How to quickly create professional-looking eBooks on Mac

“Pages is a fantastic program used to create visually appealing documents, but you might not realize how versatile it is,” Lucy Hattersly reports for TechRadar. “It can also be used to create digital books for the iBooks app, and sold on the iBooks Store.”

“This conversion from Pages to iBooks is done via the ePub file format, which is used for digital books on Apple’s iBooks app on both OS X and iOS,” Hattersly reports. “With Pages for OS X you can export a text document straight into ePub, and import it directly into iBooks for OS X.”

“For those looking to self-publish, in Pages you can add Retina display-quality images, chapters, headings, custom artwork, even video clips,” Hattersly reports. “Pages turns it into an ePub you can share, or even sell on Apple’s iBooks Store.”

Just nine easy steps in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Get writing!


Apple announces updates to iTunes U, says 30,000 Multi-Touch books have been created with iBooks Author – June 30, 2014
Apple’s iBooks Author lets Mac users build astounding texts – February 13, 2012
Why Apple’s free iBooks Author app for Mac will usher in a writing renaissance – January 19, 2012


    1. Or you could use the only native ePub program on the market amd it’s also a native OS X program. It’s called Playwrite. There’s lots of issues with Pages to ePub conversion and iBooks Author only allows you to publish your content to the iBooks Store. The license effectively has Apple owning your content. Authors sell 5-10 times more on places like Amazon than on the iBooks Store.

      Link to Playwrite:

      1. The problem is with the ePub format. ePub is intended for simple text books. It wasn’t intended for complex layouts like text books that’s why there are several formats; Apple, Adobe, Aquafadas and probably more. Eventually there will be standard formats.

        Apple doesn’t restrict your content. They only require you to sell on iTunes if you format with iBooks Author and sell for money. You can format with iBooks Author and give the result away any way you like. You can take the content and format it another way and sell it elsewhere. Apple doesn’t charge for downloads. Amazon charges the author per megabyte. This is not important for text only books but can be a lot for media rich books.

        1. John:

          You’re wrong about ePub. ePub 3.0 ushered in a whole new standard compared to ePub 2.0. Playwrite is native in ePub 3. ePub 3 offers, over ePub 2: support for HTML5/CSS3/JavaScript…

          So what you can do in iBooks Author you can do in ePub 3. And ePub also has a fixed format. Playwrite’s framework is that all the content is responsive. So it will look good and work on multiple screen sizes using HTML5. It achieves that via the ePub format.

          ePub is the standard. All the eBooks in Apple’s iBookstore are ePub (save for iBooks Author created ones). All the eBooks in Kobo are ePub. All the eBooks in Barnes and Noble are ePub… the standard for eBooks is ePub.

          With ePub 3 you can do picture galleries, use JQuery, have all kinds of animations… the possibilities are endless.

          The problem the industry has with iBooks Author is that it’s yet another problem to deal with. Create all that content in there, then recreate it in other programs for other non-iBookstore channels. Playwrite solves the problem by enabling publishers to create in one place and look and run on multiple devices and platforms using ePub 3.

          1. @Dftr: This app has no reviews and no user rankings. Could it be that your posting should include a disclaimer revealing a business relationship with the developer of Playwright, or even that you are the developer
            ? Transparency goes a long way when pushing a new product…

      2. Unfortunately, the developer’s website shows a, unfriendly 403 error… which casts doubt about the value and reliability of the app itself (what does it say about the developer when the public web site shows a cryptic error…?)

      3. No, Apple does not essentially own your content if you use iBooks Author.

        If you publish a book in the iBooks Author file format AND decide to sell it, you simply have to do so through Apple via its iBooks store.

        That’s hardly an issue since the ePub file format doesn’t doesn’t even support the iBA file format or many of its advanced features.

        This to prevent a 3rd party from setting up its own iBooks store and selling iBA format books and taking a percentage of sells for itself rather than Apple.

        It does not – DOES NOT – make ANY of your intellectual property controllable or owned by Apple.

        You can write a book entirely in iBooks Author and publish it to the Apple store, and then turn around and export that same book to PDF and sell that apart from the iBooks store, or export it to Text and convert that to the ePub format and sell that in the Amazon store (where they take a 50% cut for their greedy selves).

        You’ll need to do some tweaking since none of these formats support many of the features of iBooks Author.

        1. Pants on fire? I sell ebooks on Amazon every day. While I am not in love with them, I am pleased to accurately report that they give me 70% of my price in royalties, not your reported 50%.

          1. I have no idea what “pants on fire” means because I don’t speak gibberish.

            I wil say, however, that back when I checked on it, it was 50%. I could not care less what is is now, as I hate Amazon, and I hate the lame ePub format.

            Now GFY…

    2. Pages can create eBooks that work on iBooks, Amazon and Nook, whereas iBooks Author can, by license, only create books for use on iBooks bookstore. As an author and publisher, that is one major difference for me.

      1. Actually, it depends on what you call an “ebook.” So many are poorly, poorly done–awful layout. If you do them professionally as we do, Pages may be good for selling via Apple but not so good for things like Kindle. I don’t understand why Apple can’t produce a Pages that not only does all the translations well, but that also lets us typeset a paper book at least as well as Adobe but without all the complexity. Why doesn’t Apple just put Adobe out of business, and us out of our misery?

  1. I wrote my first book earlier this year and am in the process of getting it formatted and proofread for release next month. I’ll definitely check this out and see if Pages is any easier/better than Scrivener.

  2. how do you stop pages from auto saving every little thing i may have no intention of saving. sometimes, i just want to revert to saved. am i missing something

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