Apple Launches iBooks Author Ebook Creation Tool [Updated]

Along with iBooks 2, Apple unveiled iBooks Publisher on Thursday during its special education-related media event in New York City. iBooks Author is a tool for building interactive textbooks, although it can be used to create other ebooks as well.

iBooks Author includes templates for ebook layout, offers a WYSIWYG-style editor, supports adding multimedia content and interactive features, and imports from Word and Pages.

iBooks AuthoriBooks Author for OS X Lion

The app includes one-click support for adding words to the book glossary, the ability to add keynote presentations to layouts, support for photo galleries, and accessibility description support for sight-impaired readers. Books can be previewed in iBooks on the iPad, exported directly to Apple’s iBookstore, saved in iBooks format for sharing, or exported to PDF.

Sharing ebooks with other people isn’t, however, a way to sell iBooks Author-created titles through other ebook stores because Apple is restricting sales of books created with its app to the iBookstore.

iBook Author requires OS X Lion 10.7.2 or higher. It’s available as a free download at Apple’s Mac App Store.

[Updated with additional details about iBooks Author.]