iBooks 2 Interactive Edition of iBooks Author Book Now in Production

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Screenshots from the sample chapters of the special interactive edition of my iBooks Author book now in production.

Get a sneak peek by downloading sample chapters.

My mini-vacation plans unexpectedly cancelled, I decided to make good use of my free time by creating a special iBooks 2 interactive edition of my iBooks Author book. This book, which can only be opened and read on an iPad running iBooks 2, includes photo galleries, interactive images, and video to help readers learn all about iBooks Author.

I’ll admit up front that producing this book is taking longer than I expected. I think that’s because I decided to create original screencast videos for all sets of step-by-step instructions in the book. This is an extremely time-consuming process, made even more difficult by the parrot in the next room who seems to know the absolute worst time to run through her repertoire of animal noises, voices, and sounds.

But you don’t have to wait to see what I’m up to — and how I’m doing. You can download a free sample copy of this book now.

The sample includes the book’s introduction and two sample chapters with a number of interactive elements to try out. The screen shots on this page should give you an idea of what you can expect not only in the sample but in the completed book.

I expect to have the book available for sale on the iBookstore by the end of February. You can help me achieve this goal by sending encouraging words my way — I always work hardest when I know people are waiting for me to finish. Use the comments feature for this post to share your feedback.

And be patient — I think you’ll agree that this edition is worth waiting for.

You can get more information about all currently available editions of this book on the book’s support page.

Sample iBooks Author-Created Ebook Now Available

Download it for free, then make it yourself.

How Helicopters Fly
Download this iBooks 2 Book Free!

I may have forgotten to mention this, but the ebook that readers of my book create is available for free from the iBookstore. It’s called How Helicopters Fly and you can find it here.

Keep in mind that this book does not showcase all the interactive features of iBooks Author. Instead, it concentrates on the ones I thought users would be most interested in: hyperlinks, cross-references, photo galleries, video, audio, and review questions. I’ll likely cover other features in additional titles or in short articles here.

Remember, you must have an iPad running iBooks 2 to read this sample book. My book that explains how to create this book, iBooks Author: Publishing Your First Ebook, is available in iBooks, Kindle, and NOOK formats with print a edition available soon.

More Twitter Users Wanted

Need active Twitter users for upcoming Twitter course.

Twitter logoI’m getting ready to revise my Twitter course for Lynda.com and, as usual, am looking for about 20 active Twitter user accounts to follow while recording the course. These accounts will be included in the timelines displayed onscreen.

If you don’t mind your Twitter account appearing in the course — or perhaps you’d really like it to appear in the course — take a moment and drop me an e-mail message. I’ll send you the release form we need signed and returned to be a part of this project.

Keep in mind that volunteering to show your tweets does not guarantee they will be shown. Because of the nature of the course material, we need to avoid displaying Tweets that are “R-rated” (or worse), including Tweets with foul language, tweets with offensive humor, or Tweets that include inappropriate images or themes. In addition, we’re really not too interested in including Twitter accounts that are spammy, so if all of your tweets are written to promote your own products or services, we probably won’t want to include your account. I hope you understand.

If you’ve volunteered before and would like to do it again, just let me know. I should still have your paperwork on file.

Learn More on Lynda.com

Get more from your software.Want to Learn More about Using Twitter? Learn online at Lynda.com. My Twitter course includes more than three hours of video training material that’ll help you get more out of Twitter. Check it out. If you’re not a Lynda.com subscriber, be sure to visit to try some of the free videos. I think you’ll be hooked.

Print Edition of “iBooks Author: Publishing Your First Ebook” Approved for Production

Should be available for order from major online booksellers within a week.

Just a quick note to let folks know that we’ve just approved the print proof for iBooks Author: Publishing Your First Ebook. This 242-page book looks great, especially in the new larger size we’ve set up for the Maria’s Guide series.

Our printer works directly with Ingram to get books listed in bookseller catalogs quickly. I expect the print edition of the book to begin appearing on Amazon.com and BN.com within a week or so. I’m hoping both organizations order the book in sufficient quantities to ensure speedy delivery to customers.

If you can’t wait for print, ebook editions are already available from both resellers. You can learn more about the book and follow links to purchase your copy on the book’s support web page.

How to Create a Front Matter Chapter for your iBooks Author Ebook

A nicer way to handle it.

One of the things that bugs me about the way iBooks Author handles front matter pages such as the Copyright, Dedication, and Foreword pages is that they kind of hang out there by themselves at the front of the book, without any sort of “wrapper” that can give them identity.

Copyright Page
The first page of the table of contents in Landscape view. The next two pages look just as unattractive.

This became quite apparent in the sample book readers create while following along in iBooks Author: Publishing Your First Ebook. In the final book, in Landscape view — which is how the book is most likely to be read — each front matter page has its own table of contents page with an ugly gray background that’s just … well, ugly.

In playing around with iBooks Author, I soon realized that the only difference between these pages and the rest on the book is that they were not part of any chapter. It followed that if they were part of a chapter, they’d be handled differently. So I created a new chapter at the beginning of the book, added the three pages to it, and was very happy with the results.

Here’s a quick overview of how you can do the same.

  1. In the Book pane, select the very first page of your book. This is likely to be the Copyright page.
  2. Added ChapterUse the Add Pages menu on the toolbar to add a Chapter page. It should appear in the Book pane right beneath the page that was selected.
  3. In the Book pane, drag the new Chapter page above the first page of the book.
  4. Numbering OptionsWith the new Chapter page selected, display the Layout inspector’s Numbering panel and choose None from the Section Numbers pop-up menu. This removes the Chapter number from the new Chapter and restores the Chapter 1 number to the original Chapter 1.
  5. Indented pagesIn the Book pane, drag each of the front matter pages beneath the new Chapter page so they’re indented beneath it. You’ll need to drag each page up a little and to the right. A green line indicates placement as you drag. The indentation indicates that each of these pages is now part of the chapter they’re indented beneath.
  6. In the Book pane, select the new Chapter page. Then make changes as desired to set it up as a first page of your book’s Front Matter. In my example, I removed the chapter number placeholder text, changed the chapter name to Front Matter, removed the intro placeholder text, and replaced the placeholder image to match my book’s cover. (You can find instructions for doing all of these things in my book.)

    Front Matter Page

That’s about all there is to it. When you preview the book, you’ll find a nice table of contents page that gathers all of your front matter pages together.

Front Matter

Learn More!

Want to learn more about using iBooks Author to create ebooks? Check out iBooks Author: Publishing Your First Ebook, available now in iBooks, Kindle, and NOOK formats.

And keep checking in here at Maria’s Guides for more articles like this one.