Anthologize: Making Web-First Workflow Even Easier for Publishers

Anthologize is a free, open-source, plugin that transforms WordPress 3.0 into a platform for publishing electronic texts. Grab posts from your WordPress blog, import feeds from external sites, or create new content directly within Anthologize. Then outline, order, and edit your work, crafting it into a single volume for export in several formats, including—in this release—PDF, ePUB, TEI. Anthologize

Anthologize grew out of One Week | One Toolyes, one weeka project of the Center for History and New Media, George Mason University.

This is my favourite type of project: pulling together a small group of people with diverse backgrounds who end up  making something amazing. I think there’s something in the small team/fast pace combination that leads to magic… and really useful products.

So, what’s all the fuss about? This is the extra step that’s been needed to make it extremely easy for any publisher to implement web-first workflow : all you need is WordPress and a plugin.

Now, you can create all of your chunks of content (chapters, excerpts, etc.) in WordPress, then use Anthologize in the WordPress admin side to create new projects that can pull from any content you have in WordPress, external feeds, or content you create in Anthologize itself. That means you can easily create multiple formats from a single source of information. Current export options include: PDF, ePUB, and TEI (an XML format).

To summarize: WordPress to PDF, ePUB, and TEI with the click of a button.

But, we still make paper books, right? Right. So, what if someone added a script that exports a file that can be placed into InDesign for print production? That’s where SFU’s Start With the Web /Book of MPub project comes in: John Maxwell , Kathleen Fraser, and I are all testing Anthologize right now and will be adding our scriptthe one that turns web content into ICML (which gets placed into InDesign)—as soon as possible. Then, Anthologize will be able to instantly create the files publishers are currently concerned about (InDesign and ePUB) from a single source.

Testing Anthologize

I started some basic testing of Anthologize and I’m really impressed so far. Here’s how it works:

All your WordPress posts will be pulled into the Items panel. Each Part (ex. Chapter 1 below) will become an element in your epub table of contents. Create as many new parts as you need, then drag and drop your posts into the part you want to find them in. Click Export Project.

Fill in this bit of metadata (hint to Anthologize: there should be an ISBN here). Click Next.


Choose your export optionsand that’s it!

My results

I exported an epub file…

Then cracked it open and pulled out the main_content.html file…

Converted it to ICML (InCopy Markup Language which imports into InDesign) for print production…

And placed it into InDesign.


The whole process took about 10 minutes. Seriously.