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                MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM     `sMMMMMMMMy`                                 

Otto the Nantucket Whale, the mascot for Nantucket E-Books™.

Copyright © Nantucket E-Books LLC

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

Logo for the GNU Free Documentation License.


This page includes quick answers to your questions about Nantucket E-Books, and

In many cases, I’ve included step-by-step tutorials to answer particular questions.


Before contacting me with a question, check to see if it’s already answered here! If it isn’t, you may contact me in one of the following ways:

In addition, I am happy to answer questions during my livestreams on YouTube. My YouTube channel is



What are Nantucket E-Books?

Nantucket E-Books™ are the best ebooks on the planet. Unlike EPUB or Kindle e-books, Nantucket E-Books™ can be read in a web browser. No special apps or devices are required. They are also mobile-responsive, meaning they will look good on a smartphone, a tablet, or a laptop.

They have built-in audiobooks, so if an ebook has an audiobook edition, you can listen to it without having to go to a different site or app.

In addition to audiobooks, Nantucket E-Books™ have a suite of interactive features, including note-taking, dark mode, favoriting, and text resizing.

The note-taking feature of Nantucket E-Books™ allows the reader to compile their notes into a single file, using the COPY NOTES button.

Nantucket E-Books™ do not store a reader's personal information, like notes or their favorite books, on a remote server. Instead, they are stored on the user's own device using the browser's local storage, where they have control over their data.

They can be downloaded to the reader's computer, and read using the offline reader.

Writers don't need a special app or service to create a Nantucket Ebook. You can write a Nantucket Ebook in the text editor/word processor of your choice, using the Shanty markup language. Whether you prefer Microsoft Word, Apple Pages, Apple Notes, Notepad, Google Docs, GNU Nano, or if you're like George R.R. Martin and write with WordStar on MS-DOS, Shanty will work with your setup.

You can check out a demo of Nantucket E-Books right here.

What is Shanty?

Shanty is a markup language for creating Nantucket E-Books. The "markup" is a set of rules and symbols that are used to define the structure of a document. For example, if I want to put a chapter heading in my ebook, I'd use a "#" hashtag symbol, like so…

Chapters as they appear in markup

…which would look like this in the final Nantucket Ebook:

Chapters as they appear after rendering

When you're finished writing the Shanty-formatted text for your book, you'll copy it into a text field on the main page of website, which will read though the text and convert it into an HTML file.

When this file connects with other files that define illustrations, appearance, and interactivity, it becomes a Nantucket Ebook.

The purpose of Shanty is to allow a writer to focus on writing, with appearance and interacivity handled by the browser.

Although Shanty is powerful, it's also very easy to use. You only need to know three bits of markup to start creating an ebook.

There is an extensive, free manual for Shanty, as well as a step by step guide to getting started writing with Shanty.

How Do I Use The Audiobook Player?

One of the best features of Nantucket E-Books is built-in audiobooks. If an ebook has an audiobook edition, readers can listen to it without having to leave the page.

To open the Audiobook Player, tap on the ebook menu icon, at either the bottom or top-left of the screen...

The Nantucket E-Books Menu Icon

...and tap the cassette icon.

Nantucket E-Books Cassette Icon

If an audiobook has only one chapter, it will automatically be loaded into the player.

In an audiobook has more than one chapter, you can select chapters by tapping the button labeled "CHOOSE AN AUDIO FILE."

Audiobook player with 'choose an audio file' option displayed

This will open up a full-screen menu of all the audiobook's chapters. Tap on a file name to load it into the player.

The fullscreen audiobook chapter menu

The audiobook player has autoplay, if it reaches the end of one file, it will begin playing the next file.

There are two ways to control playback: the buttons in the window, or with a keyboard.


The button controls should look familiar:

Audiobook player with 'choose an audio file' option displayed


To play or pause an audiobook, hit the spacebar.

To mute or unmute an audiobook, hit m.

To skip forward or backward by fifteen seconds, hit the left and right arrow keys.

To skip forward or backward by one minute, hit the left and right angle-bracket keys, < and>.

To skip between chapters, hit the + and - keys at the top of the keyboard.

You can use the number keys 1 - 9 to skip to different parts of the audio file. For example, in a ten-minute audio file, hitting 1 will take you to 1:00 in the book, 2 will take you to 2:00 in the book, 3 to 3:00, an so on.

If the audio file is playing, hitting zero (0) will skip to the end of the file, and begin playing the next file.

To close the audiobook player, hit the Escape/Esc key.


How do I register with Nantucket E-Books™?

Nantucket E-Books™ is currently in a trial period. During the trial period, you may register in one of two ways:

1) Send an email to

2) Register by regular mail at PO BOX 596, Broomfield, CO 80038.

To register, include your name (or pen name) and the username you'd like to use.

That's really there's all there is to it.

How much does it cost to register, and to host my books?

During the trial period, there is no cost to register.

Once the trial period is over, registration will still be free, with a monthly fee to host ebooks on the site. My plan is to allow payment by PayPal, money order, and possibly Bitcoin.

How do I submit my ebook to the site?

During the trial period, registered authors can submit their ebooks to the site by e-mailing This includes any images and/or audiobook files that go with the e-book.



How do I set up the offline reader?

Nantucket E-Books can be downloaded for offline reading. The offline reader is a compact version of the main site that is stored locally, on your computer. This is helpful not only for readers, but for writers as well. Writers can create their ebook, and then copy it into the offline reader to check it for mistakes. It's a great way to test out an ebook before publishing it online.

Here's how to set up your offline reader:

1) Download the offline reader. The offline reader is available from this site as a ZIP folder. You can download it HERE.

2) Find the ZIP folder in your downloads folder.

If you're on a Windows PC, look at the taskbar along the bottom of your screen, and click on the icon that looks like this:

The file explorer icon in Windows

A new window should pop up. On the left-hand side of that window, you'll see a column of icons that looks like this:

Downloads folder in Windows

Click the one labeled Downloads.

You should see your computer's Downloads folder.

3) Find the file named in your Downloads folder.

4) Extract the ZIP folder.

If you're on a Windows PC, right-click on the file, and select Extract All.

The file will now be "un-zipped" into your downloads folder. The original zip folder is no longer needed, and may be deleted.

If you open the extracted folder, you'll find a file labeled index.html. Double-click on index.html to open it.

This index.html web page in the folder will include a step by step guide to downloading Nantucket E-Books and copying them into the offline reader.

How do I start writing a Nantucket Ebook?

As described earlier, Nantucket E-Books are written using the Shanty markup language.

1) Open the text editor or word processor of your choice.

2) Add a title and an author.

The first thing we need to do is set out some information about our ebook. These are things that will help the computer understand what we've written. This is called metadata. You can add all sorts of metadata to a Nantucket Ebook, but you don't need much to get started. All we need is a title, an author, and a keyword.

Metadata in Shanty begins with two exclamation points, !!.

To add a title, I type !!TITLE, and then the title.

To add an author, I type !!AUTHOR, and then the name of the author.

3) Add a keyword.

If you're publishing on, or you're on your own site, and have set up a favorites feature, you'll need to add a keyword as well. The keyword will be used to make a unique ID for your ebook.

To add a keyword, type !!KYWD, and then the keyword. Please keep your keyword short, and don't use any spaces.

I mean it.

4) Add a chapter.

Next, let's add a chapter. Chapter headings start with a hashtag. Add the hashtag, and then the name of your chapter.

You can also add a sub-heading to a chapter by using two hashtags.

5) Add paragraphs

To write paragraphs, all you have to do is write. Just put a space between paragraphs.

6) Add comments

You can also add a comments to your ebook. A comment is a part of the manuscript that only the writer can see. When your text is converted into an HTML file, the parsing program will ignore all comments.

To write a comment, start a line with two forward slashes (//), like this:

If you've made it this far, you've learned enough to create a basic Nantucket Ebook.

As a demonstration, here's a Shanty-formatted text file I created using just the markup from this guide.

If you're ready to take what you've written and turn it into a Nantucket Ebook, check out the guide immediately below this one.

How do I turn my text into a Nantucket Ebook?

This guide builds upon knowledge from the previous guide. The next step is taking what we've written, and converting it into an ebook.

This website includes a text editor called Arrowhead, which concerts your Shanty™-formatted text into Nantucket E-Books.

Here's what you need to do:

1) Select all your text.

If you're on a desktop, you can use CTRL + A to select all the text. If you're using an Apple computer, type ⌘ + A instead.

2) Copy your text.

If you're on a computer, use CTRL + C

3) Go to, and tap on WRITE, or go to

Image of the menu on, with link to the Arrowhead text editor circled.

Those links will take you to the Arrowhead text editor.

Screenshot of the Arrowhead text editor.

On the left side of the screen is where you will enter and edit your text. This is the INPUT side. On the right side of the screen, you will see a preview of your Nantucket Ebook™. This is the OUTPUT side.

A screenshot of the Arrowhead text editor, edited to highlight the input and output sections.

Tap in the INPUT text box, and use Ctrl + A and then backspace to get rid of the default text.

4) Paste the text you copied into the INPUT side.

On a computer, you can use CTRL + V. Your text should appear in the box.

Above and between the INPUT and OUTPUT screens, you should see a button labeled RUN.

A screenshot of the top menu in the Arrohead text editor, with the button to preview an ebook highlighted

This will generate a preview of your Nantucket Ebook™ in the OUTPUT window.

If there are any formatting errors in your Nantucket Ebook, they will be listed in the OUTPUT window, with indications of what was wrong, and a link to the relvant section of the Shanty™ markup manual.

If you are satisfied with the preview of your Nantucket Ebook™, click the DOWNLOAD button in the top-middle menu, which is two buttons to the left of the RUN button.

If you don't get an error, an HTML file will be download to your computer. Copy that file into your offline reading folder to confirm it turned out well (you can use CTRL + C to copy the file).

One common mistake is to include an extra space somewhere in your text, or too many explanation points on a metadata line, or not enough explanation points in metadata. If this happens, just fix the mistakes in your text file, and repeat the steps to create an ebook.




Version 1.3, 3 November 2008

Copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2008 Free Software Foundation, Inc. <>

Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this license document, but changing it is not allowed.


The purpose of this License is to make a manual, textbook, or other functional and useful document "free" in the sense of freedom: to assure everyone the effective freedom to copy and redistribute it, with or without modifying it, either commercially or noncommercially. Secondarily, this License preserves for the author and publisher a way to get credit for their work, while not being considered responsible for modifications made by others.

This License is a kind of "copyleft", which means that derivative works of the document must themselves be free in the same sense. It complements the GNU General Public License, which is a copyleft license designed for free software.

We have designed this License in order to use it for manuals for free software, because free software needs free documentation: a free program should come with manuals providing the same freedoms that the software does. But this License is not limited to software manuals; it can be used for any textual work, regardless of subject matter or whether it is published as a printed book. We recommend this License principally for works whose purpose is instruction or reference.


This License applies to any manual or other work, in any medium, that contains a notice placed by the copyright holder saying it can be distributed under the terms of this License. Such a notice grants a world-wide, royalty-free license, unlimited in duration, to use that work under the conditions stated herein. The "Document", below, refers to any such manual or work. Any member of the public is a licensee, and is addressed as "you". You accept the license if you copy, modify or distribute the work in a way requiring permission under copyright law.

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The "Invariant Sections" are certain Secondary Sections whose titles are designated, as being those of Invariant Sections, in the notice that says that the Document is released under this License. If a section does not fit the above definition of Secondary then it is not allowed to be designated as Invariant. The Document may contain zero Invariant Sections. If the Document does not identify any Invariant Sections then there are none.

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A "Transparent" copy of the Document means a machine-readable copy, represented in a format whose specification is available to the general public, that is suitable for revising the document straightforwardly with generic text editors or (for images composed of pixels) generic paint programs or (for drawings) some widely available drawing editor, and that is suitable for input to text formatters or for automatic translation to a variety of formats suitable for input to text formatters. A copy made in an otherwise Transparent file format whose markup, or absence of markup, has been arranged to thwart or discourage subsequent modification by readers is not Transparent. An image format is not Transparent if used for any substantial amount of text. A copy that is not "Transparent" is called "Opaque".

Examples of suitable formats for Transparent copies include plain ASCII without markup, Texinfo input format, LaTeX input format, SGML or XML using a publicly available DTD, and standard-conforming simple HTML, PostScript or PDF designed for human modification. Examples of transparent image formats include PNG, XCF and JPG. Opaque formats include proprietary formats that can be read and edited only by proprietary word processors, SGML or XML for which the DTD and/or processing tools are not generally available, and the machine-generated HTML, PostScript or PDF produced by some word processors for output purposes only.

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The Document may include Warranty Disclaimers next to the notice which states that this License applies to the Document. These Warranty Disclaimers are considered to be included by reference in this License, but only as regards disclaiming warranties: any other implication that these Warranty Disclaimers may have is void and has no effect on the meaning of this License.


You may copy and distribute the Document in any medium, either commercially or noncommercially, provided that this License, the copyright notices, and the license notice saying this License applies to the Document are reproduced in all copies, and that you add no other conditions whatsoever to those of this License. You may not use technical measures to obstruct or control the reading or further copying of the copies you make or distribute. However, you may accept compensation in exchange for copies. If you distribute a large enough number of copies you must also follow the conditions in section 3.

You may also lend copies, under the same conditions stated above, and you may publicly display copies.


If you publish printed copies (or copies in media that commonly have printed covers) of the Document, numbering more than 100, and the Document's license notice requires Cover Texts, you must enclose the copies in covers that carry, clearly and legibly, all these Cover Texts: Front-Cover Texts on the front cover, and Back-Cover Texts on the back cover. Both covers must also clearly and legibly identify you as the publisher of these copies. The front cover must present the full title with all words of the title equally prominent and visible. You may add other material on the covers in addition. Copying with changes limited to the covers, as long as they preserve the title of the Document and satisfy these conditions, can be treated as verbatim copying in other respects.

If the required texts for either cover are too voluminous to fit legibly, you should put the first ones listed (as many as fit reasonably) on the actual cover, and continue the rest onto adjacent pages.

If you publish or distribute Opaque copies of the Document numbering more than 100, you must either include a machine-readable Transparent copy along with each Opaque copy, or state in or with each Opaque copy a computer-network location from which the general network-using public has access to download using public-standard network protocols a complete Transparent copy of the Document, free of added material. If you use the latter option, you must take reasonably prudent steps, when you begin distribution of Opaque copies in quantity, to ensure that this Transparent copy will remain thus accessible at the stated location until at least one year after the last time you distribute an Opaque copy (directly or through your agents or retailers) of that edition to the public.

It is requested, but not required, that you contact the authors of the Document well before redistributing any large number of copies, to give them a chance to provide you with an updated version of the Document.


You may copy and distribute a Modified Version of the Document under the conditions of sections 2 and 3 above, provided that you release the Modified Version under precisely this License, with the Modified Version filling the role of the Document, thus licensing distribution and modification of the Modified Version to whoever possesses a copy of it. In addition, you must do these things in the Modified Version:

If the Modified Version includes new front-matter sections or appendices that qualify as Secondary Sections and contain no material copied from the Document, you may at your option designate some or all of these sections as invariant. To do this, add their titles to the list of Invariant Sections in the Modified Version's license notice. These titles must be distinct from any other section titles.

You may add a section Entitled "Endorsements", provided it contains nothing but endorsements of your Modified Version by various parties—for example, statements of peer review or that the text has been approved by an organization as the authoritative definition of a standard.

You may add a passage of up to five words as a Front-Cover Text, and a passage of up to 25 words as a Back-Cover Text, to the end of the list of Cover Texts in the Modified Version. Only one passage of Front-Cover Text and one of Back-Cover Text may be added by (or through arrangements made by) any one entity. If the Document already includes a cover text for the same cover, previously added by you or by arrangement made by the same entity you are acting on behalf of, you may not add another; but you may replace the old one, on explicit permission from the previous publisher that added the old one.

The author(s) and publisher(s) of the Document do not by this License give permission to use their names for publicity for or to assert or imply endorsement of any Modified Version.


You may combine the Document with other documents released under this License, under the terms defined in section 4 above for modified versions, provided that you include in the combination all of the Invariant Sections of all of the original documents, unmodified, and list them all as Invariant Sections of your combined work in its license notice, and that you preserve all their Warranty Disclaimers.

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You may make a collection consisting of the Document and other documents released under this License, and replace the individual copies of this License in the various documents with a single copy that is included in the collection, provided that you follow the rules of this License for verbatim copying of each of the documents in all other respects.

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If the Cover Text requirement of section 3 is applicable to these copies of the Document, then if the Document is less than one half of the entire aggregate, the Document's Cover Texts may be placed on covers that bracket the Document within the aggregate, or the electronic equivalent of covers if the Document is in electronic form. Otherwise they must appear on printed covers that bracket the whole aggregate.


Translation is considered a kind of modification, so you may distribute translations of the Document under the terms of section 4. Replacing Invariant Sections with translations requires special permission from their copyright holders, but you may include translations of some or all Invariant Sections in addition to the original versions of these Invariant Sections. You may include a translation of this License, and all the license notices in the Document, and any Warranty Disclaimers, provided that you also include the original English version of this License and the original versions of those notices and disclaimers. In case of a disagreement between the translation and the original version of this License or a notice or disclaimer, the original version will prevail.

If a section in the Document is Entitled "Acknowledgements", "Dedications", or "History", the requirement (section 4) to Preserve its Title (section 1) will typically require changing the actual title.


You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Document except as expressly provided under this License. Any attempt otherwise to copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute it is void, and will automatically terminate your rights under this License.

However, if you cease all violation of this License, then your license from a particular copyright holder is reinstated (a) provisionally, unless and until the copyright holder explicitly and finally terminates your license, and (b) permanently, if the copyright holder fails to notify you of the violation by some reasonable means prior to 60 days after the cessation.

Moreover, your license from a particular copyright holder is reinstated permanently if the copyright holder notifies you of the violation by some reasonable means, this is the first time you have received notice of violation of this License (for any work) from that copyright holder, and you cure the violation prior to 30 days after your receipt of the notice.

Termination of your rights under this section does not terminate the licenses of parties who have received copies or rights from you under this License. If your rights have been terminated and not permanently reinstated, receipt of a copy of some or all of the same material does not give you any rights to use it.


The Free Software Foundation may publish new, revised versions of the GNU Free Documentation License from time to time. Such new versions will be similar in spirit to the present version, but may differ in detail to address new problems or concerns. See

Each version of the License is given a distinguishing version number. If the Document specifies that a particular numbered version of this License "or any later version" applies to it, you have the option of following the terms and conditions either of that specified version or of any later version that has been published (not as a draft) by the Free Software Foundation. If the Document does not specify a version number of this License, you may choose any version ever published (not as a draft) by the Free Software Foundation. If the Document specifies that a proxy can decide which future versions of this License can be used, that proxy's public statement of acceptance of a version permanently authorizes you to choose that version for the Document.


"Massive Multiauthor Collaboration Site" (or "MMC Site") means any World Wide Web server that publishes copyrightable works and also provides prominent facilities for anybody to edit those works. A public wiki that anybody can edit is an example of such a server. A "Massive Multiauthor Collaboration" (or "MMC") contained in the site means any set of copyrightable works thus published on the MMC site.

"CC-BY-SA" means the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license published by Creative Commons Corporation, a not-for-profit corporation with a principal place of business in San Francisco, California, as well as future copyleft versions of that license published by that same organization.

"Incorporate" means to publish or republish a Document, in whole or in part, as part of another Document.

An MMC is "eligible for relicensing" if it is licensed under this License, and if all works that were first published under this License somewhere other than this MMC, and subsequently incorporated in whole or in part into the MMC, (1) had no cover texts or invariant sections, and (2) were thus incorporated prior to November 1, 2008.

The operator of an MMC Site may republish an MMC contained in the site under CC-BY-SA on the same site at any time before August 1, 2009, provided the MMC is eligible for relicensing.

ADDENDUM: How to use this License for your documents

To use this License in a document you have written, include a copy of the License in the document and put the following copyright and license notices just after the title page:

Copyright (C) YEAR YOUR NAME.
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

If you have Invariant Sections, Front-Cover Texts and Back-Cover Texts, replace the "with … Texts." line with this:

with the Invariant Sections being LIST THEIR TITLES, with the Front-Cover Texts being LIST, and with the Back-Cover Texts being LIST.

If you have Invariant Sections without Cover Texts, or some other combination of the three, merge those two alternatives to suit the situation.

If your document contains nontrivial examples of program code, we recommend releasing these examples in parallel under your choice of free software license, such as the GNU General Public License, to permit their use in free software.


Questions? Comments? Suggestions? You may e-mail me at