will see different sections of books published by other Gitbook users. You can click on any free book to read it instantly, while paid ones require you to buy them first. The options for managing your account and publishing books are available at top: New Book, Your Books, and Settings. (See screenshot above)
Click on New Book option to start publishing your book. You will see a form where you need to enter details about your book: Title, Book Name, Description, Price, and Category. You can also change these details later. After entering the details, you will see the interface to download Gitbook’s offline book editor. Download it to get started with writing your first book.
Editing Books Using Gitbook Offline Book Editor:
Launch Gitbook editor to see the interface as shown in screenshot below. You can see that whole interface is divided in 3 panes: Left, Center, and Right. The Left pane is for adding chapters to your book. You can do so by right clicking on the pane. The Center pane is the area where you will write the whole content of your book. The pane on right side displays the preview of everything which you are including in your book. The preview is displayed in real time.
If you want to add any image or hyperlink to your book, then you need to enter it in correct HTML code only. You have to enter the code in center pane while you can see the preview in right pane.
After writing book completely, click on Book option at top and then on Publish As. You need to give it a version number and click on OK. Wait for some time and your book will be published on Gitbook website. The Gitbook publishes them in all supported formats: PDF, ePUB, and Mobi.
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Gitbook is a great website to publish books online. The offline book editor means that you can edit your book anytime, even without being connected to internet. Only thing I don’t like is the limited number of categories which it provides for publishing books. Other than this, its an awesome platform for those who wants to publish their books. And I especially like the fact that it keeps just 20% commission per transaction if any of your paid books are sold. Definitely fantastic!