Publish and share texts in Pressbooks at IU

On this page:


For the purposes of this document, "private" refers to texts that are visible only to individuals specified by the text owner, and "public" refers to texts that are freely available to anyone. If desired, however, texts may be made a combination of private and public; for more, see Control Your Book's Privacy Settings.

Pressbooks texts may be published and shared a number of different ways. For assistance determining which sharing method will best meet your desired outcomes, contact your campus teaching and learning center.

See the following recommended options for sharing your Pressbooks text.

Access method Example1 Privacy How to enable
Link to full text in Canvas course navigation menu

College Physics (OER demo) in Canvas


Share private texts: Canvas - course navigation


Share public texts: Canvas - course navigation

Link to full text in a Canvas module

College Physics (OER demo) in Canvas Modules


Share private texts: Canvas


Create an External URL module item.

Link to individual chapters in Canvas Modules

Environmental Biology in Canvas Modules


Share private texts: Canvas - modules


Share public texts: Canvas - modules
Direct link to Pressbooks web site

Português para principiantes


See Control Your Book's Privacy Settings.


Export to eBook or PDF


Public only (once exported, there is no way to control distribution)


1 All examples are public, but can be made private by following the instructions in the "How to enable" column.

Share public texts

Multiple options are available for sharing public Pressbooks texts. When sharing a public text, be sure to apply an appropriate license; for help, contact your campus OER librarian(s).


Your Pressbooks text will be available as a website with an address like this:


  • Course navigation: If you wish to share your text in Canvas, you may add a link to the URL listed in the previous section using the Redirect tool.
  • Modules: If you wish to link to specific chapters in Canvas Modules:
    1. Finalize the organization of your text.
      While you can add and remove chapters in Canvas Modules throughout the semester, you will need to complete steps 2, 3, and 5 again for them to appear in Canvas; you may wish to complete your text organization before completing the import.
    2. Export your text in the Common Cartridge 1.3 format as described in chapter 15 of the Pressbooks User Guide.
    3. Import your text into the desired Canvas site as described in How do I import content from Common Cartridge into Canvas?
    4. To complete the integration process, contact the Pressbooks administrators at Provide the URL for your Canvas site (for example, in your request.
    5. Organize your imported modules as desired. If you wish to edit any text in the imported text, you may do so from; the text in Canvas Modules will update automatically.
It's technically possible to add Pressbooks texts to Modules a number of different ways, such as using the External URL option. The method above is recommended as it provides the most seamless experience for the reader.


In addition to each of the options above, your text may be distributed in a number of different formats intended for print, e-readers, and more, such as PDF (for print or digital distribution), EPUB, MOBI, etc. For instructions, see Export. Note that the instructions related to upgrading books are not relevant to the IU community: exports from Pressbooks at IU will not include a watermark or ads. If you wish to allow your text to be downloaded by others in your chosen formats:

  1. From your text's dashboard, select Settings.
  2. In the "Share Latest Export Files" section, select Yes. I would like the latest export files to be available on the homepage for free, for everyone.
  3. Select Save Changes.

You can also make the exported files available from your preferred file storage option.

For help customizing the format of your exports, see:

Share private texts

Pressbooks texts may remain private if desired. A number of options are available that may address your particular needs.


  • Make your text public, but password-protect your chapters: This will allow you to manage access to specific chapters without needing to add individual users to your text. To add chapter-specific passwords:
    1. From your text's Organize menu, select the title of one of your chapters to enter the "Edit Chapter" page.
    2. On the right, under "Status & Visibility", check Require a password.
    3. Enter your desired password in the text box, and select Save.
  • Make your text private and adding individual users: You can add people to your text with varying permissions. This method may work well if you want to add a small number of collaborators to a text. See Users & Collaborators.

Users must log into at least once before they can be added to a Pressbooks text.


If you would like your text to remain private to the public and only available to members of your Canvas course, first make sure that you have chosen to make your text private at Control Your Book's Privacy Settings.
  • Modules: If you wish to add your text to modules with multiple module items linking to chapters in the text, see Canvas above.
  • Course navigation menu: Pressbooks will be installed as a module item when administrators deploy it to your Canvas course. If you wish to add your entire text to the course navigation menu, use the Redirect tool to create a link to the module item.

Publish Pressbooks titles for purchase

There are two options for publishing Pressbooks for purchase depending on what audience you would like to reach:

  • For eTexts for both internal and external audiences, you will work with IU Press directly if the follow use cases apply to your title:
    • You want the professional services and support of a publisher. If the title is for distribution to external audiences only (not to IU students), you need only to work with IU Press.

    If you want your title to be available to both external audiences and internally to IU students through the IU eTexts initiative, complete the following steps:

    1. Email IU Press ASAP to let them know that you want to deliver your title through the IU eTexts Initiative. IU Press will provide your title's catalog data to the IU eTexts team for inclusion in the IU eTexts Offer Catalog, so the title can be ordered for students for the upcoming term(s).
      • The deadline to include a title in the IU eTexts Offer Catalog is early August for the winter/spring terms and early January for the summer/fall terms.
      • Your content does not need to be finalized until 40 days before the start of the term.
    2. Submit an IU eTexts order for the upcoming term using the IU eTexts Order Tool.
    3. Email IU Press for assistance.
  • For eTexts for internal audiences only:

    Work directly with IU eTexts if the following use cases apply to your title:

    • You retain full responsibility for the project.
    • You wish to secure a discount for our IU students.
    • You wish you and your students to have access to the features and benefits of the IU eTexts initiative.
    • Contact IU eTexts ( to complete the following steps:
      • IU eTexts will sign an MOU with the author and the author's academic dean in order to offer the title a maintenance-level cost, as opposed to a profit-generating cost.
      • IU eTexts will work with the author to create data for the title's inclusion in the IU eTexts Catalog
      • The author will submit an IU eTexts order for the upcoming term using the IU eTexts Order Tool.

Pressbooks can be presented in your course's Canvas site in one of two ways:

  • If the title has no interactive (H5P) content, IU eTexts can present the title on the university-standard Engage e-reader. To have your Pressbook presented on the Engage e-reader, the completed file (EPUB preferred, or PDF) of the title must be provided to IU eTexts staff at least 40 days before the first day of the term. (Details will be provided later.)
  • If the title has interactive content (H5P), or at the author's preference, the IU eTexts team will work with the Canvas team to provide a link in the Modules section of the class site. In this case, the URL of the completed title's file (EPUB preferred, or PDF) must be delivered to the IU eTexts team at least 40 days before the first day of the term.
Titles that are not delivered at least 40 days before the start of the term cannot be guaranteed to be available to students on or before the first day of the term.

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Last modified on 2024-06-14 16:41:45.