How to Commission a Book Sprint


If you wish to commission a Book Sprint follow this simple process:

  1. Choose a topic. Think about the topic in terms of a title and subtitle for your book.
  2. Consider a range of possible dates and locations.
  3. Contact to discuss dates, how to select participants, necessary venue requirements, facilitation possibilities, budget and pre-event preparation.

Book Sprint for ICT Research #4: On Brain Architectures

23 – 27 April 2014
On Brain architectures: the Distributed Adaptive Control [DAC] explains Brain Mind and Body Nexus

Discussing the structure of a book section

The fourth Book Sprint in a series of five funded by the European Commission to investigate the application of the Book Sprint methodology for academic text production started this week. It is organized in collaboration with the Convergent Science Network for Neurotechnology and Biomimetic systems (CSNII), funded by the European Commission under FP7 Future and Emerging Technologies (FET Open).

In scenic Sant Feliu de Guixols at the Spanish Costa Brava near Barcelona, eight scholars are producing a book that explains the Distributed Adaptive Control (DAC) framework and its implementation. On the second day, the conceptual part of the book as well as the tutorial for a simple implementation of the software are taking shape.

Concepting the book

This Book Sprint is facilitated by Barbara Rühling and accompanied by associated researcher Rachel Baker.

Book Sprint, Mediterranean style

Forthcoming Book Sprints (April/May)

April 7 – 11 : The Right to Health (World Bank), Bogota, Columbia

April 23 – 27 : Book Sprints for ICT Research (EC), Barcelona, Spain

May 5 – 8  : Book Sprints for ICT Research (EC), Nice, France

May 5 – 8  : Open Labs, Coventry, UK

May 12 – 16 : Book Sprint on Book Sprints, Berlin, Germany

May 26 – 30 : Times Up, Linz, Austria


Right to Health Book Sprint, Bogota

We are into day 4 of a 5 day Book Sprint on the ‘The Right to Health’. The event is brought together by the World Bank. 15 experts in health policy and practice have gathered together at the lovely town Villa de Leyva near Bogota Columbia.

Day 1, Concepting

We have completed 32,000 words (many more than this but lots of cutting and trimming!) in just over 3 days. The process is progressing more and more into the review cycles and illustrations are also taking shape to populate the book. It has been a great Book Sprint so far and facilitated by the new Book Sprint facilitator Barbara Rühling (Berlin, Germany). We have been training Barbara over the last 7 months and this is her second solo Book Sprint. We are very happy with Barbaras work and happy she has joined the team.

Some photos of the event are below and you can find more photos here :

Day 3

Deep in the action (day 2)

Day 4, cut n paste

News Articles (etc) on Book Sprints

The following are some links to news items, journal articles etc on Book Sprints and/or Adam Hyde (founder of Book Sprints) that have appeared over the years. In no particular order.

The Digital Book, contributions to a discussion (2014)
University of Amsterdam

Kiwi Launches Open Source Store (2008)
Computer World NZ

Complex Simplicity (March 2014)

Interview: Adam Hyde über OpenSource-Bücher und kollaboratives Verlegen (2011)

MathML and Chrome (Feb 2013)

All Books are Participatory. Interview with Adam Hyde (2011)

FLOSS Manuals Sprints to build quality documentation (2008)

Content Remix (2008)

A new Wiki/Authoring Tool Hybrid (2008)

Writing a Linux Shell Book the Community Way (2009)

Agile Across the Enterprise (2009)
The Agile Executive

Book Sprints and Open Science (2014)

The Open Translation Manual (2009)

A Book isnt a Book isnt a Book (2014)
Manuel Schmalstieg, The Journal of Electronic Publishing;rgn=main

The Social Media Reader (2013)
NYU Press

Death of the Reader: Proceedings published in Academic Journal (2014);rgn=main

From Zero to Book in 120 Hours (2010)
German National Newspaper TAZ!47987/

Book sprints: an open approach to collaborative writing (2013)
The Hindu

Writing in Book Sprints (2013)
Academic article by Phil Barker et al

How to write a book in five days (2013)

Book Sprint: Writing an Open Contracting Guide in Five Days (2013)

How to Create a Book in Three Days (2013)
Julian Ausserhofer

Come Book Sprinting with us (2014)
Clint Lalonde

Google DocCamp 2012: Book sprints (2012)
Linux Magazine Weekly, Dec 2012

What are Book Sprints Really like? (2010)
M Marques

Open Textbook Authoring Tools – Book Sprints (2012)
S Leslie

Book Sprint Breaks Down Mining Contracts for a Lay Audience (2013)
International Senior Lawyers Project

4 books written in 3 days! (2011)
S Taylor

Book Sprints, Post-Digital Scholarship and Subjectivation (2013)
Dr M Dieter

How Open Access changes the future of the book (2013)
M Bunz

Wrap Up (2011)
Oreilly Radar

Frankfurt Book Fair (2012)

Out of Ink Interview (2011)
Institute Network Cultures

One Laptop per Child Interview (2008)

Amsterdam Network Winter Camp Interview (2009)

Netsquared Interview (2010)

Collaboration Made Easy (2012)
Forbes Magazine

Free Software Foundation Interview (2013)

Meet Open-Source eBook Editing/Publishing App ‘BookType’ (2012)

Book Sprinting with Adam Hyde (2012)
V2 Netherlands

Booktype Launches Crowd-Sourced eBook Tools (2012)

Sprinting through the pages (2012)

Bleeding Edge Press Benefits from Mini Book Sprints (2013)

Open source publishing, ‘book sprints’ and possible futures. (2012)
Junctures Journal for Thematic Dialogue

OpenStack Operations Guide: One Week, One Book (2013)
Anne Gentle, Rackspace

Hybrid Media Lab

Zero to Book in 3 Days? (2012)
Safari books

Learning from others: Textbook sprinting in New Zealand (2014)
Clint Lalonde

New Aesthetic, New Anxieties, the book-sprint (2012)
Bruce Stirling, Wired

The Minigraph: The Future of the Monograph? (2014)

Writers and Collaboration (2013)
S Nesbitt

Writing on the Ether (2013)
Porter Anderson

Ether for Authors: Is It Time for Publishing to Call a Truce? (2013)
Porter Anderson

Interview with Adam Hyde (2013)

Helping out OSE

Occasionally Book Sprints helps projects out by applying our experience in Collaborative Knowledge Production to assist projects. In these cases the process is not a Book Sprint as such but we bring to the table facilitation to help produce content in a variety of contexts. A good example of this has been the work we have done with the United Nations Development Project to assist with the collaborative production of a Lexicon of Electoral Terms in 8 Arabic regional dialects (and English and French). Another interesting project is assisting the Open Source Ecology project to document their work.

OSE is a great project looking at creating and documenting the production of “a set of the 50 most important machines that it takes for modern life to exist”.

April 25-28 Book Sprint facilitator trainee Amanda French will travel to Missouri to facilitate the production of documentation for the OSE compressed brick Machine.

OSE Compressed Brick Machine

Watch this space for updates more information can be found here:

Book Sprints for ICT Research #3

23 – 28 March 2014
Urban Interaction Design: Emerging Trends

Mapping the field of Urban Interaction Design

The third Book Sprint funded by the European Commission to investigate the application of the methodology as applied to the production of academic products is underway. In collaboration with UrbanIxD: Designing Human Interactions in the Networked City, a Coordination Action project funded by the European Commission under FP7 Future and Emerging Technologies (FET Open).

Location: Neuhausen, Germany

Guest house of Schloss Neuhausen

Facilitated by Book Sprints facilitator Barbara Rühling

Book Sprint session schedule:
participants arrive – 23 March
working session – Monday 24 – Thursday 28
participants depart – 28 March

3 Conference Presentations

The Next Chapter, Stockholm, May 23

The Next Chapter, Stockholm, May 23

Adam Hyde will be talking about Book Sprints and the future of publishing at the following events:

Iannotate, April 5/6, San Francisco

Off the Press: Electronic Publishing in the Arts,May 22,  Rotterdam

The Next Chapter, May 23, Stockhom

Open Oil Secure Shuttleworth Grant

We are very happy to pass on the news that Johnny West and Open Oil ( have been awarded a Shuttleworth Grant (

Book Sprints has worked with Johnny and Open Oil on a number occasions including the very successful books ‘Oil Contracts : How to Read and Understand Them’ ( and ‘Mining Contracts: How to Read and Understand Them” (

Both books were results of Book Sprints and we are very proud to have been involved with them at the time and certainly very happy to see Open Oil go on to get substantial support from the Shuttleworth Foundation. Awesome news!

Book Sprinting with PLOS

Recently Adam Hyde, founder of the Book Sprints Methodology, has been assisting the Public Library of Science to develop a new platform. As part of this process PLOS hosted a Book Sprint to document the emergent platform. While documenting a platform not in production might seem odd the intent was to utilise the event as a rich user feedback session as well as a documentation procedure.

The book was written in a short 2 day Book Sprint. The purposes of the event was two fold:

  1. To create documentation
  2. To get feedback

By far the most important was (2) – feedback. Documentation requires a close reading of software and there are few evaluative processes that can match a documentation team working at close quarters. Their discussions explore the software, reveal paradoxes, question assumptions, raise new ideas, and help force paradigms into alignment. Running on the safe knowledge that you cannot document a software by memory or through the lens of a developers/designers intentions it is best to exclude developers and project managers from the process and allow the team to freely question the software through clicks and drags while the development team sit aside and listen and learn from the outside.

So, it can be said that the team of 5 PLOS staff inhabited the new platform for 2 days and were free to explore the software without restraint or preparation. Infact when the documentation process started they had no instructions other than to ‘try’ the software before they turned up. The result is not just a document of how the platform works pre-MVP but it is also a document of frustration for what the platform can’t yet do or do well in its current state as well excitement for what it can do now and what lies in the future. We wanted all of this captured so it’s all in the book – it is a how-to as well as a list of recommendations for future functionality.

The feedback was extremely rich and contained excellent insights and recommendations from people who will need to use the software on a daily basis.

Book Sprint as user feedback in session.

Book Sprint as user feedback in session.

For the next steps we will integrate the ‘Developer Recommendations’ featured at the end of each chapter in discussions as we move forward with building out the framework and functionality.

This Book Sprint was facilitated by Book Sprint trainee Amanda French under the tutelage of Adam Hyde. More about Amanda in future posts!

Calling BC Geography Faculty – come book sprinting with us

taken from,

Calling BC Geography Faculty – come book sprinting with us

BCcampus has a unique opportunity for Geography faculty to participate in an innovative open textbook project. We are looking for 6 Geography faculty to take part in a 4 day “textbook sprint” June 9-12 in Vancouver.

What is a textbook sprint?

A textbook sprint is a collaborative, face to face book writing event. For 4 days, 6 faculty, along with a number of support personal such as a graphic designer, programmer, facilitator, technical support and open educational resource librarian, will work together to create a 1st year Regional Geography textbook.

A textbook sprint is a facilitated event. This book sprint will be facilitated by Adam Hyde, a skilled and experienced book sprint facilitator who has facilitated the creation of over 70 books using the book sprint methodology.

What can participants expect?

The book sprint itself will be much like a workshop retreat. It will be an intense and professionally rewarding experience, working with peers to collaboratively author a textbook.

People love participating in Book Sprints partly because at the end of a fixed time they have been part of something special – making a book – but they are also amazed at the quality of the books made and proud of their achievement. However Book Sprints are also hard work and participants should be prepared before time to expect that the week will be extremely rewarding but also will require long hours of hard work. All contributors should be careful to come rested as there is much work to be done!
Introduction to the Book Sprint Methodology

Who we are looking for?

We are looking for 6 faculty to participate. Ideally, you will have taught, or are currently teaching, regional geography. You are an open collaborator, willing to share and compromise to meet the goals of the project. You also realize that working on an innovative project means having a flexible and playful attitude. Oh, and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). Specifically, a WiFi enabled laptop (Mac or PC). Authoring software (and training) will be provided.


Dates: June 9-12, 2014
Location: UBC Vancouver (Point Grey)
Because this will be an intense week that may involve working outside of normal business hours, accommodations & meals for participants will be included on site. Participating faculty will receive $2000 for their participation.

About the book

  • the textbook will be a suitable alternative to a commercial publishers textbook for B.C. faculty to use in a 1st year regional geography course.
  • the textbook will be released as an open educational resource licensed with a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license, meaning that the textbook could be freely used, reused, adapted and modified by others.
  • the final textbook will be made available in PDF, ePub, and HTML formats. It will also be available as a print on demand book via the open textbook repository.
  • the textbook will be planned, written & produced from start to finish in 4 days.
  • while not a requirement, the textbook will try to use as many existing open educational resource whenever possible. This might include content from the open Geography resources that have been created over the years as part of the BC Online Program Development Fund.

More information

If this sounds like an event you would be interested in participating in, please contact Clint Lalonde at

Additional background