What the iBooks Author!?

I’ve read enough hyperbole on iBooks Author to really fill my plate for the rest of time, but I thought I’d throw my hat into the ring to outline what my own thoughts are about the program from a purely theoretical standpoint.

If you want to read more in-depth coverage on iBooks Author and the controversies surrounding it, I recommend the following:

I’ve read quite a bit on it and I’m just going to have a few things to say … and split this into two sections: what iBooks Author IS and what iBooks Author IS NOT.

Let’s go!

iBooks Author IS

  • An authoring tool specifically for iBooks 2 on the iPad
  • Free, as in beer
  • Related to, but not a part of, iWork
  • Available only on Mac OS X Lion

iBooks Author IS NOT

  • A generic ePub authoring tool
  • Something you pay for
  • Available on any other platform
  • Apple’s attempt to take over ePub


I don’t know. I don’t like the EULA, but I think most of the anger comes from people’s want for a generic ePub authoring tool from … anyone. Expecting Apple to release such a product is … strange.

From where I sit, it seems like iBooks Author is more of a front end to iBooks publishing than anything else. Contrary to some people’s worst-case-scenario-thinking, I don’t think Apple has any standing to sue for control of your actual content through the EULA.

iBooks Author looks really cool, and maybe I’ll use it at some point, but I think that we (as a collectively tech community) need to just take a deep breath and give ourselves some time to just settle down before we start writing some of the ridiculous drivel that has been released so far.

However, I’m still holding out for a really great generic ePub authoring tool. Anyone want to get on that?