Has anyone created an eBook portfolio to attract clients? I have been working at a publishing house and have converted many titles (some complex and impressive) and am wondering what is the best way to display my work now that I am considering going freelance.

Of course, because I have been working for a publishing house, they own the rights to their titles and thus, copyright infringement could be a potential issue. I obviously know how to strip my .epub file down to a few sample chapters but is this enough, legally speaking?

Please don't be afraid to answer if you know the technical part (where/how to display) but not the legal (posting work that belongs to my employer) or vice versa.

  • 1
    Even including a single chapter would be copyright infringement, I believe. Could you not put in dummy text of some kind?
    – evilsoup
    Mar 11, 2015 at 23:11
  • Lorem Ipsum is a good call - I'll probably go this route
    – maxwell
    Mar 12, 2015 at 19:46
  • Who voted this question down and for what reason? The rhyme and reason behind some of these stack exchange sites is so funny to me.
    – maxwell
    Mar 12, 2015 at 19:48

3 Answers 3


I definitely feel your pain. As a technical writer I've usually signed NDAs about things I've worked on, but I also need to show samples for potential employees.

I think everybody would be fine with doing a screenshot of a single page (or back to back pages) to show off formatting. After all, most of the time, consumers can see these limited samples on Amazon.com or Google Play store anyway. Another option would be doing a screenshot of the sample page on Amazon or ibooks, etc and then storing it at your own website.

More important than the screenshots would be an accompanying narrative. What was the challenge in designing this page or template -- and how did you go about solving it?

Best case scenario is definitely putting dummy text inside your template, but this can be time-consuming and impractical.

You don't need to have chapters (it would be unwieldy to do anyway), but a few select screenshots would do the job (and your job opportunity requires an interview, you can definitely show things off on your tablet).


Posting work that belongs to your employer is not a good idea. Even posting work that you've done on your own time that is similar to what your employer pays you to do is fraught with legal peril, especially if you've ever used any work resources (laptops, etc) to do it. Check your contract for any mentions of "work for hire", and assume that unless there's anything in the contract that states otherwise, your former workplace retains sole rights to all the stuff you created while you worked there.

You can probably get away with linking to store pages that feature the ebooks that you designed—I do that frequently by linking to iBooks. Browsing a sample chapter is unlikely to get anyone in any kind of trouble. On the down side, they can't look over your code to see how elegant your xhtml is.

  • I'm a little confused on your official advisement. You say it is unlikely that a sample chapter will get me in trouble but that overall it still is not a good idea. And that ultimately, I should play it safe and only link to my work on iBooks, yes?
    – maxwell
    Mar 11, 2015 at 15:33
  • Well, I'm not a lawyer, so I wouldn't call it official or anything. Whether or not it would get you in trouble really depends on your employer, so talking to them might be a good first step (and get anything important in writing). If that's not an option or they say no, I would not include samples.
    – Tom
    Mar 11, 2015 at 16:30

I'm a freelancer and I'm on NDA as well, but what I often do is to create blurred images. I would probably just design the cover and upload it.

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