Booktype gives books a new perspective

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Booktype.pngBooktype is a free and open source platform that aids in authoring, editing, and publishing books. This software was built on top of the Django web framework and launched by Sourcefabric in February 2012. Booktype offers clean, easy-to-use, drag-and-drop interface and WYSIWYG text editor with a full text formatting functionality. Furthermore,content, chapters and entire books can be imported from other sources for remix and reuse.

Output formats vary depending on the writers goal and include both producing printed books and ebooks. Printed material can be easily transformed into PDF, ePub, .mobi, ODT, and HTML formats. Moreover, authors can export it to Amazon, iBooks, Lulu.com and other print-on-demand or ebook stores.

Booktype is a perfect writing tool for individual, group and organization work. This software facilitates each of these authorship types and includes instruments for simultaneous editing, detailed change history reports, live chat and messaging. Booktype also features collaborative tools to engage proofreaders, editors and contributors. Books are kept up-to-date across all platforms using merged print functionality and digital workflow.

Since Booktype is a collaborative environment, content access is one of the most pressing issues. There is a certain hierarchy that manages roles and permissions in order to enable rights protection and book sharing at the same time. Settings tab of a book's edit interface offers the following roles:

  • Anyone - the most open level of access. If a book has been set as editable by ‘anyone’, then all visitors logged in Booktype can edit this book.
  • Editor has more control over write access to the book while not being its initial creator. Book admin can assign this role, but total control over the contributors to the project is still his/hers.
  • Book admin is a role assigned automatically when user creates a book. Book admins control the level of access to the certain book and promote collaboration by giving ‘Book admin’ and ‘Editor’ roles to other people.
  • Super user account is the highest level of control available and is created when Booktype is installed on a server for the person or people who manage that Booktype installation. This account gives write access to all books on that Booktype installation, as well as the right to perform tasks such as reset passwords, rename files and remove books.

One of the most important parts of the book business is the licensing. Booktype took care of this issue as well. The author can choose the license under which the book would be published and manage copyright attribution for it.

Booktype is web based software so it can be accessed through browser and there is no need to install it locally on the computer. Though organisation can install its own copy of Booktype and provide its members with the appropriate URL. This tool can be installed on a Unix system like Debian or Ubuntu, or it can be installed on a Mac OS X server. While producing an output Booktype uses CSS, JavaScript and WebKit to ensure productive work in the browser.

Booktype also supports rapid development of content in Book Sprints. This collaborative service gathers group of 6-10 people that produce a book in 3-5 days. This period includes all the way from zero to published book with high quality content that is available immediately at the end of the sprint via print-on-demand services and e-book formats.

Django was chosen as a basis for Booktype. As a result it can keep track of a large corpus of work, allowing users to grab and swap snippets, and manage big amount of data. It is similar to wiki, but instead of a web page as an outcome, the result is a book. Booktype simplifies the process of organising and editing content, and preparing it for publication for both individual people and organisations.

Have interesting ideas that can be implemented using Django, Pyramid, Plone or Python? Contact Quintagroup and we will provide the best web solution for your projects.

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