iBooks Author: An ebook publisher looks at Apple’s textbook creation app

“TUAW’s Erica Sadun and I are ebook publishers. Late last year, we started up an ebook publishing company — Sand Dune Books — and were fortunate to hit a publishing home run right off the bat with our book ‘Talking to Siri,'” Steven Sande reports for TUAW.

“Since we’re familiar with the tools used to create documents for publishing on both the Amazon Kindle bookstore and iBookstore, we were both curious to see what Apple was going to announce on Thursday,” Sande reports. “The free creation tool, iBooks Author, wasn’t a surprise to us, and now that I’ve had an opportunity to work with the app I thought I’d pass along my thoughts.”

Sande reports, “iBooks Author is designed for creating textbooks. If you’re thinking about using it for other types of books, you can — but understand that this app may not necessarily be the tool you’re looking for if you want to create and sell books on all ebook platforms. iBooks Author does a great job at what it’s designed for, and I think we’ll see a lot of incredibly interactive books hitting the iBookstore in the near future. Is it perfect? No. But for a first release of a new app, it’s pretty darned close.”

Much more in the full article – recommended – here.


  1. Textbooks are only the beginning.

    Consider this as Apple dipping their toe into the publishing pool.

    Once they’ve decided that they have sufficiently tested the water, they will release an update for writers of all books.

    This may just be the one thing that gets me to write the book I’ve been wanting to write, but haven’t gotten around to.

    I’m sure I’m not alone in that either.

    Watch and see–Apple is in the process of revolutionizing another industry!

    The publishers know that if they don’t jump on board, they will be left behind.

    Watch and see as the Apple juggernaut brings us further into the future!

  2. What I believe is being missed is how Apple again, takes already developed software and hardware products and features and just repackages it into something new like the iBook app and systems that will be used to take over the textbook market place in a very short time. I can think of several markets that Apple will be taking over in the near future. And now that Apple is going to be run as the world’s largest, fastest growing and most profitable company on the planet, the tsunami is here!

    Pick a market. The talking heads can’t get past TV yet. How about the car IT hub. (Music, navigation, Siri interface, car diagnostics, … and the where is my car app.)

    Want more? Even I have a pile of markets that Apple will just shuffle what they already know how to do and take over that market. You all must have even more to add to Apple’s market takeover list.

    Tomorrow, listen for what Apple keeps saying, “We would have sold more if we could have made more.”

  3. If that bozo Armadillo hadn’t killed HyperCard, this would have been with us in its 20th edition now, light years ahead of iBooks 2.

    HyperCard swarmed the schools with interactive media rich stacks written by teachers who could easily learn the HyperTalk language. HyperCard could have naturally merged with HyperText HTML, which came much later and revolutionized information exchange on tht Internet.

    One f the greatest blunders in Apple history.

    1. I agree. HyperCard was the trigger that made me buy my first Mac. It allowed me to easily create impressive and useful stacks which allowed me to use my computer in a way that would have been impossible otherwise.

      Abandoning HyperCard was one of those odd decisions that I have never been able to understand. HyperCard was a technology that empowered people do do creative things with their Macs.

  4. APPLE HAS NOT REVOLUTIONIZED word processing.

    PAGES is a basic app – NICER then WORD in some ways – but not better over all — STILL I PREFER PAGES. Pages and the APPLE integration – is simple – it works – and it is at a cost that is affordable. No, its not the best app ever – but it is a super great app on a portable device – and again integrates nicely to the desktop and back again.

    iBook Author is along the same. The cost – well its free and it does what I need. At least I think it does what i need so far. Sure, I can make PDFs in PAGES and KEYNOTES – but iBOOK Author adds the interactive elements as an offline ebook.

    FROM what i can see — the most important PART to iBOOKS AUTHOR is this:

    The opportunity to share and maybe make money from your knowledge or imagination — RATHER then being a skilled programmer and CREATE a GAME or APPLICATION — now we have the EXCITING OPPORTUNITY to write words in a book.

    THATS SO POWERFUL… Anyone has the POWER to SELL your own book on the APP STORE. Not all will be best sellers -but the POSSIBILITY is closer at hand. Thats clever and a rather wonderful idea. AND, I hope it goes well.

  5. What I don’t understand is if iBooks Author is mainly aimed at producing textbooks, then why did Apple leave math formulas to the third party app MathType (retail $97 & academic $57)? The open source community has many, better typeset-math producing tools that Apple could have incorporated directly. (E.g., LaTeXiT is really good!)

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