I’m sharing here my answer to a question I received, related to my editorial activity with Greyscale Press:
I’m working on an experimental publication myself with a group of people and i wondered if you could help me out:
How do you manage to workflow for such a publication all the way over from Github to amazon. I think it is an amazing process.
Could you say me how this works?
My process for publishing on amazon is the following:
- Get an account on your print-on-demand provider of choice (Lulu, Amazon Createspace).
- Create publication, upload PDF for interior and cover files (in the case of the Manifestos, the interior is generated with Pandoc, the cover is made with Scribus).
- Wait until the files are approved.
- Validate the result – a few hours later, books are available to be ordered and printed.
Whenever I make an update, I do the following:
- Generate new PDF
- Generate new cover, since the spine width varies according to page count (I made myself a little tool for the calculation).
- In CreateSpace, replace the interior and cover files.
- Wait again for approval (during that time, the book will be unavailable for ordering).
A decision to make when publishing revisions, is if you want (A) to replace the previous version (as explained above), or (B) create a new publication – that’s what I did with revision 0.8 of the Manifestos, as there were big changes, and I wanted the previous version to co-exist.
As you see, it’s a simple manual process.
If you want to setup an entirely automated workflow between Github and your print-on-demand provider, the thing Michael Mandiberg did it with Print Wikipedia would be the way to go. His solution is to publish the volumes on Lulu with a browser automation tool (check out PhantomJS for more info).