I am extremely excited about the release of Apple’s iBooks Author for many reason. The first being that I am majoring in English Professional Writing and Book Publishing and this is opening up new doors to the world of publishing. The second, Writers who cannot afford, or don’t want to take the time to go through publishing houses, can easily write, upload, and publish their work. The third reason I am glad this came out is because I think it is going to completely change and revolutionize the educational world. So, with that being said, I decided to get the free app, yes FREE, from the app store and check it out.
What can you do with iBooks Author? Everything. From the educational standpoint, it allows for easy creation of textbooks, or course packets. If you are an author, you can easily make your way around and create any type of book you would like. It also is a great way for photographers to get their work out there and get noticed. If you went on a family trip or had a big event, you can easily share the photos, videos, and memories in a digital scrapbook and share it with anyone you want.
Adding photos, audio, and video are the foundations of a personalized iBook. It has easy drag and drop functionality and also offers a basic upload. Literally, all you need to do is drag your movie, photo, or sound to the page.
You can also automatically import your Keynote slideshows into iBooks Author. It keeps the animations, formatting and everything else exactly the same so you know there won’t be any formatting issues.
You can also make your own templates, after editing Apple’s templates first. It allows you to make the book more personal and stand out from the rest. All you need to do is choose a template similar to the one you want to create and unlock it (Arrange>Unlock). You can also then modify the background image. iBooks Author also allows you to rearrange the chapter formats, once you do this all you need to do is duplicate the chapter and iBooks Author does the work for you.
It is a very clean and simple design which allows you to easily create anything you can think of using the interactive elements. iWeb and Keynote users will find it easy to grasp iBooks Author, the only difference is the exporting of text as a EPUB file and creating a book in the interactive elements. However, it is specifically for iBooks, you can’t export the standard EPUB format. But my personal opinion is that schools will be adopting the iPad and if you are creating a textbook, this is the place to go. I also think that the amount of people who own iPads is growing and the iBookstore is a great place to publish. According to Apple.com, Apple sold 15.43 million iPads during the quarter, a 111 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter. That means there are 15.43 million people who will potentially see your iBook.
There has got to be a catch to iBooks Author right? It can’t be this amazing and free! Well there are a few catches. According to Apple’s end-user licensing agreement, if you create your book in iBooks Author and choose to publish through iBooks, you cannot sell your book through another outlet. It makes sense though, if you were to publish your book through one company, you wouldn’t go to another publisher and have them publish the same book. Apple doesn’t own your book though, they just own the package it’s in. You can easily get around this by putting your iBook file for free on your personal page or share it directly.If you export it as a PDF, you lose all your multimedia and Apple watermarks it. The app itself is free, but you do have to purchase an ISBN if you want to sell your iBook for profit, you can still put your book up without the ISBN but it has to be free. Which, if you are a new author, it might be a good way to get your name out there and skip out on the $100-$150 ISBN fee.
It is going to be interesting to see where iBooks Author takes us and how it is going to change the game for education and book publishing…
“Computers themselves, and software yet to be developed, will revolutionize the way we learn.” -Steve Jobs.