Create Open Course Materials with Pressbooks

JMU faculty who want to create or customize open textbooks or other course content can use JMU Libraries Pressbooks

What is Pressbooks?

Pressbooks is an easy-to-use tool for creating online books and interactive course materials. JMU Libraries offers the “EDU version” of Pressbooks, which includes features that support teaching and learning.

How do I get started?


Virtual synchronous workshops and asynchronous resources you can pop into as specific questions arise.

  • Sign up for a synchronous training with JMU Libraries for help using the platform and learning more about the publishing process
  • Sign up to join Publishing @ JMU (Pub 101), a series of asynchronous Canvas modules that detail the process of publishing an open textbook


Request a consultation (select “Open Educational Resources”) for advice on:

  • metadata, indexing, and discovery
  • copyright and licensing
  • open pedagogy
  • Pressbooks and the publishing process

Another helpful resources is the JMU Libraries Pressbooks Guidelines, a one-stop shop for everything you need to know about using Pressbooks at James Madison University to create and publish a book. The guide does not replace the services of a publisher (copyediting, design, proofreading), but rather, the guide provides instructions for using the Pressbooks platform and its features to publish.

Why create my own course content?

Affordable for Students

The high cost of textbooks contributes to inequitable access to education for students. 

Customizable for Faculty

Many instructors create their own course materials when they can’t find what they need. Sometimes, the most relevant textbooks are outdated, expensive, or aren’t comprehensive. Open textbooks and other open educational resources (OER) offer flexibility and control that you don’t get with traditionally published textbooks.

Additional Publishing Options

  • PresbooksEDU can also be used for publishing white papers, scholarly monographs, and more.
  • Visit our Resources for Creating and Sharing OER page for additional free online publishing tools.


Contact Liz Thompson for more information on Pressbooks and Open Educational Resources.