Using Wikibooks/Donating a Book to Wikibooks
Wikibooks is only one of many resources on the web that provides free, high-quality, e-books. There are a plethora of other major websites that offer them and thousands of personal websites giving authors a platform to offer a book or two of their personal work. Many people write books for a variety of reasons; some enjoy sharing the knowledge they have learned on a particular topic or subject; Some for the gratification of, and yearning to, help and assist others. Some have been asked the same questions so often by others, that the decide to put all of them along with answers into one place by compiling a book, both to inform others and as a solution to avoiding the need to repeat the answers in the future. Regardless of the motivation, writing a book requires extensive work and maintaining the accuracy of the information is even more so over the long-term. When you choose to donate a book you have written to the Wikibooks repository, there are several advantages to doing so, including:
- If your book is already freely–available —— Wikibooks and the GFDL license, ensures it will always remain free.
- If your book is not yet free —— Consider the pros of releasing it under a free license to allow others to benefit from its content.
- Save on bandwidth —— Wikibooks is comprised of servers that are free to use and are supported entirely by donations made to the WP:Wikimedia Foundation.
- Save yourself the trouble —— Server configuration hassles? DNS issues? Denial of service attacks? The Wikimedia Foundation (WMF), employs a number of server technicians and software developers, who deal with the technical headaches, which means that you don't have to.
- The Wikibooks community —— With hundreds of authors, editors, illustrators, and other contributors, there is an entire community to assist with editing and maintaining its contents with updated information. Another advantage of this is the diminished responsibility of fielding the ongoing emails from readers, to point out corrections that need to be made, or with suggestions for changes to the content; by donating and uploading your work to Wikibooks, you allow readers to make changes themselves.
- Print—On—Demand Publishing ability —— Put your book on Wikibooks, create a Help:Collection from it, and Voila! You can now have a few copies printed up.
- Benefit from the WMF's massive integration —— All wikis operate under the CC-SA-BY license, and are free for anyone to use, since Wikibooks is a child of the MWF, it is already fully integrated with the other wiki projects. Therefore, you can easily integrate your book with images from Wikimedia Commons, import content from Wikipedia, and use it in a classroom from Wikiversity; and that's just the start!
There are many, many, more reasons that support the donation of e-books to Wikibooks, and we hope you agree!
If you've decided to donate a book to Wikibooks, you need to satisfy a few conditions first. There are a number of rules, requirements, and policies that must be followed to help keep Wikibooks a valuable high-quality free resource. If you have a book to donate, and need any help with it, you can always ask at the Reading Room. We also have a comprehensive list of policies on this issue listed at WB:DONATE.
The first step is to make sure your book satisfies Wikibooks inclusion criteria policy. Wikibooks is not a general purpose ebook host and books that do not conform to this policy may be deleted from Wikibooks. In short, here is a list of major requirements for books on Wikibooks:
- The book should be non-fiction, and usually should be academic.
- The book should use a neutral point of view.
- The book should not contain original research on a topic that has not been well-studied.
- The book should be instructional. It should not just be a listing of facts and figures, or a series of unrelated articles.
- Wikibooks is for textbooks, not for dictionaries, news reports, blogs, or other types of media.
- The book should be released under the GFDL.
The GFDL and Copyright Issues
The biggest hurdle to most donations is copyright issues. Wikibooks and all the books on it are licensed under the GFDL. The GFDL is a copy-left license with two major provisions:
- All authors to the book should be properly attributed.
- All edits to the book must be released under the GFDL also. Therefore, all future versions of the book that are derived from the one on Wikibooks will always be released under the GFDL.
If you are an author of a book and you own the copyright to it, you can grant Wikibooks a license to use the book under the GFDL, and you can also grant other licenses to other people for it as well. As the copyright holder, you can grant as many licenses to use the material as you want. However the version at Wikibooks, and all future revisions of that version, will always be available under the GFDL. If the book is on Wikibooks, you can still host a copy on your own website, and you can print and sell the book too. You can also allow other websites to use your book under a different license too, if you want.
It's important to realize that once you grant Wikibooks a license to use your book under the GFDL, you can not take it back. The license is a contract, and you cannot break the contract unless Wikibooks violates the license in some way. Some authors want to put their book onto Wikibooks for a trial period, and then ask to have it taken down again. This cannot happen, once the book is on Wikibooks, it is there to stay. Be certain you want to donate the book to Wikibooks, because it cannot be undone afterwards.
If you are not the sole author of the book, or if you are not the originator or owner of all images in the book, you cannot donate it to Wikibooks without the permission of all copyright holders.
Converting to Wikitext
Wikibooks uses Wikitext for its content, not LaTeX, or HTML, or DOCBOOK, or any other kind of markup or formatting. The biggest technical challenge to uploading a book to Wikibooks is that the book must be converted to Wikitext first, and then uploaded. This can be very difficult to do by hand, but several users have created tools and bots to help make the work easier. Ask for help at WB:TECH.