Open textbook publishing

Are you an instructor looking to create or adapt an open textbook to use in your classes? 

Open textbooks are an example of Open Educational Resources (OERs) that are gaining momentum as a means of addressing textbook affordability for students and enhancing broad access to learning resources. For faculty, the use of OER provides more flexibility and control through easily customizable, high-quality instructional resources. Learn more about Open Educational Resources.

Pressbooks: An online publishing tool for open textbooks 

Pressbooks is an online publishing tool for creating, adapting, and sharing open textbooks. The SFU Library supports SFU community members who are using Pressbooks to create or adapt an open textbook.

Instructors can author a new textbook in Pressbooks or find, clone, and adapt an existing textbook for their class.

BC Campus hosts a self-serve instance of Pressbooks which is available for instructors and staff from post-secondary institutions in British Columbia and the Yukon.

To get started with adapting or creating an open textbook in Pressbooks follow these steps:

  1. Create a free account using your SFU email address
  2. Begin writing or importing content, or clone and edit an existing book
  3. Add images, videos, and interactive content
  4. Publish using an open licence, and share your book

Support for open textbook publishing

Contact the Digital Publishing team for consultations or workshops related to publishing open textbooks, including:

Support with finding, evaluating, adopting, and sharing open educational resources

Contact Teaching and Learning Librarian Hope Power for support with finding, evaluating, adopting, and sharing existing open educational resources.

Toolkits, guides, and manuals for open textbook publishing

UBC Open Textbook Publishing Guide
A guide from UBC Library to help authors navigate the process of creating a text. 

Publishing with Pressbooks: A Visual Guide
A guide from Open UBC with step-by-step visual instructions on creating your text using Pressbooks.

BCcampus Pressbooks Guide
A reference for OER creators using Pressbooks. Builds on information provided in the Pressbooks User Guide published by

Pressbooks User Guide (
Find answers for common questions you may have while writing and publishing your book with Pressbooks Create.

Faculty OER Toolkit
An information resource about and guide to adapting and adopting Open Educational Resources, from BCcampus.

BC Campus video tutorials
Video tutorials on a number of aspects of using, creating, and adapting open textbooks with Pressbooks. Most are under 2-3 minutes and can be found throughout the BCcampus Pressbooks Guide linked above.

SFU’s commitment to open education

In June 2022, SFU Senate endorsed a statement in support of open educational resources (OER) and open education more broadly, developed by SFU Library with support from the OER Working Group and the Senate Committee on University Teaching and Learning (SCUTL).

Check out this 2022 interview with Hope Power, Teaching and Learning Librarian at SFU, on the ramifications of SFU’s commitment to open education.