iBooks Author Essentials+ Training

The complete guide to using iBooks Author to create and publish stunning, interactive ebooks.
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Instructed by Abbas Rizvi Business / Media
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  • Lectures 39
  • Length 3.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 3/2015 English

Course Description

"iBooks Author Is the Most Interesting Apple Software You Aren't Using" - Time Magazine

If you're an aspiring author, an artist, a photographer, an educator or a traditional print publishing professional, or interested in digital publishing, you owe it to yourself to learn more about iBooks Author, a free app available for the Mac platform. This course will teach you how to create beautiful, interactive books, photobooks, textbooks and other interactive media projects for iPad and Mac. We will cover:

  • the application user interface
  • the concepts of templates & styles in iBooks Author
  • adding content (text, images, shapes, charts) to your project
  • working with widgets
  • exporting options & publishing to the iBooks Store

The course includes over 4 hours of video content, spanning 35 lectures, as well as additional links and resources. After taking this course, you will be ready to design and create your own stunning ebooks in the iBooks format!


What are the requirements?

  • You should have working knowledge of Mac OS X. OS 10.9 (Mavericks) is the minimum required version.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Become familiar with basic and advanced functionality in iBooks Author
  • Create beautiful and interactive multi-touch books.
  • Enable iTunes Connect with their Apple ID for publishing to the iBooks Store.
  • Deliver book assets to the iBooks Store with iTunes Producer

What is the target audience?

  • This course is meant for anyone interested in publishing interactive books, photobooks, textbooks and other media projects using iBooks Author. No previous experience with iBooks Author or digital publishing is required, beyond some basic knowledge of productivity applications like Word, PowerPoint, Pages, etc.
  • iBooks Author is a Mac-only application so this course is only suitable for Mac users. Sorry PC users!

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: Introduction & Getting Started
Introduction to this course
Article
03:17

Ok, let's get started by installing iBooks Author on your Mac. iBooks Author is a Mac only application and requires that your Mac has a minimum OS version of 10.9, also known as Mavericks, installed. You also need to have an Apple ID, and if you don't, you can easily create one through the download process. The easiest way to install iBooks Author is through the Mac App Store which can be accessed through this blue icon in your dock. Once the App Store launches, we'll search for 'iBooks Author' in the search bar at the top-right corner of the window.

You can see that there are a number of results, including some template sets that you can download for free and some at a cost. We'll ignore those for now and just click on the first results, iBooks Author, to download and install the app. You may be prompted for your Apple ID username and password. Once the download is in process, you can check the progress by opening Launchpad, also available in your dock here.

03:18

iBooks on the Mac is a built-in app as of OS X Mavericks, which means you already have it installed on your Mac. It can be accessed through the iBooks icon in your dock.

On your iOS devices, including the iPad, iBooks is a built-in app on iOS8. If you have an earlier version of iOS, you can download the iBooks app for free from the App Store on your iPhone or iPad or even iPod touch. Simply launch the App Store on your iPad, search for “iBooks” and proceed with the install process.

Please keep in mind that the iBooks format we'll be publishing through iBooks Author can only be viewed on your iPad or your Mac.

04:35

In this lecture, we will take a look at the overall iBooks Author user interface. When you open a project in iBA, you're presented with the Main window which shows you everything you need to create your book in one window.

The overall interface follows the basic design principles of Apple's iWork suite, and even if you're a Microsoft PowerPoint or Office user, the interface is pretty easy to get. Along the top, we have the application menu bar for iBooks Author. You can use the menu bar to choose various commands or perform tasks. You'll note that some of these commands have a keyboard shortcut listed next to them. As you get more familiar with iBooks Author, learning these shortcut commands can greatly add to your efficiency.

Below the menu bar, we have the toolbar. The toolbar gives you one-click access to many of the tools and controls you use when creating a book. As you get to know which actions you perform most often, you can add, remove, and rearrange toolbar items to suit your working style. You can do this by going to View > Customize Toolbar.

Underneath the toolbar is the format bar. This is a context-sensitive area which will show different options based on the object that is currently selected. If you don't see the format bar, you can go to View > Show Format Bar.

On the left, we have the sidebar. This is where all your chapters, sections and pages appear. The sidebar is also where we can get quick access to the book's cover, table of contents and glossary. The rest of the window is where you create and customize your content.

There are also a number of floating panels that can be accessed by clicking on one of the 4 icons on the right side of the toolbar. The inspector is the most important of these panels and we'll be spending a fair bit of time with this panel.

Finally, we have a Styles drawer that can be displayed when we're working with Styles for our book. The drawer can appear on the left or the right of the main window, depending on where the main window is positioned on your screen.

Ok, now that we are better acquainted with the basic user interface of iBooks Author, let's move on to the next lecture.

01:45

Welcome to this lecture on organizing content for your iBooks Author project. Although this application is called iBooks Author, I would contend that it is actually not an 'authoring' environment per se and is more of a design tool that allows you to put all your content together in a nice package. The actual authoring should be done in other applications that are better suited to the task, like Apple's Pages or Microsoft Word.

Before you start with iBooks Author, it's a good idea to decide how you'll be organizing your books into chapters and sections, what type of media you'll want to include and so on.

In my example, you can see that I've organized my content into different folders and subfolders, and that all the actual copy of the book has been authored in a different application.

In many cases, doing this work before you start will save you much more work down the road as it may be much harder to change things within iBooks Author once you're in the middle of a project.

Another advantage to this approach is that it gives you much more flexibility if you decide to publish your book in another format in the future.

Again, as much as you may want to jump right in and start working on your next bestseller, my advice to you would be to first: think about your project, the content and media you'll be using, and then spend some time organizing it into folders so that it will make the overall process much, much easier.

05:43

Welcome to this lecture on an intro to iBooks Author templates. When you create a book, you begin with a template. A template includes everything you need to create a book: a set of book elements and a variety of layouts for chapters, sections, and pages. Using a template, you can create a professional-looking book with a consistent design across all of its elements. You can also customize templates to suite your needs and we'll explore that in more detail later on.

For now, what you need to know is that iBooks Author comes with a number of prebuilt templates. You can access these templates via the Template Chooser. There are two types of templates: Landscape with Portrait and Portrait only. By the way, landscape and portrait refer to the orientation of how the iPad is being held by the reader. If they are holding the iPad sideways with the longer side on the bottom, it is in landscape mode. If the iPad is held with the home button at the bottom, then it is in portrait mode.

Landscape with Portrait templates allow you to design your book to be viewed as either landscape or portrait. With these templates, you essentially design in the Landscape view and lay out your pages exactly how you want them to appear, and iBooks Author generates a portrait-mode view automatically - think of the portrait view as a 'reading' view.

Portrait only templates, as the name suggests, only display your content in portrait mode.

One important thing to note: you cannot change your project template once you've started, so make sure you're happy with the template before you put a lot of time into using it. I would suggest creating trial projects, putting in some of your content and media and see if you're happy with the end result. If not, try another template. You can always customize your template, but you may want to avoid that extra work.

Ok, so every iBooks Author template contains the following elements:

  1. Book Title: This is the book cover that appears in the iBookstore and on the readers' iBooks bookshelf.
  2. Intro media: Think of this as the inside cover of your book. It's displayed the first time the reader opens the book and while you can access it for viewing later, it's generally a one-time thing. You can put a video or an image here. For video, I'd recommend something short and sweet, maybe 10-15 seconds.
  3. Table of Contents: This is automatically generated by iBooks Author, but you can customize some elements of this. We'll get into that later.
  4. Glossary: This feature may be especially handy if you're writing a textbook or technical manual. You can link specific terms if your book to your glossary so that readers can easily look up definitions for these terms. If you don't need to add any terms, just ignore the glossary altogether. It won't show up in the final book. If you do add items, your reads will be able to use the glossary and even use the glossary terms for auto-generated flash cards.
  5. Chapters and sections: A chapter can contain pages or it can contain sections with pages. Again, it's really up to you how you want to organize your content. Generally, it's recommended that you create more smaller chapters rather than fewer larger chapters.

One other thing to note - you can always move the order of chapters and sections by dragging them in the Book pane, but you can't reorder individual pages by dragging them. If you want to reorder pages within a Chapter or Section, you will need to edit your content.

Ok, so that was quite a bit to cover, but you should now have a good understanding of templates in iBooks Author. We'll cover this topic in more detail in a future Section.

03:17

Welcome to this lecture on designing your book cover. We're going to assume that we've completed the hard part, which is the actual authoring of the content. We've organized the content and picked a template. We're now ready to start putting our book together.

We're going to start with the first element in the Book Pane, the Book Title. This is where we specify the title of our book as well as design a cover that will appear in the iBooks Store and on the readers' iBooks bookshelf. You'll see that this page already contains some placeholder text. You can start by replacing the “Book Title” with the title of your book. If you aren't sure what placeholder should contain what information, you can open up the Styles drawer (View > Show Styles Drawer). Now, when you select an element, you can see the corresponding style is highlighted. So in this case, this is the book title, this is the edition and this is the author's name.

  • Change the Book Title
  • Change the Author
  • Drop in a new image

Of course, if you wanted to bring in a full-page book cover that you designed in another application like Photoshop or Illustrator, you can simply drop in a JPG or PNG file on this page and resize the image to cover the whole page.

And that's all there is to creating an attractive book cover with iBooks Author.

01:05

Welcome to this lecture on adding intro media to your iBooks Author projects. Again, the intro media is displayed to your readers when they first open your book. You can think of this as the 'inside jacket cover' of your book. Adding intro media is completely optional, so if you want to ignore this altogether, you can. If you do want to take advantage of this feature, then you can insert a video or an image simply by dragging a media file from Finder and dropping it on top of the authoring area in iBooks Author.

If you are going to use a video, you'll likely want to keep the video quite short. If the video isn't in the optimal format for iBooks Author, ibooks Author will go ahead and convert your video file. While it's doing this conversion, you can continue working on your project and the conversion will take place in the background.

09:41

Welcome to this lecture on adding intro media to your iBooks Author projects. Again, the intro media is displayed to your readers when they first open your book. You can think of this as the 'inside jacket cover' of your book. Adding intro media is completely optional, so if you want to ignore this altogether, you can. If you do want to take advantage of this feature, then you can insert a video or an image simply by dragging a media file from Finder and dropping it on top of the authoring area in iBooks Author.

If you are going to use a video, you'll likely want to keep the video quite short. If the video isn't in the optimal format for iBooks Author, ibooks Author will go ahead and convert your video file. While it's doing this conversion, you can continue working on your project and the conversion will take place in the background.

03:27

Your book is made up of chapters. A chapter can contain pages and sections.

A section is a part of a chapter. You can use sections to divide the content of a chapter into topics, or use them for self contained types of content, such as lessons, activities, and case studies. All sections appear together at the end of the chapter they're in.

You can reorder sections and chapters at any time by dragging them in the Book pane (shown below), and iBooks Author automatically renumbers them.

As you add content, new pages are added as needed, or you can add pages first. (When you view a landscape template in portrait orientation, each chapter or section has one scrolling page that displays all the content.)

  • Add a chapter or section
  • Add a new page
  • Reorder chapters or sections
  • Deleting chapters, sections or pages - this will delete all its contents. If you want to restore the content, you'll need to Undo immediately (Edit > Undo).
08:13

As you create your book, iBooks Author automatically generates a table of contents. This table of contents is updated automatically as you work on your book. There is a default set of items that the Table of Contents includes, but this can be customized.

By default, a Table of Contents include all the chapters and sections in your book. If you remove a section or element from the table of contents, all other sections that include the same layout are removed as well.

Your table of contents can also include text that uses specified paragraph styles. By default, this is any text that uses either Heading 1 or Heading 2 styles, but you can customize this to include whichever styles you like.

Note that the table of contents will appear differently when the reader is viewing your book in landscape mode versus portrait. In landscape mode, each chapter has its own content page with navigation buttons or thumbnails at the bottom. In portrait orientation, the entire book's table of contents in visible as an expandable list.

You can add or remove items in your TOC by opening the Inspector in the toolbar and clicking the Document Inspector button. From here, click the TOC button and add or remove items as needed.

You can also choose to hide or show the page numbers.

And that concludes our lecture on working with the table of contents feature in iBooks Author.

06:57

You may already know that your Mac or iOS device has a built-in dictionary which allows the user to look up the meaning of any highlighted word. However, if you are publishing a textbook or a technical manual, you may wish to provide your own description or definition for terms in your book.

iBooks Author allows you to easily add glossary items. There are several ways to do this:

  1. Simply select the word or term you'd like to create a glossary item for. Right-click or Command-Click on your Mac to bring up the context menu. Select “Create Glossary Item from Selection”. This will add the term to the list of Glossary items that you can edit later.
  2. Alternatively, you can bring up the Glossary Toolbar by going to View > Show Glossary Toolbar. Once you have your term selected, it will appear in the “New Glossary Term” textfield - click on the “Add Term”. If the “Add Term” button is dimmed and it says “Added”, this means that the item has already been added to the glossary.

If a term appears multiple times in a book, you can make one instance (usually the first time the term appears in your book) as the primary definition. This instance will appear in boldface in the book.

You can specify other occurrences of the same term to this primary definition. These are called index links. This allows a reader to see your glossary term and view the index links to view the term in context in the book.

In the case where the “Add Term” button is dimmed and it says “Added”, you can add an Index Link instead by clicking on the “Add Link” button.

Now that we have a list of terms added to our glossary, we can edit these definitions by clicking on the “Glossary” link in the Book Pane. We can replace the placeholder text as well as add images to our glossary term. You can add related terms as well as see the Index Links for this term.

Finally, remember that you don't have to use the Glossary feature if you don't want to. It's completely optional, but you can't get rid of it in your Book Pane. Just ignore it and it won't show up in your final book.

This concludes our lecture on working with the Glossary in iBooks Author.

04:32

You can preview your entire book or individual Chapters using iBooks for your Mac or iPad. To preview your book, you will need to have iBooks installed on the target device.

  1. On a Mac: Simply click on the “Preview” button in the iBooks Author toolbar or select File > Preview. If you want to view the current Chapter only, select File > Preview Current Section. This will generate a preview copy of your book and display it in iBooks.
  2. On an iPad: First, you will need to connect your iPad to your Mac. On your iPad, launch the iBooks app. In iBooks Author on your Mac, either click on the Preview button or select File > Preview or File > Preview Current Section. This will now allow you to choose whether to preview on the Mac or one of your connected devices. When you select iPad, iBooks Author will generate a preview copy of your book, copy it to your iPad and display it in the iBooks app.

If this doesn't work, just make sure that you have the iBooks app open on your iPad and that your iPad isn't locked.

This concludes our lecture on previewing your book.

Section 2: Understanding iBooks Author Templates
04:30

Welcome to this lecture on using the built-in templates feature in iBooks Author. If you haven't already, please review the lecture on templates in the previous Section of this course.

Just a quick recap on templates: every book in iBooks Author uses a template which includes a set of book elements and a variety of layouts for chapters, sections and pages. Templates are a great way to create professional-looking books that feature a consistent design.

When you launch iBooks Author, you are presented with the Template Chooser. The template chooser lists the built-in templates provided by Apple. Once you create your own customized templates, you can also save them as a template and these will appear in the Template Chooser as well.

There are two categories of templates. Landscape with Portrait and Portrait only. We've gone through the differences between these two already, but in brief, landscape with portrait allows a reader to read your book in either landscape or portrait orientation and the portrait only templates only display your book in the portrait orientation. When switching between landscape to portrait, iBooks Author will automatically reformat your book into more of a 'reading' experience where your graphics and interactive elements will be de-emphasized and the focus will be on the content itself.

For most iBooks projects, you'll want to use a Landscape with Portrait template, but if you are writing a novel or a textbook which doesn't have a lot of graphics and layout requirements, you may want to use a Portrait only mode.

Just keep in mind that once you select a template, you cannot switch to a different template, so before you start putting a lot of time into a single template, spend some time with each of the built-in templates and see which one works best for you. You can always modify the templates to your exact needs, but it's good to start by picking a template that is closest to what you ultimately want.

Once you've settled on a template, click on the “Choose” button and iBooks Author will create a new project for you based on your template. You can explore this template by looking at the various options you have for Chapters, Sections and Pages. You can do this by adding pages, or by browsing the Layouts Pane.

You can also view the various styles used by the template by looking at the Styles Drawer.

Apple has done a great job with these templates and any of these would be a great start to your iBooks Author project. I would highly recommend that you take some time to explore each template.

This concludes our lecture on working with the built-in templates.

11:06

Welcome to this lecture on customizing the look and feel of your templates. While iBook Author includes a number of high-quality, professional templates, you will still likely want to modify these templates to suit your needs. Another option would be to search the web for free templates, and there are plenty of places you can purchase additional templates, but I think you'll see that customizing a template is actually pretty easy and something that you should be able to handle on your own.

For this lecture, we are going to start with one of the built-in templates.

As we've covered before, a template contains predefined layouts and styles that are used throughout our book. So, in order to customize a template, we need to work on Layouts and Styles.

Let's start with Layouts first. You can view all the Layouts included in a template by looking at the Layouts pane in the sidebar. You can do this by selecting from the View pop-up menu bar. Each chapter, section, and page has multiple layouts available (one-column, two-column, and so on).

For each of the predefined layouts, you can add or format placeholder text, images and objects. Once you're done making your changes, click “Apply Changes” and your modification is applied to your entire book.

In addition to modifying these layouts, you can also create entirely new layouts. The easiest way to do this is by duplicating an existing layout and modifying it.

Choose Show Layouts from the View pop-up menu in the toolbar.

In the Layouts pane, select a layout you want to start from.

Click Add Layout in the toolbar.

A new layout appears in the Layouts pane with “copy” at the end of its name.

To rename the layout, double-click its name and type a new name.

Change a page's layout

You can apply a new layout to a single page for a different look.

In the Book pane, hold your pointer over a page (not the first page of a chapter or section), click the triangle, and choose a page layout from the pop-up menu.

Styles

Next, let's take a look at Styles. Using styles is a must for formatting text. For example, let's assume that you want to change the size of the font for all section headings in your book. If you use Styles correctly and were applying a Section Heading style throughout your book, you can resize all Section Heading titles in the book simply by modifying the style once, rather than each occurrence.

To see the styles defined for your template, you will need to display the Styles drawer.

There are 3 kids of styles:

  1. Paragraph styles: can be applied to entire paragraphs, not to individual words within paragraphs.
  2. Character styles: can be applied to individual characters or groups of characters within paragraphs without affecting the paragraph's styles.
  3. List styles make it easy to create lists and outlines.
Creating a template from scratch
Article
Section 3: Content: Text, Objects & Images
04:17

Welcome to this lecture on text in iBooks Author. Before we get started, I want to reiterate something we've previously covered, iBooks Author isn't an ideal authoring environment, so you should use another tool like Pages or Word to write the text for your book.

iBooks Author templates include built-in text boxes with placeholder text that you simply replace with your own text. These text boxes are linked so that text flows from one page to the next automatically. If you add more content than a text box can fit, new pages are added automatically and the content flows into them.

You can also add custom text boxes that aren't part of the rest of the document flow. You can't link two custom text boxes to flow text from one to the other, but there are lots of ways that custom text boxes can come in handy.

Shapes also have built-in text boxes. These are treated the same as custom text-boxes where they are not part of the rest of the document flow.

This concludes this lecture on text in iBooks Author.

08:50

Welcome to this lecture on formatting text and working with styles in iBooks Author.

iBooks Author provides a number of tools that allow you to format text. This includes:

  • The Format bar
  • The text inspector: open the Inspector in the toolbar and open the “Text Inspector”
  • The Fonts Window: Format > Fonts > Show Fonts
  • Format Menu > Format > Font > Option or Format > Text > Option

Now, let's talk about Styles. We've already covered how using Styles is a must for formatting text.

Apply a style to text

  • select the text you want to apply a style to
  • in the styles drawer, choose the style you want to apply.
  • you can also apply a style to a selection by choosing a style from one of the pop-up menus.

Modify an existing style

  • Format text the way you want it to look and then select the text.
  • Choose an option from the Add Style pop-up menu in the format bar. Type a name for the new style.

Rename or delete a style

Copy a paragraph or character style: Format > Copy Option Style

Format > Paste Option Style

Style Overrides

If you can change a text attribute without applying a style, you create a style override. When you select text that has a style override, you'll see that the arrow next to the style name in the Styles drawer turns red. You can click on the arrow to see your options, which include adding a new style, modifying the current style.

If you want to replace all occurrences of a particular style to a different style, you can use the Find feature.

Edit > Find

Click on the “Advanced” tab.

In the Find section, select the Style you want to replace. In the Replace section, select the Style you want to replace it with.

Again, Styles are a critical part of working with iBooks Author. I would suggest that you take some time to experiment with this feature of iBooks Author.

And with that, we conclude this lecture on Styles in iBooks Author.

04:42

An object is any item you place on a page in your book. Photos, widgets (interactive media), shapes, text boxes, tables, and charts are examples of objects.

There are three kinds of objects:

An inline object is embedded in the text flow and moves with the text.

A floating object is fixed to a particular position on a page. You can drag floating objects anywhere on a page, and wrap text around them, or layer text or other objects over or behind them.

An anchored object is fixed to a particular position on a page, but it's also attached to specific text (a word or paragraph, for example). If the text moves to another page, the object appears on the new page in the same position. An anchor marker Anchored object marker indicates the text the object is attached to; you can drag the object or the marker anywhere on the page.

By default, objects you add in iBooks Author are either anchored or floating, but you can easily change an object from one kind to another.

Inline objects and most widgets (of any object type) always appear in both landscape and portrait orientation. Floating and anchored objects behave differently depending on the kind of template you use.

Landscape: Floating and anchored objects (besides widgets) are hidden when a reader rotates the device to portrait orientation. However, if you give an object a title or caption, or enable the object to be viewed larger, the object appears in portrait orientation as a thumbnail image, which the reader can tap or click to maximize the object.

Portrait: Floating and anchored objects always appear.

That concludes this lecture on Objects in iBooks Author.

05:54

You can add objects such as widgets, shapes, text boxes, tables or charts to a page in your book. Insert > Choose or use the pop-up menus in the toolbar. You can also add media files to a page by dragging them from the Media Browser, the Finder, or another application.

When you add an object, it will either be added as an anchored or floating object type. You can change this by selecting “Inline” “Floating” or “Anchored” from the format bar. Or you can open up the Wrap Inspector. Click one of the Object Placement buttons.

Select objects

Move objects

Copy or duplicate objects

Group or Ungroup object

Layer objects

Lock or Unlock objects

08:30

Welcome to this lecture on working with images in iBooks Author. iBooks Author offers a number of powerful features that allow you to add photos and other images to your book.

There are a number of ways to insert an image to your page. The simplest might be to drag the file you want to insert on to the page. I'm inserting a JPG file here, but iBOoks Author also supports PNG and GIF formats. You can also use the built-in Media Browser to view the photos in your iPhoto library and insert them into your book project.

Once an image is added to your page, you can position it on the page simply by selecting the image and dragging it to the position you want.

You can also use the tools in iBooks Author to mask (or crop) the photo, change its brightness, contrast and other image qualities, or even remove the background from the image! These tools can be accessed from the Graphic Inspector, which we can call up by clicking on the “Inspector” button and then selecting the Graphic Inspector. Or you can use the Format bar to quickly tweak these properties.

To resize an image, simply click on the image to select it and then use one of the selection handles to resize the image. By default, the image will be resized with its aspect ratio intact. If you want to stretch the image for any reason, you can do this by bringing up the Metrics Inspector and deselecting “Constrain proportions”

In order to rotate an image, you can do this freehand by holding the Command key down and using the selection handles. You'll notice that when your mouse is over the selection handles, you see a 'rotate' icon rather than a resize icon.

Finally, it is always a good idea to build your book with accessibility in mind. iBooks Author allows you to specify accessibility descriptions for any image that you insert into your book. If a reader with sight impairment is using a screen reader to read your book, the accessibility description from your image will be read back. You can add accessibility descriptions by selecting the image and going to the Widget Inspector.

If you would like to add a gallery of images to your page, we will be covering that topic in the section on widgets, so feel free to play that lecture now.

In the meantime, this concludes our lecture on working with images in iBooks Author.

08:19

Welcome to this lecture on some advanced techniques for working with images in iBooks Author. We've already covered some basic information on working with images and now we'll cover two advanced techniques related to working with images.

First, let's talk about alpha channel masking in iBooks Author. An alpha channel allows you to define areas of transparency in a graphic. Let's say you have a picture of a starfish on a white background that you want to use as a graphic element in your book and you want the text to flow around the starfish shape rather than the rectangle of the image. You can create an alpha channel by defining the white background as transparent and achieve this effect in iBooks Author.

Let's try this again with this image of the statue of liberty.

Of course, if you are more comfortable using an image editing tool like Photoshop to create images with transparent backgrounds, you can go ahead and do that and export PNG files that can be inserted as-is into your iBooks Author content.. and the text will automatically flow around the image.

Ok, so that is alpha channel images. Let's do another technique of having a single image span across two pages.

Use Brooklyn Bridge image to span pages.

In the next section on Widgets, we will cover more image-related topics including creating image galleries, interactive images and more.

This concludes this lecture on advanced image techniques.

08:56

Welcome to this lecture on working with shapes in iBooks Author.

iBooks Author provides a variety of predawn shapes that you can add to your books, including circles, rectangles with square or rounded corners, stars, arrows, speech bubbles and more.

Add a predrawn shape.

Draw a custom shape.

Edit a shape.

Add text inside a shape.

If there is too much text to display in the shape, a clipping indicator (+) appears. To resize the shape, select it and drag the selection handles. (If the insertion point is inside the shape, press Command-Return to exit text editing and select the shape.)

This concludes this lecture on shapes in iBooks Author.

10:52

Welcome to this lecture on working with Charts and Tables.

iBooks Author allows you to easily add tables and charts to your book.

In this lecture, we'll start by talking about tables and then we'll move on to charts.

You can use tables to present data or information in a way that makes it easy to scan and compare. In iBooks Author, you can add and format tables with as many rows and columns as you need.

Let's start by adding a new table. We can modify this table using the Tables Inspector which can be accessed through the Inspector panel.

  • Add and edit table cell contents
  • Autofill table cells
  • Borders
  • Tables inspector

Of course, tables don't just present data; they also enable you to process data. For example, you can set up a table to add and multiply columns of numbers, or to calculate results using functions and formulas.

You can also set up table cells to change their formatting automatically when their values equal a value you specify.

Table Inspector > Format tab > Conditional Format

One final note on tables - in my experience, importing tables and charts from Numbers or Pages doesn't seem to work that well. The pasted object is converted to an image. However, if you copy and paste from Word or Excel, the resulting table is editable. In any case, if you have tabular data or charts in another application, I would suggest that you try doing a copy/paste and if you're happy with the resulting image, then use it rather than re-doing the work in iBooks Author.

So let's talk about charts in iBooks Author. By default, there is an icon in the toolbar that allows you to insert charts into your content. Once the chart is inserted, you can add the relevant data and use the chart inspector to modify the chart settings.

That concludes our lecture on using tables and charts in iBooks Author.

Section 4: Content: Widgets
02:02

Welcome to this section on iBooks Author widgets. In this lecture, we are going to look at the role of widgets in iBooks Author and the remaining lectures in this section will go through each of the pre-built widgets available to you in iBooks Author.

One of the reasons that publishers and authors are choosing iBooks Author for creating their books is how easily we can add interactivity to our books through the use of widgets. iBooks Author provides a variety of widgets.. and they can all be accessed through the Widgets button that is available by default on the toolbar.

You can see that there are a number of options here, from a photo gallery to adding Keynote presentations to 3D objects and even HTML5 widgets.

We'll go through each of these in detail, but in general, once you have added a widget by choosing one of the widgets from the pop-up menu in the toolbar, you can customize it using the widget inspector. This can be accessed by opening up the Inspector panel and clicking on the “Widget” tab. The options presented in this area will vary depending on the widget you've selected, but there are some common properties like Title, Caption, Background, etc.

This concludes our overview lecture on widgets and next, we'll look at each of these widget types in detail.

06:16

Welcome to this lecture on using the Gallery widget.

With the Gallery widget, you can add a sequence of images your readers can swipe or click through.

  • Create an image gallery
    • Drag files from Finder
    • Drag the widget, then drag the files
    • Drag a folder or multiple images
  • Look at Widget Inspector.

This concludes our lecture on using the Gallery widget.

06:39

Welcome to this lecture on using the Media widget.

With the Media widget, you can easily add a movie or an audio file to your book. We'll start by adding a movie to our project file and then an audio.

Add a movie

  • Choose Media widget
  • Drag a movie file
  • Interaction pane of Widget inspector
  • Layout pane of Widget inspector
  • Set poster frame

Add an audio file

  • Choose Media widget
  • Drag an audio file
  • Interaction pane of the Widget inspector
  • Lay out pane of Widget inspector
05:38

Welcome to this lecture on using Keynote presentations in iBooks Author.

iBooks Author allows you to easily add Keynote slideshows to your book. In order to this though, you actually need to have the latest version of Keynote installed on your Mac. The fidelity of Keynote files is pretty decent in iBooks Author, but certain slide transitions might not work.

Anyway, let's try this with our project.

  • Open Keynote > show Presentation
  • Add a Keynote file.
  • Interaction pane in Widget Inspector
  • Layout pane in Widget Inspector

Notice that we aren't able to interact with the Keynote presentation while in iBooks Author. In order to actually see the interactions work, we'll need to preview the project.

Note that if you have media files embedded in your Keynote presentation, you should take them out and use the Media widget instead. It's going to be more reliable in terms of playback. Also, if you have a self-playing file with voiceover narration, it may not work as expected. For this type of a presentation, you may want to export to Quicktime from Keynote.

Now if you have PowerPoint content and want to bring that into iBooks Author, you can still do this but you have to first open up the PowerPoint presentation in Keynote, save it as a Keynote file and then insert into iBooks Author. Depending on how complex your PowerPoint file is, you may see some formatting changes.

So, as you can see, adding Keynote presentations can be a great way to reuse existing material or to add an interactive element to your book.

This concludes our lecture on Keynote presentations in iBooks Author.

04:27

Welcome to this lecture on working with 3D objects in your iBooks Author project.

iBooks Author includes a 3D object widget that lets you you add 3D objects that can be manipulated by your readers. Let's go ahead and see how this works.

  • Add a 3D object: The first step is to add a 3D widget to your page. We can then drag a file from the Finder.
  • Interaction pane in Widget inspector
  • Format pane in Widget inspector

Right now, the only supported file format is Collada which has a .dae extension. Most 3D applications will let you export your projects to this format.

Another source for finding 3D object is the Sketchup 3D warehouse. Most of the models here are in the Sketchup or KMZ format and will need to be converted before they can be inserted into an iBooks Author file. The easiest way to do this is using a free tool called Sketchup Make which has an Export option under its File menu to allow for the conversion. I'll add these resources to the last section in this course.

And with that, let's conclude this lecture on 3D objects in iBooks Author.

08:22

Welcome to this lecture on using the Interactive Image widget. If you have an image or graphic where you need to provide additional, detailed information about a specific part or parts of the graphic, then the Interactive Image is for you. There are lots of examples of where you might want to use an Interactive Image.. maps, technical diagrams, screenshots of apps and software, or even family photos.

So let's see how this works:

  • Create an Interactive Image
    • Add an image
    • Set the default view
    • Customize label text, set the view
    • Interaction pane in Widget inspector
    • Format pane in Widget inspector
The scrolling sidebar widget
03:27
05:57

Welcome to this lecture on creating a popover effect.

Let's start by talking about what a popover is.. a popover is a small overlay that opens when the reader clicks or taps on a popover image in your book.

Let's see how this works:

  • Add a popover
  • Add text and graphics or shapes

Sometimes, you may want to create this popover effect on some text or an inline graphic in your content. There is a bit of a hack that you can use to achieve this effect by modifying the opacity of the popover image. Let's try this for ourselves.

That concludes our lecture on creating a popover effect.

06:43

Welcome to this lecture on working with the Review widget in iBooks Author.

This is a fantastic widget that allows you to add a set of questions to let readers review what they've learned in your book. Often times, these review widgets are placed at the end of a chapter or section. You can also create a separate section in each chapter that only includes review widgets.. the advantage to organizing your book this way is that the review is added to the automatically generated table of contents.

Let's see how this works:

  • Add a review widget
  • Add different question types

Multiple Choice: Students answer a question with up to six possible answers.

Drag Label to Target: Students drag up to six text labels to specific locations in a graphic.

Drag Thumbnail to Target: Students drag up to six images to specific locations in a graphic.

Section 5: Exporting & Publishing Your iBook
05:10

Welcome to this lecture on previewing your book on your Mac and iPad. We've actually covered this material earlier in the course, but I thought it would be a good refresher now that we've had a chance to work on our project and are ready to preview the final product. Generally, it is a good idea to preview your book often. This will allow you to identify any potential issues early on and make adjustments accordingly rather than finding out the issue at the end.

You can preview your entire book or individual Chapters using iBooks for your Mac or iPad. To preview your book, you will need to have iBooks installed on the target device.

On a Mac: Simply click on the “Preview” button in the iBooks Author toolbar or select File > Preview. If you want to view the current Chapter only, select File > Preview Current Section. This will generate a preview copy of your book and display it in iBooks.

On an iPad: First, you will need to connect your iPad to your Mac. On your iPad, launch the iBooks app. In iBooks Author on your Mac, either click on the Preview button or select File > Preview or File > Preview Current Section. This will now allow you to choose whether to preview on the Mac or one of your connected devices. When you select iPad, iBooks Author will generate a preview copy of your book, copy it to your iPad and display it in the iBooks app.

If this doesn't work, just make sure that you have the iBooks app open on your iPad and that your iPad isn't locked.

This concludes our lecture on previewing your book.

06:43

Welcome to this lecture on exporting your book out of iBooks Author.

Most of us will likely be publishing this book to the iBooks Store, either as a free or a paid title. In fact, if you are planning to sell your book for a fee, your only option is to publish on the iBooks Store. However, if your book is free, you can distribute the book in any way you want, which may also include the iBooks store. We'll cover the iBooks store in the next lecture, but first, let's talk about your options for exporting your book.

The Export option can be found under the File menu or the Share menu. You have 3 options for exporting your iBooks Author file:

  1. iBooks format: this is the multi-touch, interactive book we've been building in a published format. You can e-mail the resulting ibooks file, or publish it to a web server or put it on Dropbox etc. as long as you aren't charging for the book itself.
  2. PDF: This will create a PDF version of your book which will be similar to the working layout you see in iBooks Author. All interactive elements, like image galleries, Keynote presentations, etc. will be flattened and replaced with the thumbnail you see in iBooks Author.
    1. Can also print via File > Print
  3. Export as a text document: This will export all the text elements in your iBooks Author project to a plain text file. This can be a good way to get content out of iBooks Author that you may want to use elsewhere. I feel I should point out that I don't recommend that you actually write any content in iBooks Author and instead use an application like Word or Pages that has features like Track Changes that are invaluable when writing. Authoring in a common format like Word also makes it easier for you to share files with others like editors, peers, etc.

Ok, so that completes our lecture on exporting your book.

08:34

As we've already covered, there are a number of options you have for distributing the books created in iBooks Author. However, if you are going to be charging a fee for your book, you need to publish it through the iBooks Store.

Regardless of whether you are distributing your book for free on the iBooks Store or selling it for a price, you will need to have an Apple ID that has a valid credit card associated with it.

You'll also need to enable iTunes Connect with your Apple ID. You can do this for free during the publishing process, where you will be able to choose whether you will be making books available for free only or both sell them and offer them for free.

Next, you'll need to download iTunes Producer, which is a free app that you will use to submit all of your books to the iBooks Store. This app is available as part of the publishing process.

If you're publishing from iBooks Author, you have the option of having iBooks Author automatically create a sample book for you. You can also create a sample manually by duplicating your book, deleting all the pages except the ones you want included in your sample and exporting the file to the iBooks format. For most of us, having iBooks Author take care of this will work just fine.

In the next section, we will go through each of these components in more detail.

For now, let's conclude this lecture on publishing your book to the iBooks Store.

-----

As we've previously discussed, you need to have an Apple ID if you are going to be publishing your books to the iBooks Store. This is true regardless of whether you are planning to sell your books or offer them for free.

Chances are that if you already own an iPad and a Mac, you already have an Apple ID that you use for your iTunes and App Store purchases. You can use this Apple ID, but generally speaking, if publishing a book is more than a one-time thing or you're doing this on behalf of a business or institution, I'd recommend creating a separate Apple ID for authoring. You can do this by going to appleid.apple.com. Click “Create an Apple ID” and follow the prompts.

Once this is done, you will need to enable iTunes Connect with your Apple ID.

I will include a link to the site you need to get this process started. I'll also include links on a walk-through of this process.

Note that in order to sell books on iTunes, you will need an Employer Identification Number, or EIN, that is issued by the IRS. This is a requirement regardless of whether you are based in the US or outside the US. Luckily, obtaining an EIN is fairly straightforward and can be done by calling up the IRS. In the section summary, I will include the number to the IRS that you need to call. A little pro tip here: you can literally wait for hours on hold with the IRS, so my advice is to call them right at 7am ET when they open. You'll very likely be connected with an individual right away.

Section 6: iTunes Producer, iTunes Connect and iBookstore
07:39

Once you're logged into iTunes Connect, you can access a number of resources that Apple makes available to you. These can be accessed by clicking on the “Resources and Help” icon.

There are a number of resources here on book publishing and on using iTunes Connect, and I would suggest that you go through these materials if you are unclear on anything.

Let's scroll down to the “Book Delivery” section and you'll see that there are two links to download iTunes Producer. Since you're already running OS X Mavericks (10.9) or better, you should download iTunes Producer 3.1.

Clicking on this link will download a disk image or DMG file. Once it's downloaded, go through the install process to install iTunes Producer on your Mac.

  • Install iTunes Producer
  • Launch and go through the publishing step.

This concludes our lecture on iTunes Producer.

06:24

Welcome to this lecture on iTunes Connect. This will be a fairly quick lecture because it's difficult to give a proper tour of the iTunes Connect site without disclosing personal information, so here goes:

My Books

Sales and Trends

Payments and Financial Options

Users and Roles

Agreements, Tax and Banking

Tickets

Resources and Help

The good news is that the site is fairly easy to navigate and there is help available to assist you with each step.

Section 7: Resources and Tips
Important Resources
Article

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Instructor Biography

Abbas Rizvi, Digital Publishing Expert

An expert in digital publishing and web development, Abbas Rizvi spent over three years with the education team at Apple, gaining a unique perspective on iBooks Author. Prior to Apple, Abbas spent seven years at Adobe as a Solutions Consultant, with a focus on web and e-learning tools. Abbas is passionate about sharing his expertise and knowledge and has presented at numerous customer events, conferences and authored video learning titles on web development with TotalTraining.

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