Apple's new iBooks Author targets e-book creators

The Mac OS X-based application is available for free, and aims at making it easy to create an e-book for the company's iBooks store.

Apple's new iBooks Author software lets people create iBooks-compatible books from document files.
Apple's new iBooks Author software lets people create iBooks-compatible books from document files. Apple

Although Apple's education event in New York focused on students, the company today also unveiled a new author platform.

Dubbed iBooks Author, the free Mac OS X application lets authors create textbooks and other books with simple drag-and-drop mechanisms. According to Apple, the application gives authors basic templates to quickly create titles that offer both text and interactive elements such as videos and images. To add multimedia content, iBooks Author lets users drag and drop content onto pages.

In deference to those who want to create more unique titles, Apple says folks who can code in JavaScript and HTML will be able to create custom widgets to enhance the interactivity of the books or textbooks. It also comes with a glossary function, promising to make that arduous task far simpler.


Of course, the most important element in any e-book is the text. So, to facilitate its transfer, Apple will let users drag and drop their chapters from a Word file into the application. From there, the application automatically creates sections and headers.

Once the e-book is ready, authors need to connect an iPad to their computers to proof and debug the title. Once complete, they can submit it to Apple's iBooks store.

The other key product unveiled today was iBooks 2 , a free app that provides access to digital textbooks at Apple's App Store.

iBooks Author is available today and requires Lion, the latest version of Apple's Mac OS X.


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