As an instructor, you’re probably familiar with VitalSource eBooks, which is the type of eBook that we provide. If you are familiar with them, you know that VitalSource eBooks are not only easy to use but also provide all the features that students want, like:
- VitalSource Bookshelf for managing and reading eBooks
- Online versions of Bookshelf for when you’re connected to the Internet as well as offline versions of Bookshelf so you don’t need to be connected
- Bookshelf versions for Windows and Mac computers as well as for iPads, Android tablets, and other mobile devices
- Student features like searching, highlighting, bookmarking, and adding notes
In fact, we believe that our VitalSource eBooks work even better than our print books when you install and use Bookshelf on a Windows or Mac and set the Page Layout to Facing Pages. That way, your students can not only take full advantage of our “paired pages” formatting, but also have all the features of Bookshelf.
How to use Bookshelf to review your exam copies
How to get your exam copies
- When you request an eBook review copy from us, your Bookshelf account will be automatically set up on the VitalSource website. If you already have an account, the exam copy will be put into it. If you don’t have an account, an account will be created for you with the exam copy in it.
- To review the VitalSource eBook, go to the VitalSource website and sign into Bookshelf with your email address and the password that you created or the temporary password that we sent you:
- That will open the online version of Bookshelf with a display of the exam copies that you've requested. If you've already used Bookshelf, you can take it from there. Otherwise, the topics that follow will help you get comfortable with Bookshelf.
How to use the online version of Bookshelf
- When you sign into Bookshelf on the VitalSource website, the opening page displays the exam copies that you've requested, like this:
- If all of the books that you requested aren’t shown, you can select Update Library from the Tools menu.
- If you signed in with a temporary password, this is a good time to change it. To do that, click on the Account icon on the far right of the Bookshelf toolbar and select Account Info.
- To open one of the eBooks, you can click on it:
- Then, you can use the controls at the left and bottom of the screen to work with the eBook. In general, though, the offline versions of Bookshelf for Windows and Mac computers work better, and you don’t have to be connected to the Internet to use them.
How to download and start an offline version of Bookshelf
- In the online version of Bookshelf, click on the toolbar button that's identified below. That will display a panel that lets you download the offline version of Bookshelf for the device that you're using.
- When you install and start the offline version of Bookshelf for a Windows or Mac computer, all of the exam copies that you’ve requested will be displayed like this:
- If all of the books aren't shown, you can select Update Book List from the Account menu. Then, if necessary, you can click All Titles in the Collections pane on the left side of Bookshelf.
How to open and display one of our books on a computer
- To open one of the books, double-click on it. Then, you can experiment with the controls in the toolbar to see how easy it is to work with a VitalSource eBook.
- To change the display of a book, you can use the drop-down list for Page Layout in the toolbar. Here, for example, is the Bookshelf display for a Windows computer with the Page Layout set to Facing Pages:
- This of course is the layout that we recommend for our books because it lets you get the most from our "paired pages" presentation method.
How to use our books on a mobile device
- Bookshelf for mobile devices works similarly to Bookshelf for a computer. Here, for example, is a figure page from one of our books in Bookshelf for the iPad:
- Here again, if you experiment with the controls at the top and bottom of the page, you'll see how easy it is to change the layout, search, navigate, highlight, bookmark, add notes, and more.
Our recommendations for using our VitalSource eBooks
Download and use an offline version of Bookshelf
- Since the offline readers for Windows and Mac computers work better than the online reader, it's worth taking the time to install an offline version. That also means you don't have to be connected to the Internet to access your eBooks.
Use the Facing Pages layout on larger screens
- If the device you're using for an offline version of Bookshelf has a screen that's large enough to support Facing Pages, use that layout when you're reviewing our books. That will help you see how effective our "paired pages" presentation method is for technical instruction.
- When you're using Facing Pages, you can do a quick analysis of the content of one of our chapters just by paging through the sets of paired pages with your focus on the figure in each pair. That's also an effective way for students to review for a test: just focus on the figures.
- But remember that Facing Pages are only supported by the offline readers.
Take advantage of our paired-pages on smaller screens
- On smaller screens, like an iPad, you can't display both pages in a pair. But remember that each text page in our books is matched with a facing figure page. As a result, you can switch back and forth between text and figure just by going back and forth between pages.
- This also means that students can easily review for a test by skipping every other page and focusing on the figures.
Legacy support for LockLizard eBooks
- On August 17, 2017, we switched from LockLizard eBooks to VitalSource eBooks, and we will continue to provide access to those LockLizard eBooks from your My Account page.
- If you're going to consider one of those books for adoption, though, please request a new exam copy of the eBook. This time, it will be delivered as a VitalSource eBook, which will work much better than the LockLizard eBook.
- The VitalSource eBook will also show you exactly what your students will be getting if they buy the eBook, including all of the features that students want.