Apple’s new iBooks Author is a free download through the Mac App Store that will allow you to easily create interactive books. With an interface that will be familiar to anyone who has used Apple’s Pages, they’ve added some new functionality in the form of Widgets that allow you to embed things like 3D objects, Keynote files—even externally linked HTML so your content is always up to date.
Completed books can be saved as text, PDF, and iBooks format, and can be sold or given away via Apple’s iBookstore. Be aware, however, that books created with iBooks Author cannot be sold through any distribution model other than the iBookstore, although they can be given away.
In a companion announcement, Apple has announced the release of iBooks 2, which supports their new iBooks textbooks. It supports the ability for readers to highlight text, take notes, search for content, use study cards, and find glossary definitions.
Jay Nelson is the editorial director of PlanetQuark.com, and the editor and publisher of Design Tools Monthly. He’s also the author of the QuarkXPress 8 and QuarkXPress 7 training titles at Lynda.com, as well as the training videos Quark includes in the box with QuarkXPress 7 . In addition, Jay writes regularly for Macworld and Photoshop User magazines and speaks at industry events.