I reported a few weeks ago that Apple was working on a new way for authors to publish and submit content to the Apple iBooks ecosystem and it looks like I was right. The company announced today a new platform launching called iBooks Author which gives companies the ability to self-publish their own books.
Starting today a new program called iBooks Author is launching via MAC OS and gives authors and indie publishing companies a very easy way to publish and list their own books on the platform. “Traditionally creating books is really hard, but we think we’ve changed all that with iBooks Author,” said Roger Rosner, Apple’s VP of Productivity Applications.
How hard was it to publish in iBooks? The only way most people knew about was to deal with Aggregator companies like Smashwords that would publish to the iBookstore on your behalf. The drawback is that these companies would use your book as a platform for their own self-advertising. You also had limited control in editing your book or adding new features once it was successfully submitted and listed into the system.
One of the great boons on this new platform is the ability to preview your books in real-time within the program. You can check out how things will look format wise on the iPad as you are making the book. This is a tremendous benefit because most other services only let you look on how the finished product will look after the entire book is completed.
When you create your ebook you can either list it for free or a paid version which is beneficial. Paid books have a sample selection so you can give people a sense of what your book is about, but free books don’t have that option. There is a strict 2 GB file limit on creating your own book or textbook but Apples select publishing partners have books that are beyond the 3 GB limit. If you want to create a book and submit it elsewhere you can easily do so with your book format exported to either PDF or Apples own format.
In essence iBooks Author has been a platform that has been a longtime coming and should revitalize the entire shopping experience. Self-Published authors can finally have their own control over formatting their ebook and submitting it themselves without relying on other companies. The ability to make a normal ebook or an enhanced version will appeal to many companies seeking to put an interactive flair into their products.