Pressbooks makes it easy to create the files you need for ebook stores such as the Kindle Store, Kobo, iBooks and Smashwords (as well as beautiful PDFs for print-on-demand). This part of the Guide will cover:

  • Different file formats for ebooks
  • How to export your files
  • Ebook export options
  • How to test your ebook exports to make sure they look good!

About Ebook File Formats

Pressbooks exports your ebook files as EPUB files.

  • EPUB is the standard file format used by ebook retailers: Amazon, Apple’s iBooks, Nook, Kobo, Smashwords and every other ebookstore.
NOTE: Amazon has discontinued support for the MOBI ebook format and recommends using EPUB format for publishing new reflowable titles and updating previously published titles. Accordingly, Pressbooks no longer produces MOBI export files. Users who still wish to produce MOBI files for personal use will be encouraged to generate these files using Pressbooks EPUB exports and freely available desktop applications like Kindle Previewer or Calibre.

Customizing Ebook Theme Options Before Export

  • On the export screen, click on “Your Theme Options.”
  • Under global options (these apply to all book formats), make sure each option is set to what you require.
  • Click on “Ebook Options.”
  • Decide whether to indent or skip lines between paragraphs.
  • Compress your images here if desired.
Ebook options screen
Ebook options screen

Exporting Your Ebook Files in Pressbooks

  • Go to your Pressbooks dashboard.
  • Click “Export” on the menu at left.
  • Select EPUB.
  • Click “Export Your Book.”
  • Download your exported files by hovering over the file and clicking ‘Download’.
The export menu interface

Testing Your Ebook Exports & Making Sure They are Valid

While created on a user-friendly platform, your final ebook files are “code” that the Pressbooks system has generated. But, as with any project involving code, it’s important to check that the code is behaving as expected — you may have put something into your ebook that will break it! Or, you might find that things don’t look exactly as you expect.

So, it’s a good idea to do two things:

  • Test your ebook to see what it will look like in the wild.
  • “Validate” your ebook.

Here’s how:

Testing Your Ebook

To test what your ebook will look like, see our Guide section: How to Test Your Ebook.

Validating Your Ebook

“Validating” your ebook means making sure that it works they way ebook software expects. Pressbooks always generates valid ebooks, UNLESS there is something strange in your book that ebook software doesn’t like. Certain kinds of bad links, javascript code, and a few other things might cause you troubles.

To check if your EPUB is valid, there are two great resources:

To find out how to set up web distribution of exported files for books on your PressbooksEDU Network, click here.


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Pressbooks User Guide by Book Oven Inc. (Pressbooks.com) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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