Current state of organizing book collections into chapters?

I am trying to figure out how to organize my project a little cleaner, since it’s built to be very hierarchical and it seems like having a million pages isn’t a clean way to go. I thought about using books and chapters, but that functionality doesn’t seem to be working.

I see the discussion back in January about changing the ways in which books and chapters are used, but I’m not sure if those ever got implemented. There is a discussion about adding chapters/etc. in the guides, but it’s either too new or too old, as the screens shown do not match what I’m seeing. To that end, I have a few quick questions:

  1. What is the current state of books/chapters? I can’t tell from the Jan. post if they were getting updated or phased out.

  2. I can organize pubs into “collections” (called books), but this seems to function exactly as tags function. I have the option to go in and change certain pubs to be ‘chapters’, ‘forward’, ‘supplementary material’, etc., but these designations have no bearing on the order or appearance of my pubs when the page is viewed. However, there are still books out there ion the projects page, so I think that the functionality is still intact. Am I just doing something wrong? Or are ‘books’ no longer supported?

  3. Is there a better way to organize content hierarchically?

Thank you so much for any help. PubPub is an amazing resource, very excited to build something one top of it!


Hi JW,

Thanks for using PubPub and writing in. Indeed, Collections are how to organize books, and we plan to improve the functionality in the future. You can order your Pubs within any Collection by dragging them up or down in the list. This has an effect on the order they show up in Pub Blocks on Pages, in the collection dropdown on Pubs and, if you have it enabled in the Collection, the “read next” preview.

A place that sometimes causes confusion is that Collections are not deeply tied to the site layout, because we want to give people flexibility for how they want to layout their collections. So, you have to both create the Collection and create a Page with a Pub block to display it.

The way most people use Collections for books is:

  • Create a Page for the book
  • Create book Collection and fill out required metadata
  • Add and order Pubs in the Collection Contents
  • Link the Page to the book Collection in the Collection Details
  • Add a Pub block to the Page and filter it to the Collection.

Here’s an example of a demo book page I made (screenshots below show the setup):

Definitely room for improvement in that process and experience, but it should do the trick.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Thanks, Gabe!
Unfortunately, the link you provided seems to be dead. I supposed I’m looking for a way to organize things hierarchically. For example, let’s say I am running a journal, and I want to organize by year, and then quarter, and then month.

My home page would have links to 2017, 2018, and 2019, and since I would need pages for each of these, I would create pages named 2017, 2018, and 2019. But then, each of these years has a fall, winter, spring, and summer quarter. So I’d like to create pages for each of those, with each page containing links to issues that occurred in january, february, march, etc.

The issue is that once I create a page for “fall”, I can’t rename any other pages “fall”. I’m hoping that there’s some way to organize things hierarchically, so that I can create a “2018” page, and then create a “fall” page that’s only associated with “2018”. That way, when I create a "2019"page, I can create another page called “fall” that’s only associated with “2019”. As of now, I can only see how to create flat pages that are all accessible to other pages. I’d have to name them “fall-18” and “fall-19” or similar.

I thought that books might be a good way around this, but I’m having trouble getting the ‘books’ functionality to work—as far as I can tell, it displays just like any other pub collection. Is there some other, non-book way to build in this hierarchy?

Or even build in URL-style hierarchy? Where I could set the URL of a page to 2018/fall/january or similar?


Ah, gotcha.

At the moment, we’re not planning to enable this kind of hierarchy for pages. But we are rethinking the way we organize collections a bit, and I think it’s worth considering having pages nested within collections as you’ve described.

We’ve also had a number of requests for automated chronological archives, which is also something we would consider – and we would probably lay out those pages by collection as well.

For now, the best option may be to overload the url string for the page with something like 2017-fall.