We’re joined by Shelly Brisbin, author of the book iOS Access for All and host of The Parallel Podcast. As she’s written more than a dozen tech books, I asked her to come on the show to explain how she creates her books, what tools she uses, and how she migrated from using an agent and a big publishing house to doing self publishing. It’s a really fun episode because while you’d think creating a book is all about writing, Shelly gets into how she uses TextWrangler and writes her own Cascading Style Sheets to create her books.
You can find Shelly on Twitter @shelly and you can find her book at iosaccessbook.com/…, and The Parallels Podcast at parallelpodcast.com/….
Links to things Shelly mentioned in the show:
- Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur by Guy Kawasaki
- EPUB Straight to the Point by Elizabeth Castro
- Take Control Books
- Apple support page on making an ePub with Pages
- ePub Zip/UnZip AppleSripts
- ePub Converter
- TidBITS article on using iBooks to proof ePubs
2 thoughts on “CCATP #460 Shelly Brisbin on Self-Publishing”
It was really interesting to hear what you had to say about self publishing. Did you try using Scrivener which allows you to do your work and compile out to a number of different formats as needed . Send out as your ePub and to PDF from the same software. It takes a bit to set up how the Compile thing works but once you have it set you are golden.
Another possibility is Ulysses. It is a simpler interface and will also let you export out to ePub and PDF as well as other options. I like it because you have an extended markdown format to work in.
I had the “why not Scrivener?” as a point on my ridiculously long list of things to talk about, but I mercifully did not run through the entire list. Allison and I would still be on Skype, if I had.
I looked at Scrivener. I own it, in fact. The two issues I had were that I found it difficult to pull an existing project into it in an efficient way. It could have been done, but being gun shy after battling Pages, I wasn’t game to learn a new piece of software, especially since I wasn’t sure whether I could trust it output. Second, and more importantly, I wasn’t able to get Scrivener to format images the way I wanted to do it. I wanted a screenshot in a box, with an accessible caption. For some reason, making that happen was not easy, and the documentation wasn’t super helpful.
I have a dear friend who swears by Scrivener, and has promised to hold my hand through a project. By which I mean, I won’t use it for production work unless he’s willing to be on my virtual speed dial to talk me down.