I’m old enough to remember the desktop publishing revolution that Apple inspired back in the 1980s. Newspapers, magazines, and designers fell in love with PageMaker and laser printers. With Borders book stores gone, and Barnes & Noble struggling to sell books in the digital age, Apple comes to the rescue again with iBooks Author and iBookstore.
Writer, Publish Thyself
Today’s writing tools for Mac users are plentiful and capable. It doesn’t take much to create content these days. The real difficulty in selling your creation is publication and distribution.
Apple’s iBooks Author and the iBookstore pretty much eliminates those as barriers to entry in a personal publishing career.
iBooks Author works like a 21st century version of PageMaker did back in the day, and other professional layout desktop publishing tools.
Apple provides plenty of customizable book templates ready to receive your content, photos, movies, colors, images, and anything else required of a digital publication.
Text, shapes, charts, graphs, tables, photos, movies, audio clips and almost any kind of media can be dropped into iBooks Author.
Titles and captions placeholders are automatically numbered. Any page can hold a photo gallery, a movie, a Keynote presentation, three dimensional objects with ease.
In other words, you’re in complete control of the entire content creation and publishing process.
A finished iBook can be shared with others, submitted to the iBookstore for sale (or, as a free download), and even exported as a PDF.
My stock in trade is teaching, so I slave over a hot keyboard most of the weeknight evenings creating lesson plans, assignments, and teaching materials. It struck me that my time might be better spend turning those lesson plans and course curricula into full fledged digital books.
My desktop publishing skills are rusty and iBooks Author, for all the capability built into the app, is complex, but intuitive. Since the app is free on your Mac getting started is simple.
Unfortunately, iBooks is only available for iPhone and iPad– iOS devices. So, you’ll only be able to read your iBooks Author-developed book within the app or as a PDF.