Really Easy Guide that You Can Just Skim Through

This page is intended to be skimmed through quickly so that you can get started on your book right away. For more detailed information, skip to the next section, Chapter 4.

Start a book

Upon login, you're taken to your Dashboard. On the very top, simply enter the title of your book and click Start. You can change the title later if you change your mind.

Dashboard-new_book.pngFigure 3-1 On Dashboard, there's a new form to create a book.

Update your book
Book Editor

Outline-tool-drag-and-drop.pngFigure 3-2 Outline Tool provides a drag-and-drop control to rearrange chapters and sections.

The next screen you're taken to is the Book Editor— Outline Tool on the left and Content Editor on the right. The Outline Tool serves multiple roles— it shapes your book, provides a quick view of your content, and helps you organize your content with a drag-and-drop interface. A new book should have sample chapters and sections created for you. Feel free to rearrange or rename them as you see fit. Try creating a new section and update its title. 

The Content Editor is similar to what you see in web mail client or wiki edit page. Rather than using heavy rich text editor or plain text markups like RedCloth or Markdown, Lacuna Books uses an XHTML-based editor— WYMeditor. It produces clean HTML output which can be later transformed to different formats.

It also has various plugins to make your content richer— insert images, files, code snippets, tables, and even video clips.

File asset example
Secret document.zip120 KBThis is a very secretive document.
Attachment 3-1 Print this file, fill out the form, and return it to us.
Hello.pdf601 KB
Attachment 3-2 Go on. Click it.
Code snippet example
LCN.App.UI.StatusBar = Class.extend({ message: null, element: null, repeater: null, instance: null, init: function(dom_id, instance_name) { this.element = $('#'+dom_id); this.instance = instance_name; }, announce: function(msg, status) { if (this.repeater) clearInterval(this.repeater); this.msg = msg; this.write(); }, progress: function(msg) { // display msg in the bar and display a dot every one second this.msg = msg; this.write(); this.repeater = setInterval(this.instance+'.increment()', 500); }, increment: function() { this.msg += "."; this.write(); }, write: function() { this.element.text(this.msg); } });
Code 3-1 Code example
Table example
Borough Population (2010) Land Area (sq. mi)
Manhattan 1,585,873 23
The Bronx 1,385,108 42
Brooklyn 2,504,700 71
Queens 2,230,722 109
Staten Island 468,730 58
Table 3-1 New York's Five Boroughs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_New_York_City)
Video example
Video 3-1 My Face is in Space
Reference Manager

Lacuna Books has a built-in Reference Manager so that you don't need to rely on third-party management software. It is laid out in a spreadsheet format, enabling fast data entry and quick lookup. 

Reference-manager-table.pngFigure 3-3 Reference Manager allows quick data entry, filter, and sort.

Additionally the Book Editor has a citation and commentary plugin that helps you to enter commentary and optionally cite one or more references from Reference Manager.

Reference-citation-and-commentary.pngFigure 3-4 Citation and Commentary plugin in Book Editor

Invite team members

Lacuna Books allows you to add co-authors and reviewers to your book. Your co-authors have access to Book Editor and can update book content, and reviewers are allowed to read the book and submit feedback.

You can also adjust your book's visibility setting to control who can add feedback. If you're working on a private project, set its visibility setting to Private, review setting to Invite only, and invite designated reviewers. If your project is more open and can entertain more people, set visibility to Public and review setting to Open to public

Book-team-members.pngFigure 3-5 Add your co-authors and reviewers on the Team page.

Publish

After days, months, and years of sweat and tears, you are now ready to publish the book. Depending on your situation, you can use the app as the following:

  1. You keep your content private, make it available to your team members only. Most professional writers will take this route.
  2. The second scenario is for individuals who wish to make their books publicly available on World Wide Web. Simply publish your book and mark its status Published.

Once the publish process is finished, you will receive an email notification with a link to your HTML book. You can also check its status on the Publication page. The book you're reading now is generated from the app!