Publishing your thesis as eBook – do it yourself!

I recently finished my PhD thesis and published it as eBook. Actually it is not that difficult to do that yourself, and personally I prefer digital formats more and more. So let me help you getting started. Note that I work on Mac OS X, and these instructions are based on software that does not run under Windows.

First, download and installĀ iBooks Author from the Mac App Store. Now start playing around to make yourself comfortable with it. This is the program that you will create your eBook in. Select a template that you like (I did use one of them), create chapters, and sections according to your needs. You will see that they automatically appear in the table of contents. In the end you can export your eBook in iBooks format, which is perfect for reading on the iPad (or in OS Mavericks, also on your Mac).

Next, you can export your eBook in PDF format. This is good for all devices and ensures compatibility on all platforms. Actually I exported my thesis twice as PDF: one version in “good” quality for viewing on the computer, and one in “best” quality for those who want to print it. Additionally I created an outline in the PDF file (not the print version) using PDFOutliner which I bought from the Mac App Store. This builds a nice table of contents into the PDF for quick browsing. It is not mandatory, but I thought it was nice.

Finally I bought MePub to create ePub files from the PDF version. Actually I created PDF files for each chapter, because that way I also have some table of contents in the ePub file.

And that’s about it! I uploaded the different versions (iBooks, PDF and ePub) to my website where you can download them. For fun I also uploaded the iBooks version to the iTunes store, which can be done by following the instructions from within iBooks Author. I also tried Google Play, but keep getting some errors there which I do not understand. Apparently other people had the same issues and did not find a solution, so I let it be for the moment.

Happy publishing!!

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