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 and 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.

“iBooks Author: Publishing Your First Ebook” Now Available

An illustrated guide to creating and publishing multi-touch books with iBooks Author.

iBooks Author Cover

iBooks Author: Publishing Your First Ebook helps you learn how to take advantage of iBooks Author’s amazing feature set to create your own ebooks without a lot of trial and error experimentation. Using an illustrated, step-by-step approach, it guides you through the creation of a sample ebook with features you’re sure to want in your own ebook publications.

Download a Sample Chapter
Buy Kindle Edition
Buy iBooks Edition
Buy NOOK Edition
Buy iBooks Multi-Touch Edition (coming soon)
Buy Print Edition (coming soon)

When iBooks Author was announced and released last month, I knew it was a software package I’d really like. I was right. Just a few days spent with the app and I had all kinds of great ideas for publishing my books. But I also realized that with the surprising depth of this first generation application, new users might need help using it. Since how-to books are my specialty, I didn’t wast any time writing a new Maria’s Guides book about it.

About the Book

I wrote the book as a hands-on guide to creating a sample ebook with iBooks author. Filled with step-by-step instructions and 274 screenshots (!), the book walks you through the process of creating, composing, laying out, and publishing an ebook using iBooks Author. I cover every important feature in the software, from adding and formatting text and images to creating interactive elements with iBooks Author’s Widget feature. I finish up with instructions on how to export and publish your book as a PDF or iBook on the iBookstore.

Inside, you’ll find the following chapters:

Table of Contents
Before We Begin: Introduction
Chapter 1: Getting Started
Chapter 2: Starting Your Book
Chapter 3: Adding & Formatting Text
Chapter 4: Adding & Formatting Images
Chapter 5: Working with Objects
Chapter 6: Adding Shapes, Tables, & Charts
Chapter 7: Including Interactive Elements
Chapter 8: Publishing Your Book
Final Word: That’s All for Now

The printed version of the book runs 242 pages, including front matter, table of contents, and index.

The instructions throughout the book step you through the process of creating a sample ebook with iBooks Author. All the files you need are available for download from the book’s support Web page on this site. When you’re finished, you’ll have a pretty sharp looking ebook to show off you skills.

Buy the Book

The book is available now on and the Apple iBookstore in Kindle and Epub formats respectively. A multi-touch iBooks version should be available in about a week. The print edition will be available in about 2 weeks as a direct purchase from Flying M Productions or from booksellers such as and

Additional Material, Feedback, and Support

You can find additional material about using iBooks Author and creating ebooks on this site. Just follow the publishing topic link.

You can also post questions and read questions and answers on the book’s support page. That’s also where you can find the sample files used throughout the book.

Tip for Writers on Mac OS: A Stickies Style Guide

Maintain consistency in your writing with an easy-access style guide.

As I continue work on my 81st book (!), I thought I’d share a tip with other writers working on Macs. This one has to do with creating and maintaining a style guide for your work in progress.

Stickies IconToday, on my blog, An Eclectic Mind, I wrote quite a bit about what a style guide is and why it’s important. I also revealed my personal technique for maintaining a style guide for work in progress — I use Stickies — and explain why it’s a good solution for me.

In this piece I want to briefly discuss how to set up and use Stickies as a style guide. Keep in mind throughout this piece, however, that you can use Stickies to give you easy access to just about any information you might need to be reminded about as you work.

  1. In the Applications folder in in Launchpad (Mac OS X Lion and later only), open the Stickies icon.
  2. StickiesIf you’ve never opened stickies before, you’ll see some default notes with information on using Stickies. You can read these for more information. Then close them and do not save changes. You want to minimize the number of open windows on your Desktop, don’t you?
  3. Choose File > New Note to create a new sticky note window.
  4. My Style GuideResize it so it’s long and narrow, just wide enough to fit the words you’ll add to it.
  5. Reposition it so it’s on the far right (or left, if you prefer) side of your screen.
  6. As you work on your project, add difficult-to-remember words and phrases to it. Be sure to spell/capitalize the words/phrases exactly as you should be writing them. It’s also a good idea to list them in alphabetical order.
  7. If there’s a word or phrase you should never use, add it to the list but use the Fonts panel to format it with strikethrough formatting.
  8. When you are done writing for the day, quit Stickies. Do not close the note before quitting.
  9. When you start work the next day, open Stickies again. The note should reappear just as you left it, all ready to be consulted and updated as needed.

If you’re using Mac OS X Lion and you don’t quit Stickies, it’ll automatically reopen when you restart your computer. If you’re using an earlier version of Mac OS, you can set up Stickies as a Login item so it automatically opens when you start or log into your computer.

Again, you can use this tip for any kind of information you need to consult as you work at your computer. The one thing I wouldn’t put in Stickies is any kind of information that needs to be kept private. I recommend an application such as 1Password for that kind of data so it can be secured.

How do you use Stickies? Share your tips in the comments for this post.

Learn More!

Lion Book CoverWant to know more about Mac OS X Lion and Stickies? Check out my Mac OS X Lion: Visual QuickStart Guide. This 648-page, fully illustrated guide to Lion is available for a great price in print and Kindle versions from