Contributor Guidelines

1.  Introduction

2.  The Components of a Profile

3.  How to…

                i.    Enter Text

                ii.   Create Links

                iii.  Insert Images

                iv.  Add Music

                v.  Embed Videos

                vi. Create Maps

                vii. Embed Digital Books

                viii. Use HTML

                ix. Add Coordinates

4.  Finished?  

Appendix: Known Issues



1.  Introduction


Welcome to Book Drum and thank you for helping us build a fantastic resource for readers all over the world.

These guidelines explain how to create a Book Drum profile.  Please read them carefully, along with our step-by-step Image Guide.  If you encounter any technical difficulties, or have any questions about assembling your profile, please don't hesitate to contact us on

The value of Book Drum lies in the depth and quality of the content it offers, all of it available online for free.  Assembling that high-quality content in the right format is a complex task, and we’ve built a unique system to make it as straightforward as possible.  It’s designed to let you add content piece by piece, coming back to it whenever you’re ready to add more. 

These are comprehensive guidelines intended to assist you with every aspect of your Profile.  But we’d like to stress a few essential points:


Be concise and relevant

Respect copyright

Don’t plagiarise

Strike a balance between text and other media

We’ll look first at the components of a Book Drum Profile, and then go on to explain the technical aspects of adding images, videos, music, maps, embedded books and links.  You can refer back to these pages via the Help menu at any time.




2.  The Components of a Profile



1.      Summary

The Summary should be brief, ideally not more than 500 words.  It should serve as a guide to readers who are struggling to make headway through a novel, or want to dip in and out of a non-fiction work.  Don’t shy away from “plot spoilers” – the summary should be complete.  But try to remain objective; reserve your own judgements for the review.


2.      Review

You've probably chosen a book you love.  Here’s your chance to say why.  Offer a balanced assessment, identifying any weaknesses as well as praising the book's qualities. 

Supplement your own opinion with representative quotes from published reviews.  Limit those quotes to a sentence or two to avoid infringing the reviewer’s copyright.  If the book has been published recently, you may be able to provide links to the original reviews online.


3.      Author

Write a brief biography of the author.  The main facts can usually be found on Wikipedia, the author’s official site or the publisher’s site.  But avoid regurgitating the official PR pack – describe the author in your own words.

Add a photograph or painting of the author if you can find one that isn’t copyrighted (try Wikimedia Commons).  You may be able to get permission from the publisher or the author to use an official copyrighted image simply by emailing them.

Add links to the author’s official site, the publisher’s author page and any quality fan sites.  You can also add links to relevant articles or interviews from newspapers and magazines.

Many contemporary authors feature in YouTube videos, either being interviewed or giving a talk or reading.  Embed one or two videos in your text. 


4.      Setting

Some readers never form a clear picture of the places in which a book is set, however good the descriptions.  A few well chosen images and maps can hugely enhance understanding.  Describe the main Places in your own words, and illustrate as appropriate with images, video, sound and maps. 

Once you've added a few Places, you can adjust their order to suit the narrative using the blue arrows on the right of the screen.

If the book is set in a different period, include some comment on relevant features of that period.  Depending on the subject of the book, you may want to discuss living conditions, fashion, technology, cultural norms etc… 

Books set in the future or in a fantasy world can equally benefit from a clear introduction to their setting, although you may find illustration more of a challenge!  Feel free to upload creative artwork if appropriate, subject to copyright.

Some books, especially non-fiction, touch a thousand locations.  Choose the two or three most important, and illustrate the rest in the Bookmarks. 

Some non-fiction books (e.g. Philosophy texts) may appear to have no setting.  We challenge you nevertheless to use this section creatively to “set the scene” for the book.


5.      Glossary

Every book has words that cause readers difficulties.  These may be foreign, technical, slang, old-fashioned, made-up, or just rare.  Use a dictionary, the Internet or your own expertise to unlock these words with a concise, straightforward definition.  Don’t over-complicate a word by offering a variety of meanings – just define it as it should be understood in the context of the book.

Please take care to enter each defined word exactly as it appears in the text.  This will be important when your glossary is used with an electronic edition of the book.

The Glossary is the only section without an edit function.  If you want to edit an entry, copy your original definition and delete the entry.  Then create a new entry for the word and paste in the original definition for editing.



The Bookmarks make up the heart of a Profile.  They form a page-by-page resource of illustrations, explanations, comments and relevant extras to accompany the book.  They may be referred to intermittently – when the reader wants to know something specific – or they may become a constant companion throughout the reading, providing countless gems to enhance the text.  Ultimately, they could become part of the actual book on electronic readers.

The Bookmarks take time to construct, but they yield fascinating material.  As you read your chosen book, look for references to places, people or ideas that would benefit from illustration or expansion.  If the author refers to a little-known historical event, explore it for us.  If they refer to a piece of music, provide a link to Spotify so we can hear it.  If they describe a particular skill or activity, show us an example from YouTube.  If a character has some unique background, research it for us so we can better understand what that might mean.

These are just a few of the ways you might choose to populate the Bookmarks.  There will be many other possibilities.  Perhaps a line in a children’s book suggests a great online game.  Or a subtle reference in a sci-fi book to another work deserves highlighting for less eagle-eyed readers.  There’s a world of possibility open to you.  Book Drum has provided a powerful mechanism for attaching illustrated notes to specific lines in your chosen book – it’s up to you how you use it.

Please ensure you do the following for each Bookmark:

1.  Give the correct page number for your edition.

2.  Enter the quote from the book exactly as printed, to enable e-book readers to locate the right text.  For the same reason, please make your quote unique within the book.  “until he walked into the room” will find the right passage; “he walked” probably won’t.  Do not add any extra punctuation (“” or …). Avoid very long quotes as these are prone to errors.

3.  Be informative but concise.  Provide links to specialist webpages for readers who want more detail.

If you add multiple Bookmarks for a single page of the book, you can order them correctly using the blue arrows that will appear at the right of each Bookmark. 


7.      Map

The Map plots all the Setting places and location-based bookmarks for the Profile.  It is compiled from coordinates entered for each Setting place and bookmark.  It can be viewed in Satellite or Map mode.  Clicking one of the pins on the Map opens a reduced version of the bookmark or Setting place.



3.  How to…



i.  Enter Text


Click “Start” or “Add Bookmark” to start writing.  You can use the buttons provided to underline, bold or italicize sections of your text.

Be Concise.  Give the essential information, then provide links for your readers to explore further if they wish to.  It doesn’t have to be dry; by all means bring your own style, humour or colour to the text.

Don’t Plagiarise!  You may have found the perfect paragraph on another website but never cut & paste – provide a link to that site instead.  Use other sources to inform and inspire you then put it in your own words, even when the information comes from a non-copyrighted source.

Make the most of available resources.  Cliff Notes and York Notes cover many classics.  Wikipedia provides generally reliable and in-depth information on just about everything.  Google will steer you towards countless other sources.  Look for authors’ own sites, publishers’ notes for book clubs, or even the better fan sites. 

We strongly recommend you save your work frequently, and suggest you keep copies in Word format on your own computer. 



ii.  Create Links


Add links to other websites to let readers delve further and deeper with a single click. 


To create a link:

1.      Select the text you wish to make a hyperlink

2.      Click the “Insert/edit link” button   link

3.      Enter the link title and URL (you can simply cut & paste this from your browser)

4.      Click “Insert”


To edit a link:

1.      Select the link to edit

2.      Click the “Insert/edit link” button   link

3.      Edit

4.      Click “Update”


To remove a link:

1.      Select the link to remove

2.      Click the “Unlink” button   break link


Warning: If you insert an image right beside a hyperlink (e.g. if the first word of a paragraph is a hyperlink), you may find that the link spreads to the image credits.  To avoid this problem, insert a single space between the image and the hyperlink.



iii.  Insert Images


For a complete step-by-step, illustrated guide to adding images, see Adding Images.


IMPORTANT:  You must establish the copyright licence status of any image you wish to use.  Most images will fall into the following categories:


Public Domain     Public Domain: You can use freely, with or without crediting the creator/artist.  Images created by the US Government (e.g. NASA), or by artists who died more than 70 years ago, are in the Public Domain.  Some copyright holders choose to release their works into the Public Domain.

CC Sharealike     Creative Commons: You can use the image, subject to conditions.  You will be required to attribute the image.  On Flickr you can find suitable images through the Advanced Search function: tick the three Creative Commons boxes at the bottom of the Advanced Search page.  Images with "No Derivatives" or "Non-Commercial" licences may not be used on Book Drum.

GNU    GNU Free Documentation: Similar to Creative Commons – permits distribution, commercial use and derivative works, subject to attribution and sharing under the same licence.

Copyright   Copyright/All Rights Reserved: you may only use the image with express permission from the copyright holder or their agent.



There are three steps to inserting an image in the Bookmarks, Setting or Author:


Step One:  Locate and Save Image

1.      You can find excellent images of almost anything or anyone on the Internet.  Search Wikimedia Commons and Flickr.  You may also have, or be able to create, suitable images of your own.

2.      Make sure you have permission to use each image.  Check the licence: this information is clearly displayed on Wikimedia Commons below the image; on Flickr, look under “Additional Information” at the bottom of the right-hand column (you may need to click the copyright information for more detail of Creative Commons licences).

3.      Save the image into a “Book Drum” folder on your computer (by right-clicking on the picture and selecting “Save Picture As…”).

4.      The image must be JPG or PNG format.  You can convert from other formats by opening the image with MS Paint and then saving it as a JPG file.

5.      Crop the image if necessary.


Step Two:  Upload Image to Book Drum

Within a Bookmark, or the Setting or Author sections, you can upload multiple images, for later insertion around the text.


1.      upload  Click Upload Image [N.B.  Unsaved text changes will be lost when you do this.  Therefore either upload your images before adding text and links, or save your work first and then return to it by clicking “Edit”]

2.      Select the image to upload  from your computer by clicking “Browse”

3.      Give the image a concise explanatory title

4.      Choose the appropriate licence from the menu

5.      Enter the name of the Copyright Owner OR tick the “No Owner” box for Public Domain images with unknown creators

6.      Enter an Attribution URL (Web address), if appropriate (for example, the Wikimedia Commons or Flickr page or the Copyright Owner’s website) OR tick the “No Suitable URL” box

7.      Click “Save”


Step Three:  Insert Image into Bookmark, Author page or Setting Place

1.      Complete your text and links before inserting images – too much text editing later can interfere with automated image credits

2.      Place your cursor at the beginning of a paragraph of text

3.      Click the “Insert/edit image” button   insert image

4.      Your uploaded images will be presented in the drop-down “Image List” menu, in a variety of sizes.  Pick the image and size you want (hint: don’t always use the largest size!)

5.      From the “Orientation” menu, choose whether you want the image to the left or the right of the paragraph.

6.      Click “Insert”


You can insert images on both sides of each paragraph.  Place your cursor at the beginning of the paragraph for both.

If the first word of a paragraph is a hyperlink, insert a space before it.  This will separate the image from the hyperlink and avoid the link spreading to the image credit.

The image title, licence and credit will automatically appear below the image.  If there is a URL, the credit text will be the link.  The image text is editable: save the entry, then click “Edit” to reach the text.  Be aware that injudicious editing may lead to URL links spreading between the image text and the main body of text.


Some copyright Flickr images can be embedded (rather than uploaded).  This means that the image is still hosted by Flickr but can be viewed on Book Drum.  To find out if a particular Flickr image can be embedded, click Share above the image.  If you see "Grab the HTML/BBCode", it can be embedded. Click this line, copy the code and paste it into your bookmark.  You cannot change the orientation of embedded images or wrap text around them.



iv.  Add Music


Many books refer to pieces of music.  With Book Drum, readers can conveniently listen to the referenced track while they read.  Alternatively, you may want to provide examples of music or other audio to illustrate part of the text.

If you’ve never used Spotify, you will need to install it (for free – click here).  There is an extraordinary wealth of music available (in certain countries only).


1.      Search Spotify for the appropriate track

2.      Copy the track’s URL (right-click on track and select “Copy HTTP Link”)

3.      In the Book Drum text field, type the name of the track

4.      Select this text and click “Insert/edit link” button  link

5.      Enter Spotify URL (e.g.

6.      Click “Insert”


To remove a track, simply delete the hyperlink text.



v.  Embed Videos


YouTube allows other sites to embed its videos on their pages, and a relevant clip adds great richness to a Book Drum profile.  You might find a “how-to” video, or a film of a place mentioned, or a short documentary about your subject.  Avoid videos that clearly infringe copyright, particularly clips from Hollywood movies; a trailer for the movie should be fine.


1.      Select video in YouTube

2.      Copy YouTube URL (e.g.

3.      In Author page, Setting Place or Bookmark, click the “Insert/edit embedded media” button   embed media

4.      Paste URL into “File/URL”

5.      If you want to alter the size of the video, ensure the “Constrain proportions” box is ticked and then change one of the dimensions

6.      Click “Insert”



vi.  Create Maps


Maps can make the confusing clear for readers, and are a valuable part of Book Drum. 

Some maps are available in JPEG/PNG format on the Internet, and should be uploaded in the same way as images, with due regard for copyright.  This includes sci fi or fantasy maps of fictional places.  Alternatively, you may wish to create and upload your own maps.


It is also possible to create a bespoke, interactive map using the google maps tool: 

1.      Place your cursor where the map is to be located in the bookmark or Setting place.  This will usually be following a paragraph of text (insert a blank line between the text and the map for best results).

2.      Click the google maps icon   Google Maps

3.      Use the "Address" field to search for the location you need

4.      Zoom in and out to the appropriate scale using the + and - buttons

5.      Choose whether to display Map, Satellite or Terrain view (some very busy city maps look best with Terrain view)

6.      Click the "Advanced" tab to alter the Width and Height dimensions of the map

7.      Click "Insert"


Note: Embedded google maps cannot be easily edited.  You can make some changes (e.g. dimensions, scale, marker, view) using the HTML button button (see below), but otherwise you will need to select and delete the map and start again.


Important: The google maps function is a not-quite-perfect third party application.  These are the problems (with solutions) we've spotted:

1.  A map at the very top of the bookmark will overlap the quote.  Avoid this by inserting a blank line before embedding the map.

2.  Maps cannot be indented or aligned to the right.  Moreover they will simply cover any image that gets in their way.  Position your other elements around the map, for example by orienting an image on the right.  Choose your map size to fit next to the image.  For example a map of width 350px will fit next to a right-oriented image of width 500px.

3.  In Explorer, embedding a map seems to create an extra blank line above it.  If you delete this line, the map will fail.  Leave it as it is - it will not appear in the published bookmark.

4.  If you delete a map, fragmentary hidden code may remain which interferes with the proper display of other maps further down the page.  You can locate and remove this code by clicking the HTML button button. If you need to delete a map, try to select and delete all the blank space around it as well, to have the best chance of eradicating the map code.



vii.  Embed Digital Books


Google Books, Scribd and other sites provide entire digital books online.  You can embed many of these into a bookmark.

Find the page you want displayed and then copy the "embed" text.  You will find it under "Link" on Google Books, e.g.


<iframe frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="border:0px" src="" width=500 height=500></iframe>


Paste this code into the main body of the bookmark.  You may want to use spaces to indent it.  You can change the dimensions of the embedded frame by changing the pixel numbers for width and height.

Some browsers, including Explorer, automatically form hyperlinks in the code.  You need to break these.  Select the code and click break link.



viii.  Use HTML


Even Contributors who aren't used to working with HTML will find the HTML button button useful.  It allows you to do some quick and versatile things with a bookmark or Setting place.  For example:

Move a picture from one side to the other:  e.g <div class="images-left"> becomes <div class="images-right">

Delete extra blank lines that have crept in (particularly in Firefox): delete <p>&nbsp;</p>

Change dimensions of a google map that's already embedded: change width: 300px; height: 300px (at bottom of map code)

Remove marker from google maps: delete  map.addOverlay(new GMarker(center)); (near top of map code)

Insert image from another part of Book Drum without going through uploading process: copy image code [View: Page Source] and paste into your HTML (e.g. <div class="images-right" style="width: 500px;"><img title="Uluru" src="/images/books/102004_m.jpg" alt="Uluru" width="500" height="374" /><div class="images-title" style="width: 500px;"><img title="Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike" src="/images/licence-cc-sa.png" alt="Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike" />Uluru - Credit: <a href="" target="_new">Thomas Schoch</a></div></div>)



ix.  Add coordinates


When you create a bookmark or Setting place, you can add geographic coordinates to plot the item on your profile Map.  This is extremely precise: you can map a particular building, landmark, peak, beach or crossroads if you wish.  You should enter the coordinates in this format:

latitude, longitude

Use decimals (e.g. 51.50133,-0.1419), not degrees/minutes/seconds.

You can find the coordinates by right-clicking a location in Google Maps, and selecting What's here? from the menu. A green arrow will appear on the map and the coordinates will appear in the Google search box.  Simply copy and paste them into your bookmark/place coordinates box. 

Your items will appear on the profile Map after Book Drum has reviewed them.  Setting places will also appear on the World Map.



4.  Finished?


When your Profile is complete, click “Submit Book”.  Your Profile will be reviewed, edited and published so long as it is sufficiently complete.



Appendix:  Known Issues



Image Upload

When you add an image to a Bookmark or to the Setting or Author page, all unsaved text will be lost.  Save your work first, then return to it by clicking “Edit”.


Image Credits

Hyperlinks in the image credit may spread to the main body of text, or vice versa, if you undertake much text editing once the image has been inserted.  To avoid this, edit your main text and add any links before inserting your images.  Insert a space between an image and the main text if the first word of the paragraph is a hyperlink.

When you delete an image, the image credit will remain and needs to be deleted separately.



Firefox likes to insert extra blank lines around paragraphs that include images.  Avoid these by using Explorer, or reopen the bookmark/place and delete the lines.


Google Maps

The Google Maps function is a not-quite-perfect third party application.  These are the problems (with solutions) we've spotted:

1.  A map at the very top of the bookmark will overlap the quote.  Avoid this by inserting a blank line before embedding the map.

2.  Maps cannot be indented or aligned to the right.  Moreover they will simply cover any image that gets in their way.  Position your other elements around the map, for example by orienting an image on the right.  Choose your map size to fit next to the image.  For example a map of width 350px will fit next to a right-oriented image of width 500px.

3.  In Explorer, embedding a map seems to create an extra blank line above it.  If you delete this line, the map will fail.  Leave it as it is - it will not appear in the published bookmark.

4.  If you delete a map, fragmentary hidden code may remain which interferes with the proper display of other maps further down the page.  You can locate and remove this code by clicking the HTML button button. If you need to delete a map, try to select and delete all the blank space around it as well, to have the best chance of eradicating the map code.