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Here are definitions for some of the unique terms used in the SharedBook realm. (Additional info can be found on our Method Parameters page.)


An API key is required to guarantee the software making calls to the SharedBook API is known and legitimate. Each application or project has its own API key.

Related methods: auth/login, auth/getSessionToken


The authToken is delivered as a parameter of the callback URL after successfully logging in. You then use this authToken to get the session token using the auth/getSessionToken method. The authToken is valid for 60 minutes, after that, the user must login again.

Related methods: auth/login, auth/getSessionToken

BMS (Book Making Space)

A book making space is a user's private space on the SharedBook website where she can store her photos and comments to use in creating a printed and online book. She can invite others to participate in her Book Making Space as well.

Related methods: bmscreate/init, bmscreate/publish


In SharedBook, a "book" refers to the printed or online personalized book generated from the photos and stories posted by users in a Book Making Space.

Related method: book/preview

Bridge Page

A Bridge Page is an optional page that sits between an external application and the SharedBook site. Bridge Pages can be used to request additional information from your users or to ask them to choose or format some of the information flowed from your site into a SharedBook Book Making Space.

Callback URL

The "home page" of the API developer's web application. After authenticating with SharedBook, a user is redirected to the Callback URL.

Related methods: auth/login, auth/getSessionToken

Embedded Photo

An embedded photo is a photo that appears by default in an article. Users building books can replace embedded photos with those they have uploaded.

Related methods: bmscreate/init, bmscreate/publish

"My Pages" Gallery

The "My Pages" Gallery is a section of the final printed or online book that can contain user photos in a photo gallery layout, as well as text pages entered by the book's creator.

Related methods: bms/addPhoto, bms/addComment


After creating a Book Making Space, users "populate" it by posting or uploading content to it.

Related methods: bms/addPhoto, bms/addComment, bms/setFrontCoverPhoto, bms/setBackCoverPhoto

Prompted Post

A prompted post looks like a hyperlink in the online book. It only appears online, and will not show up in a printed book. When a user clicks it, it opens the comment area or the photo upload area, thus prompting the user to post. Each SharedBook article has one prompted photo post and one prompted comment post by default.

The prompted photo post parameter is called "postPhotoLink" and the prompted comment post parameter is called "postCommentLink." The parameter values will become the text that appears as the prompted post link in the online book.

Related methods: bmscreate/init, bmscreate/publish


Publishing is the finishing step in each of three phases of the SharedBook process: creation of a Book Making Space, population of a Book Making Space, and creation of a book (generating a PDF). It saves the work done to that point and makes it available for use in the next phase of the overall SharedBook process.

Related methods: bmscreate/publish, bms/publish, bookcreate/publish

Secret Word

A secret word is a security string used to protect API developer applications.

Related methods: auth/login, auth/getSessionToken

Session Token

A session token is a unique identifying string valid for one session. The auth/getSessionToken method retrieves a new session token after the first login. The session token is valid for 24 hours, after that, the user must login again.

Related method: auth/login, auth/getSessionToken

Silent User

A Silent User is, essentially, an anonymous user: a person who has entered the SharedBook environment through a separate application and has not signed in to the SharedBook environment. SharedBook allows silent users because it facilitates speedy book purchases for those who do not want to further personalize their books and therefore do not need a full user account.


The theme is the look and feel of the book, including its background PDF files (on the covers and interior pages), font styles and colors, and other design elements. We currently offer one, the "vanilla theme," which is a simple, broadly usable design.