Jason Fried

July 3, 2024

Introducing Writebook

You know, it's really easy to publish short form content on a variety of social platforms. And individual blog posts on a number of other platforms. These are solved problems.

But it's surprisingly challenging to publish books on the web in nice, cohesive, tight, easy-to-navigate HTML format. A collection of 20 essays can be a book. Or a company's handbook can be a book. Or an actual book like Shape Up can be a book.

But usually you have to make a custom web site, or stretch to use a blog publishing/CMS tool to kinda-sorta squish separate posts together into a packaged whole. It's really not ideal. We know — we've published a variety of books online, and we've had to go the custom route each time.

Having to go the custom route for something that should be fundamentally simple is a red flag. And an opportunity. It really shouldn't be this hard.

So we did something about it. Introducing Writebook. It's a dead simple platform to publish web-based books. They have covers, they can have title pages, they can have picture pages, and they can have text pages. Each book gets its own URL, and navigating and keeping track of your progress is all built right in.

Writebook isn't a service — it's software you download and install on your own server. We've made it incredibly easy to get going — it just takes a few minutes. Even non-technical folks can get it all set up. We'll email you a single command you paste into a terminal and it takes care of the rest. No maintenance required either, it takes care of itself, auto-updates, etc.

Writebook also comes with all the Rails code so you can see how it's built, modify it for your own use, and learn how applications like this are made.

And how much for all this? Absolutely nothing. Writebook is FREE.

Writebook is our love letter to truly independent, zero-cost web publishing on the open web. No gatekeepers, no publisher required. Just you and your words for the world.

Learn more and get it here:


About Jason Fried

Hey! I'm Jason, the Co-Founder and CEO at 37signals, makers of Basecamp and HEY. Subscribe below to follow my thinking on business, design, product development, and whatever else is on my mind. Thanks for visiting, thanks for reading.