When eBooks first started to see widespread use, publishers had to deal with a common misperception, the idea that paper, printing, binding and shipping made up the majority of the costs of creating a book. While many initially argued that, freed from the physical object, books should cost next to nothing, it’s been a while since I’ve heard anyone seriously try to make that argument, as the true costs of creating a book have become somewhat better understood.

The physical object remains an increasingly small portion of the overall cost, due to advances in technology and the benefits of scale. But what if you had to make your own book from scratch? What would you need to do, and how much would it cost? As part of the “How To Make Everything” series, Andy George gives it a shot.

David Crotty

David Crotty

David Crotty is the Editorial Director, Journals Policy for Oxford University Press. He serves on the Board of Directors for the STM Association, the Society for Scholarly Publishing and CHOR, Inc. David received his PhD in Genetics from Columbia University and did developmental neuroscience research at Caltech before moving from the bench to publishing.

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Discussion

4 Thoughts on "Making a Book from Scratch"

From the introductory paragraph, I thought the video would show how to make an ebook from scratch. Is there such a video?

Not that I know of. I suspect it’s a lot less visually compelling.

A really good basic introduction is in the help files for the open source epub software Sigil. Search for books/ebooks by Elizabeth Castro (e.g., EPUB Straight to the Point). It’s mostly html/xml.

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