E-Book Enlightenment



Publishing your e-book can be simple or it can be complicated, depending on what it is you are publishing.  The simplest thing to publish is your own work.  You can pick a Creative Commons license for it and upload it to the Internet Archive and you'll be as good as done.

If you have someone else's book published before 1923 you can publish it as an e-book either on Project Gutenberg or on the Internet Archive.  Each site has rules you need to follow, and I'll give you some idea of what the process is.

If you have a book published 1923 or later you might still be able to publish it on either site, but the process will be more difficult.  By "or later" I mean "not much later".  I hope you will have the good sense not to make an e-book out of Harry Potter or some other living author's work.

The last option you have is to put the e-book on a server and distribute it yourself.  There are several good reasons to do this:

  • Some OLPC deployments have special permission to distribute the works of living authors to their students.  This means there needs to be a way to make certain that only those students can download the books.
  • The Internet Archive and Project Gutenberg have thousands of books, only a fraction of which are of interest to children.  You might want to set up a more focused collection of books that are specifically for children, or that are in your native language.

Setting up a server to publish e-books generally means setting up your own website, which may only be accessible from your own network.  There are a couple of software packages available specifically designed to create a website for hosting e-books, and I'll have chapters on each.