Guide to Direct Uploading (DU) and Posting to PG

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DP Official Documentation - Post-Processing and Post-Processing Verification

The purpose of this guide is to walk post-processors through the process of directly uploading their projects once they have be promoted to "DU" by the PPV coordinator, and explain what will happen to the files once they are at PG. (In preparing this file, I've used this post of Tonya's as a starting point, and also incorporated things I've dealt with or have been asked about in my last six months as a whitewasher.)

Preparing your files for upload

  • Please be sure that all your PP checks are complete, and that you are happy with the way your documents are styled.
  • Please ensure there are no errors in your title or author field of the upload form (or any errors in the title and author in your book text)
  • Please ensure that your file does not include a Byte-Order Mark (BOM)
  • Place your files in a single zip file.
    • All files should be named in all lower case letters.
    • Please name your text file with the extension .txt, and the html file with .htm or .html. The text file should be named with .txt extension.
    • images files should be included in a subdirectory called "images."
    • Please give the zip file a simple, brief name, that reflects the project. This is helpful to the Project Gutenberg production team (whitewashers).
    • Please make sure there are no extra files, such as .bin files, Thumbs.db, or extra text files. If you have notes for the whitewashers, please include these in the Notes section of the upload form rather than a readme file.
    • Be sure there are no restricted permissions on the files or directories.


The latest DU instructions re: uploading are sent by email. Please read those instructions carefully and contact the PPV Coordinator with any questions.

Also, when uploading, please preview your upload before hitting "Submit" in order to trigger the extensive error checking, encoding detection and validation within the upload program. From Preview, you will see a more complete analysis of your upload, allowing you to make adjustments if appropriate before submitting.

Confirming submission details as supplied at clearance time

Before finally uploading your project, please verify all the submission details for the book that were supplied at clearance time. Carefully review the title page scan of your book and update the form where necessary:

  • Author field contains data
  • Author's name is spelled correctly
  • All authors listed on title page are listed in upload form
  • Any illustrator, translator, editor, etc., listed on title page is listed in upload form
  • Title is complete and all words are spelled correctly
  • Title is appropriately capitalized
  • Titles of serials include volume number, issue number, and issue date
  • If English, the title and subtitle should be capitalized using Sentence case.
  Example: The story of the little red hen
  • For titles in languages other than English (LOTE), please follow the capitalization used on the book's Title Page. However, if the title there is fully capitalized, please use the conventions for title capitalization common in the book's language (If in doubt, you may refer to the capitalization used for books in that language within the catalogs of major libraries such as the Library of Congress or WorldCat).
  • Subtitle listed on title page is listed in upload form
  • If you are uploading a periodical, please check Project Gutenberg for previously posted issues of that periodical and follow the title formatting they used.
  • If your project is part of a multiple volume set, state the number, i.e. English History, (Vol. 2/6).

If you need to make additional changes but are unable to do so, please mention this in the Notes field. For example, you may wish to add a Translator, but have already used up all the available spaces on the form. Please enter this information in the Notes field.

Email addresses to CC for notification

If you're uploading a DP project to PG, always include dp-post at in the list of addresses to CC for notification. This notification is used by the DP posting team to identify projects that are ready to mark as posted at DP.

Regarding the Credit Line

Sometimes, for reasons of privacy, people prefer to use their DP name or another pseudonym in place of their real name. This might show in the Credits line from the DP project page as "joeydp, Jane Doe, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team...". To preserve their anonymity, under no circumstances should you change this from "joeydp" to their real name "Joe Schmo", even if you know it or see it written elsewhere, unless of course they explicitly ask you to.

No additional contributors should be added to the project's existing credit line without the specific permission of those contributors.


What happens to my file next?

One of the whitewashers will pick up the files and prepare them for posting.

What the heck is a whitewasher?

A "whitewasher" (or WWer) is a member of the PG Posting Team.

What exactly will the whitewashers do to my files?

Briefly, they will...

  • check over the files for any remaining errors.
  • generate additional files as necessary (ascii/7-bit file from your Latin-1 file, for example).
  • append the basic project info and PG license information to beginnings and ends of the files.
  • give the text an official PG e-text number, and generate a series of zip files for readers to download your book in its various formats.

What if the WWers find errors in my files?

  • If there are only a few errors, the whitewashers will usually fix them and not mention it to you. If you would like to see all changes made to your files, you can do so via a diff program. (This is strongly recommended.)
  • If you are leaving the same errors in successive uploads (such as he/be scannos or gutcheck errors), the whitewashers might send you feedback, and perhaps remind you to check these things more carefully.
  • If there are enough errors in the files that the whitewashers do not have time to deal with them personally, they will send you a note and ask you to repair all the items they mentioned and resubmit the file. There are way more submitters than whitewashers, so this is not uncommon.

How long will it take for my files to be posted?

The time between upload and posting depends on the availability of the whitewashers. Currently there are only three active whitewashers dealing with all incoming submissions to PG (from DP, as well as independent e-text producers), so your patience is appreciated. If your file hasn't been posted within a week, however, please send a note to pgww @ to find out if it is in progress or if got lost somewhere.

My book has been posted but still shows up in my PP queue

An ebook doesn't disappear from the Post-Processors queue until it is marked posted at DP. This is why Post-Processors with Direct Upload access are asked to include dp-post at pgdp dot net in the list of emails to be notified when an ebook is posted for a DP project, so that the squirrels in charge of marking projects posted receive the notification.

As with whitewashing, there are occasional delays in marking projects posted, so some patience is appreciated. However, if it's been more than 3 or 4 days since you got the posted notice from PG and your ebook still hasn't been marked posted at DP, please forward a copy of the posted email you got from PG (which includes title, author and posted number) to dp-post at pgdp dot net.

I received a posting notice, but when I click on the link, it tells me the files aren't found. What's wrong?

Files are pushed to the server 20 minutes after the hour, and then aren't catalogued until the next day. Sometimes that link will work after the files are pushed to the server, but often you'll need to wait until the next day to see your files. If you still get that message 24 hours later, contact the WWer who sent you the posting message to make sure everything is okay.

What if I notice errors in my files shortly after they are posted to PG?

Contact the WWer who sent you the Posted e-mail, and ask them about getting the errors repaired.

What if the WWer has introduced errors or changes that I don't like into my files?

Again, contact the WWer who sent you the Posted e-mail, and ask them about getting the items repaired.

What if I don't know who whitewashed my files?

If you are subscribed to the "posted" list, you can see all the postings by looking at the archived posting notices. You can also e-mail the entire posting team at pgww @ for assistance.

Where can I see a list of recently posted files?

To comment or request edits to this page, please contact jjz or windymilla.

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