Hands on with iBooks Author for Mac

One of the big announcements at Apple's Education event was iBooks Author, a Mac application for creating books and textbooks for iBooks. I could that say I spent a better part of the day experimenting and learning how to use iBooks Author, but that'd be a lie. I spent more time typing out content then I did learning how to use the app.

After creating your book, it is incredibly easy to see how it looks on your iPad. Simply plug in your iPad, open iBooks, then click Preview in iBooks Author. The app immediately starts exporting your book and, boom, appears on your iPad. When you close everything down and unplug your iPad, your book will still be accessible in iBooks so that you can take a closer look at it from the comfort of your couch.

I never imagined that creating this type of content would be so easy - and free.

iBooks Author Educational Video

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Leanna Lofte

Former app and photography editor at iMore, Leanna has since moved on to other endeavors. Mother, wife, mathamagician, even though she no longer writes for iMore you can still follow her on Twitter @llofte.

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Hands on with iBooks Author for Mac


Let's see...it's only for Mac users, and I don't have a right to republish my material without Apple's consent, all while giving them an industry-high commission.
Sounds like a great deal (NOT), but I think I'll stick with Kindle and PDF's.

Only material that you intend to sell commercially has to be sold via iTunes. All other content is free to distribute to whoever you want on whatever devices you want. Output formats include PDF - but of course only the iPad is the only device that will give you the full interactive experience of what you have created. I love it!

Leanna, this app seems targeted mostly at teachers in school environments. I'm interested in using this to create training materials for the users (mostly doctors and nurses) of the electronic health record software that my health system uses. But I don't want to distribute such content through iTunes; the training material would be specific to our software, our clinicians and cover custom modifications I've made to our EHR workflow. Is there a way to limit distribution, either through the iBookstore or through "side loading" the content?

From what I understand, if you create content using iBooks Author, you can "side load" it as long as it's given away for free. If you charge for it, it has to be sold through the iBooks Store.

With iBooks Author, you CAN make a book and share it FREE via email or otherwise with family and friends.
As long as it is free, you can distribute the book yourself.

Thanks you very much this was very helpful for me, since i just got my Ipod Touch and I don't know niathnyg yet. I didn't know that you can get a sample of the book , I downloaded IBooks but after I deleted cause I didn't know you have to buy it after I watched this video I knew I had to re download It Thank you very much for this video please keep doing more some of us don't really know how to use Apple or Mac and one of them is me again please keep doing the videos!

Obviously, numerous misconceptions exist as to iBook formatting choices, distribution and acquisition channels, available hardware platforms, copyright restrictions for educators presenting multi-sourced course guides, the differences between free iBooks and those which are for sale, where iBooks can be sold--and no doubt many, many more.
An iBook can be created in ePub and .pdf versions as well as in its own native format. Virtually all reading devices are capable of viewing such files. Distribution of free iBooks made with iBooks Author is unrestricted, and is easily performed via Mail and other low-level data transfer methods; distribution of for-sale iBooks made with iBooks Author is not limited to the iTunes store.
For quick and easy verification of the above, visit:http://www.apple.com/itunes/content-providers/book-faq.htmlhttp://support.apple.com/kb/HT5071

Thanks for the demo video. I was having trouble getting the Review and Interactive Image features working until I watched your demo. Flipping the Orientation to wide allowed these widgets to expand enough to edit them. Previously, I had been stuck in a locked column with the Review box too small to edit.
If you want to test the 3D widget, you can download a copy of the free Google Sketchup. (http://sketchup.google.com/download/gsu.html) From within Sketchup, go to Google's 3D Warehouse (under the File Menu) and download an image. Something simple and not too many graphic elements is recommended. I got a warning message when bringing in a model of a car. A simpler model of a womb chair worked fine though. Once the 3D model is in Google Sketchup, export the file (again under the File Menu) to a '.dae' format file. Then drag and drop this into iBook Author's 3D widget, as you would with a movie or image file.

Hi Doug,
Incase of testing the 3D widget I've done the steps that you explained. Yes it embedded right away in iBA, but it seems didn't work on my iPad. It just went blank! Any other tips regarding this matter?
Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Thanks for the info, but I still can't find out if these books can be read/used on iPhones. Thanks.