The big news in the ebook world today was the launch announcement of Apple iBooks Author and an update to the Apple iBooks ereader app. These new products are squarely aimed at ebook creation:
- iBooks Author—A new Mac-only software tool for “creating media-rich interactive books for iPad.” Their primary target at the launch is textbooks, and textbooks are a pretty big, juicy target. Apple wants to give professors and publishers a way to create books that cost less, can be kept up to date easily, and which incorporate rich media like audio, video, drawing tools, animations and more.
- iBooks 2—This is an update to the iBooks app for iPhone and iPad, and is designed to show off the books produced by iBooks Author as well as incorporating a lot of other new features.
I’ve just downloaded the apps and started to dive in. Over the next few days I’ll be working with the software—which is free, by the way—to layout a sample book and take a good look at the controls and all the enhanced kinds of content we can now include in these books.
You’ll also want to know if this software can be used to produce more typical text-only books, so I’ll be looking at that as well. I can tell you already that the font selection is much larger than other Apple apps on the iPad, with 57 fonts to choose from. This may not be as good as it sounds.
I’m sure that in releasing this easy-to-use app, Apple will hope to start driving more traffic—and more sales—to its iBookstore. And who knows what kind of content DIY authors will start to turn out with a free tool that allows you to incorporate all kinds of multimedia assets within your book?
In the meantime, there’s a good article with hands-on videos here, from The Verge:
iBooks 2 hands-on: Apple’s reinvented textbook
Here’s more of a programmer’s take on it, from TUAW:
And from Mashable:
Hands On: Apple’s iBooks Author App
Does an easy-to-use ebook creator for the iPad hold any interest for you? Let me know.