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basically the best way to write an ebook

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README.asciidoc

Git Scribe

The git-scribe tool is a simple command line toolset to help you use Git, GitHub and Asciidoc to write e-books. This provides tools for setting up the structure, collaborating with co-authors, doing technical and copy-editing, handling translations, taking errata, as well as publishing online, pdf, mobi (Kindle) and epub (iBooks, Nook) versions.

The project is targeted for writing books of any length, but should also be usable for articles and stuff too, though for a while you’ll have to just do it as a really short book.

Features

Eventually, these are the feature goals for the project:

  • Easy: Syntax-Highlighted Code, Formula, Diagrams

  • Site Generation: Comment, Search, Permalinks

  • Pegging versions of the book to versions of the tool it documents

  • Technical and Copy editing workflow tools

  • Translation workflow tools

  • Selling (possibly): Kindle, iBooks, Lulu, Pledgie(?)

The idea is that you use the tool to generate a known structure, write in asciidoc and let the tool handle everything else for you. I want authors to be able to focus on writing and not have to worry about anything else.

A good AsciiDoc cheat sheet: http://powerman.name/doc/asciidoc#_text

Disclaimer

This tool is a work in progress. At the 1.0 release, this file will be totally up to date, but for now I may have documented some stuff that doesn’t yet work. Contact me personally if you are interested in working on it.

Installing

You can install git-scribe via RubyGems.

$ gem install git-scribe

For local generation (evenutally pushing to GitHub will handle gen for you), it depends on a couple things like:

  • Ruby

  • asciidoc, a2x

  • xslt stuff

  • FOP for PDF gen

Usage

Initialize a new book with init:

$ git scribe init

This will set up the outline for your book. All the book content goes into the book subdirectory with book.asc as the starting point. If you want to split the writing up into multiple files you can simply include them in the book.asc file.

Then you can generate your book content with the git scribe gen command:

$ git scribe gen [site|html|pdf|epub|mobi|all]

Eventually, simply pushing to GitHub will take care of this for you.

Roadmap

See the_dream.asc for what this file should look like eventually.

Contributing

If you want to hack on this, fork it, improve it and send me a pull request.

To get started using it, just clone it and call the ./bin/git-scribe script directly from either the example subdir or your own book directory. If you add a feature, make sure it’s included in the example subdirectory so I can test it out.

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