7 Getting Ready to Publish


Typically, a book will contain the front matter, text body, and possibly also back matter.

Front Matter

RMIT open publications will include:

  • a title page (automatically generated in Pressbooks from metadata you enter)
  • an Acknowledgement of Country
  • accessibility details (e.g. accessibility statement and features, other file formats available where required)
  • a versioning history (recording versions and changes)
  • a preface (e.g. about this book, suggested reference, cover design details, published by)
  • contributor details, including authors, editors, reviewers, and other acknowledgements
  • an introduction (optional).

Other material found in a printed book front matter typically includes a table of contents – this is automatically generated in Pressbooks.

You can use the glossary tool in Pressbooks in place of vocabulary or abbreviation lists which often appear in the front or back matter of print books.

Text Body

Parts and chapters contain the substance of the book – that is text, figures, tables and references.  Chapters may be divided into sections using in-built headings in the Pressbooks visual editor or in Word.

Back Matter

Typical back matter includes:

  • appendices
  • a glossary – in the Pressbooks environment this is drawn from the text using the glossary tool in the visual editor.


Adding rich metadata to your publication in Pressbooks will make it discoverable in search engines and indexes, and capture all relevant publication details.

Metadata is added to your Pressbook by the book administrator, and there are compulsory and optional fields to complete.  Much of this metadata will appear on the homepage page of your Pressbook online. See the Pressbooks User Guide for full details.

There are some issues to be aware of in creating your metadata, outlined below.

URL (web address)

The first thing you will need to do when creating a book is choose a URL (web address) and a title.   While the book title can be changed later, the URL is permanent and cannot be changedPlease choose the URL very carefully, keeping it short and meaningful.

Book information

Pay particular attention to the wording of your title, subtitle and book description as this will maximise the discoverability of your work by search engines and in indexed collections.  Your description should be like an article abstract.  Keep it brief and succinct (about 250 words), and consider the how to describe your work as an elevator pitch.

You can also add keywords. Choose words that represent the principal themes represented in your work, and think of what an individual might put into a search engine.

The Subject Categories options will be used in the Pressbook directory and are important for users who are browsing for relevant publications to adopt or adapt for their own student cohorts.


Traditionally published books are assigned a unique identifier which distinguishes them from all other publications, including subsequent revisions or editions.  These unique identifiers can assist in the shareability and discoverability of your work, and allow tracking of altmetrics more readily.  This may be particularly important for authors wanting to document their impact.

In Pressbooks, unique identifier options are:

  • ebook ISBN (International Standard Book Number)
  • print ISBN (International Standard Book Number)
  • DOI (Digital Object Identifier).

However, we ask authors to consider carefully whether or not to assign a unique identifier to their book. Doing so will restrict easy or ad hoc updating as an updated work will require you to assign a new identifier. Remember that quick updating to maintain accuracy, currency and relevance is one of the major benefits of open textbooks.

Contact the RMIT Open Publishing Team to discuss if you want to consider a unique identifier for your work.


Book contributors can include authors, editors, translators, reviewers, illustrators, and others.

In Pressbooks, you can assign book-level contributors in one or more of several roles.  These details will appear on the landing of your book. You can also assign chapter-level contributors and add the metadata at this level.


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RMIT Open Publishing Toolkit for Authors Copyright © 2022 by RMIT University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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