Apple’s iBooks Author lets Mac users build astounding texts

“In my mind, the most important element of any software application is the ability to make users feel empowered, as if they can act on information, make changes, or best yet, create,” Chris Maxcer reports for MacNewsWorld. “Apple’s new iBooks Author application for Mac OS X lets you create — so much so that I actually believe that I could write an awesome iBook textbook myself.”

“The application provides a solid foundation, giving you six templates to choose from, then turns you loose to drag and drop your own words, photos or movies into place,” Maxcer reports. “In just a few minutes, you’ll go from feeling inquisitive and curious about the tools and how they work to, ‘Holy macaroni, I could actually create a book!'”

Maxcer reports, “On the flip side, if you want to sell your book elsewhere, you’ll have recreate or build it using some other company’s application tool sets. It’s not Apple’s responsibility to make doing that easy, though you can actually create epub documents using Apple’s own Pages. The whole point, though, of iBooks Author is to give anyone a powerful free app and let them create awesome iBooks. If you have a Mac, you can create them. If you have an iPad, you can enjoy them. It’s that simple.”

Read much more in the full review here.

14 Comments

      1. Everything!!! One big illustrated book on ABBA, one on AC/DC. Hundreds of images each and lots of captions. Tons of image galleries, looking amazing.

        Also a huge encyclopedia containing over 1.000.000 words (7.000.000 characters!) and 1.000 images. A life’s work of a film journalist.

        You simply can do everything with this software. We use it very day, like FCP X. So easy to add video stuff from FCP X to iBooks Author!

        Note: There is still room for improvement. There is no hyphenation in the German version (terribly missing!), and no footnotes. But there is hardly any other software so well written ans stable in version 1.0.0 like this.

        As a publisher I can say: the 30 % share for Apple is so well-deserved like nobody else’s share. They created the ecosystem. And the deliver the software to create great content.

        1. Hi Shareholder,

          You seem to understand the iBook Author than I have so far. I know how to do HTML, but it seems the HTML markups can be added only as a widget. For website articles, I use HTML markups to add foreign symbols common in many European languages – Spanish, French, Italian, etc. The history books I wanted to digitize have many of them.

          There is an HTML widget, but what I need actually is to do them in the main body of the text in the entire book.

          All the markups are lost when I copy and paste from a website to the

          I tried to seek help at the Apple Store in Boston, and no one knows anything about how to use it yet.

          Any help from here would be appreciated. Thanks.

          CGC

          1. I am really sorry, I do not use any HTML in my iBooks. All I needed for our books comes with iBooks Author. (Except hyphenation.).

            After using it since day one and every day I still feel the software has some more options I will learn over the time. But again: I have not missed anything so far.

            The big deal about iBooks Author to me is that I do not have to deal with HTML I am no programmer I am a publisher. I like to see what I get and I hate coding 🙂

            1. Thanks Shareholder,

              I just realize that what you call “hyphenation” maybe what I was referred to as “foreign symbols”. For many of the other stuff, the other featires do work — much much better than the ePub template in the Pages.

              I have been clamoring for something like the iBook Author since last year. It is good that I did not buy one of those expensive eBook authoring softwares yet.

              CGC

              CGC

          2. There are at least 2 ways to add foreign symbols that do not involve HTML

            1. Use Character Viewer. System Preferences | Language & Text | check Keyboard & Character Viewer. The little keyboard that appears in your menu bar can now be used to call up the complete Unicode character set.

            2. The Lion way. press and hold the e key, for example. The following characters appear above it è é ê and so on. Press the number beneath it to insert.

            Now you probably already knew that, I just put that here for everybody’s benefit. Your problem is that you have HTML documents that you need to convert.

            What I’ve found to work for me is to import the HTML into MS-Word, save that out into various flavours of .doc and/or .docx and then drag those into Author. Experiment until you find one kind of Word document that works for you (Microsoft has been tinkering with the doc format a lot over the years and some will work better with some symbols than others). There will still be some cleaning up to do, of course.

            You can also try to do the same thing with Pages.

            HTH

        2. Very interesting! Well, I was hoping to do some sort of NYC photo book, but that’ll just have to be something that happens in time. Right now I’d like to learn the software and see what kinds of different things it can do. I’ll be interested to see what other offerings people put up on the iBookstore as I gather ideas on what this program is fully capable of right out of the box.

          Very interesting possibilities though!

  1. I also created a beautiful book… a month ago. I’m still waiting to hear back from iBookstore@apple.com. Not sure what they expected over there, but obviously they did not prepare enough support staff for the presumable tidal wave of applicants they got.

    Either that or they’re just f**king around with me. Whatever it is, I’m not amused that I spent all that time and effort and now I’m just sitting around wondering if they’ll even accept me.

    1. Tto be clear, I’m waiting to be cleared to sell books at all, not waiting for a specific title to be approved. I think I screwed the damn thing up by mistaking a developer page for a book page after a week of waiting and then filling out some forms, but after emails to Apple about the potential problem I have yet to hear back from anyone…

  2. Created a book with iBooks Author. Posted it. Got approved within 2 or 3 days.
    That one is called Tips For Special Events Planners (Vol One, part 1)

    Created book two this weekend, posted it. Awaiting approval. Tips For Special Events Planners (Vol One, part 2)

    Working on a large book, about starting your own Special Events Production management company. its got 120 or pages at this point. the accompanying textbook is Q&A and case studies.

    The point is, VERY easy with iBooks Author to get moving. Lookout Book and Textbook world… Apple is clamouring for more change!

  3. It seems pretty clear that there are multitudes of us out here who, for all sorts of excellent reasons- such as saying bye-bye to vital apps- are less than keen on doing the Lion thing. We’re all screwed as far as IBooks Author goes. Why? Is there something clever and advanced about this app that demands Lion or is this a cynical attempt to force people to ‘upgrade’, even though they’re otherwise quite happy staying faithful to their beloved SnowLeopard?
    I’m certainly intrigued about Author but would welcome suggestions as to what’s the best, easy-to-use alternative ‘for the rest of us’?

    1. Yes, it is built on Lion’s Auto-Save/Versions scheme that won’t work on Snow Leopard.

      I wish it were otherwise: I still work on a hard disk, not an SSD, and I spend a lot of time watching beach balls as Author saves yet another version of its huge files. But that is how it is.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.