Apple's new iBooks Author aims to simplify e-book creation

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014


Apple on Thursday unveiled a new Mac OS X application that the company says will simplify the process of creating and selling digital textbooks through its iBookstore.



The new iBooks Author was shown off at Apple's press event at New York's Guggenheim Museum. The new tool can be used to create any kind of book, whether it be novels or textbooks.



Apple's Roger Rosner gave a rundown of the new software to the press, demonstrating how the tool can easily turn a document like a Microsoft Word file into something formatted for the iBooks 2 application. In his demonstration, he simply dragged the Word file from Finder into iBooks Author, and the new publishing tool automatically created headers and laid out pages.



Users can also place images in their book, and text will flow around the picture. Movies can also be added to an iBook, also by simply dragging and dropping.



Even Keynote files can be added to an iBook. In his demo, Rosner showed how adding a Keynote file would add the presentation to a book as an interactive widget.











Widgets can also be custom written for an iBook using code in Javascript and HTML. Widgets can also be dragged and dropped directly into a title with iBooks Author.



iBooks Author also simplifies creating glossaries for a title. Users can simply highlight a word and click a button, and the word is added to a glossary, while definitions for words can also be simply added. Rosner called it a "total miracle" for saving time in e-book creation.











Once a title is completed, it can be quickly previewed in iBooks Author. If an iPad is connected to the Mac being used to author a book, the title will automatically be shown on the iPad for the author to preview their work.



From there, work can be submitted directly to Apple's iBookstore. Once approved, content is made available for sale. iBooks Author is available as a free download from the Mac App Store.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    From there, work can be submitted directly to Apple's iBookstore. Once approved, content is made available for sale. iBooks Author is available as a free download from the Mac App Store.



    WOW! Another Killer App!
  • Reply 2 of 34
    But why use a book format restricted to one platform?



    I hope this tool allows export to mobi etc.
  • Reply 3 of 34
    Where IS this app? I went to the App Store and cannot find anything called iBooks.
  • Reply 4 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mister Snitch View Post


    Where IS this app? I went to the App Store and cannot find anything called iBooks.



    Because it's iBooks Author. Give it time; the keynote is still going on.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by realwarder View Post


    But why use a book format restricted to one platform?



    I hope this tool allows export to mobi etc.



    You're joking, right? ePub is the only format that can do this. Why the heck would Apple support their competitors, anyway?!
  • Reply 5 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by realwarder View Post


    But why use a book format restricted to one platform?



    I hope this tool allows export to mobi etc.



    You're joking, right? ePub is the only format that can do this. Why the heck would Apple support their competitors, anyway?!
  • Reply 6 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Because it's iBooks Author. Give it time; the keynote is still going on.



    The live stream said it was "literally in the App Store now". But "iBooks Author" DOES show up, or at least NOW it does. Odd that it would not show up for a partial name.
  • Reply 7 of 34
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,539member
    Have it and having a go - familiar appearance!
  • Reply 8 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by realwarder View Post


    But why use a book format restricted to one platform?



    I hope this tool allows export to mobi etc.



    Why the hell would Apple do something like that? The whole point is to sell IPADS, not Kindles or don't you get how Apple works. Software to sell the HARDWARE, APPLE HARDWARE!



    Seriously, that is how Apple works. They're not Amazon or Google giving away free software to other platforms. That's how and why Apple is making the big bucks. Maybe a third-party software designer will create some mobi converter. Of course, the copycat Android boys at Google will develop their own software for making books right after Apple starts selling their own.
  • Reply 9 of 34
    Anyone figure out how to add PDF's? Unlikely huh?
  • Reply 10 of 34
    So there's still no way to just view these interactive (text)books on OS X?



    Doesn't it seem odd that you can (actually, have to) create a book for iBooks on OS X, but to view it on OS X you have to export it to a PDF (and lose the interactivity), or open it in iBooks Author?



    Did I miss the announcement of iBooks, the reader, not the authoring tool, for OS X?
  • Reply 11 of 34
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by winstein2010 View Post


    WOW! Another Killer App!



    Oops.
  • Reply 12 of 34
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by realwarder View Post


    But why use a book format restricted to one platform?



    I hope this tool allows export to mobi etc.



    Don't worry... Google and samsung will steal it soon enough.
  • Reply 13 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KazKam View Post


    Did I miss the announcement of iBooks, the reader, not the authoring tool, for OS X?



    They want you to buy an iPad. Desktop computers have been the same since 1983. That's not the future. It's a dead end.



    I'd imagine Apple will never release an iBooks for OS X. OS XI, sure, but not OS X.
  • Reply 14 of 34
    adonissmuadonissmu Posts: 1,770member
    Wow sounds great!
  • Reply 15 of 34
    haggarhaggar Posts: 1,568member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    They want you to buy an iPad. Desktop computers have been the same since 1983. That's not the future. It's a dead end.



    I'd imagine Apple will never release an iBooks for OS X. OS XI, sure, but not OS X.



    Who said anything about desktop computers? Are the Macbook Pro and Macbook Air a dead end as well?
  • Reply 16 of 34
    ssquirrelssquirrel Posts: 1,196member
    So open the book in iBooks Author to read it on the Mac. The app is free. Really they just need to add support for iBooks to Preview and have done.
  • Reply 17 of 34
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    The problem will be (as it is with all 'populist' publishing methods from pamphlets to blogging to, now, iBooks) editing and curation.

    The iBookstore will really need to create areas for self-published work that could easily flood and overwhelm the entire store, making it useless.

    Publishers really can still perform a role here... hope it works out that way.
  • Reply 18 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Haggar View Post


    Who said anything about desktop computers? Are the Macbook Pro and Macbook Air a dead end as well?



    OS X is OS X. You know what I mean by "desktop computing".



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post


    So open the book in iBooks Author to read it on the Mac. The app is free. Really they just need to add support for iBooks to Preview and have done.



    I'm QUITE certain you can't open any books but your own in that application. It's not an ePub reader. It's an application that creates its own filetypes that just happens to export to ePub.



    iBooks Author files have the extension .ibooks, not .epub. You can just export to that.
  • Reply 19 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by realwarder View Post


    But why use a book format restricted to one platform?



    I hope this tool allows export to mobi etc.



    Are you kidding me? EPUB has more support than any other platform. However Apple is using the latest version just like they started using the latest version of MPEG with version 4 and their competitors had to play catch up.



    Apple leads the way not goes status quo with crappy formats.
  • Reply 20 of 34
    ssquirrelssquirrel Posts: 1,196member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    I'm QUITE certain you can't open any books but your own in that application. It's not an ePub reader. It's an application that creates its own filetypes that just happens to export to ePub.



    iBooks Author files have the extension .ibooks, not .epub. You can just export to that.



    Ahh ok, I'm at work so I don't have my Mac here to download the new app and check things out. Like I said, they need to just roll iBooks support into Preview.
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