Apple announces iBooks 2, Textbooks, iBooks Author

Apple announces iBooks 2, Textbooks, iBooks Author

Summary: Textbooks will integrate not only portability but interactiveness to bring a whole new level of engagement to K-12 students and above. Authors will have total freedom in what they can offer, from animations to traditional graphics and text.


Apple today announced its plans to "reinvent the textbook."

At a live event in New York City, the Cupertino-based giant revealed a new textbook experience for the iPad by reinventing iBooks.

Textbooks will integrate not only portability but interactiveness to bring a whole new level of engagement to K-12 students and above. Authors will have total freedom in what they can offer, from animations to traditional graphics and text.

iBooks 2 is the next-generation content store for e-books, and is available today. These educational, student-oriented e-books will appear in the iBooks 2 under the new heading: Textbooks. This section of the iBookstore will include high school-level books, and more in due time, priced at $14.99 or less.

Apple is working with publishers and partners, including Pearson, McGraw Hill and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt -- as previously rumored -- to enabled cheaper, more accessible e-book content. Books will always remain up to date, including revised copies. Students will also keep their copies forever.

Phil Schiller, Apple's vice-president of worldwide marketing, took to the stage early in the proceedings. He discussed the challenges facing education, and how Apple technology is used by teachers and students alike.

"There are over 20,000 education applications built specifically for the iPad," Schiller said. He revealed that there are now more than 1.5 million iPads in schools, colleges and universities.

"The end-user student experience will have "super-fast, super-fluid navigation", he added.

He noted that: "90 percent of textbooks are made available" by the partnerships.

Apple is also rolling out iBooks Author, giving ordinary people the tools to create these e-books. It will be available for the Mac, and is available today. The layout is easy, and the creation process is simple, giving a what-you-see approach to educators and students alike, to create engaging e-books.

It has a iWork-feel about the software, allowing users who are already versed in Keynote and Pages the ability to jump right in. But while it is designed for the lay-person, those who have programming knowledge can also implement their own code into e-books, alongside text and graphics. It also supports HTML5.

Apple is making publishing directly to the iBookstore simple. Created e-books can be viewed and previewed on the iPad first, and then published directly to the iBookstore.

iBooks Author is free.

Running rumors and speculation:

Topic: Apple

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  • Not interested if apple is taking a cut for the store thats higher than

    what amazon takes. This is a bad moved if the publishers arent putting these out in a fortmat that can be used on android tablets and windows tablets and kindles, etc.
    Johnny Vegas
    • RE: Apple announces iBooks 2, Textbooks, iBooks Author

      @Johnny Vegas

      Quite a few of these text books will be done in ePUB and HMTL5 format. Not to worry. Win 8 and Android Tablets will support this format.

      The only sore point that I can see from your post is that Apple is leading the way again.

      Of course, some still think that the iPad is a toy, that it is not ready for academic use or that it is not enterprise capable. You wouldn't belong to that crowd, would you?

      Again, if you feel the iPad is not the proper tool, Win 8 tablets will be available in a short time. You can even use iTunes for Windows to access the iTunes U resource.
    • RE: Apple announces iBooks 2, Textbooks, iBooks Author

      @Johnny Vegas

      So what you are saying is that Amazon is the gold standard of what is fair and equatable? Didn't Amazon have to lower the prices of their ebooks once Apple got into the market?

      Suppose I sell my book at Apple for a $1.00 and I get to keep $0.70. If I sell 10 copies I am up $7.00. Now suppose I sell the same book at Amazon but I get to keep 100% (woot, but that is not what happens). It turns out that iPads out sells all of the other competitors by a wide margin. Lets just say it is ONLY two iPads sold for every one from all of the competitors. Since there are half as many competing tablets on the market I should reasonably expect to sell half as many books. 5 books sold means I made $5.00.

      Result I made $2.00 less but I feel OH so good cause I stuck it to that evil corporation. But what if I am a greedy SOB. I would just publish my book in both places and make $12. What if I had to pick just one method of distribution? Well I would go with Apple.
      • RE: Apple announces iBooks 2, Textbooks, iBooks Author


        Business 101. Some people understand the concept. Some people don't.
  • Well Zack - it's only been two years since the iPad was introduced

    Didn't I tell you that this day would come! And, I don't think Flash was needed after all. I did predict that Flash would become irrelevant in two years. Anytime you want to borrow my crystal ball, feel free to ask.
  • RE: Apple announces iBooks 2, Textbooks, iBooks Author

    In my opinion this is a good move for authors, who can, like the software writers take control of their distribution. As a published author, the hoops I had to go through to get a book into print were unreal. There was also the problem of Google scanning without permission, which has and still is a real problem. At least here the control will be kept by myself and with regard to my book that it a good thing.

    In some way, this mirrors the world of film and digital, in that much more content will be made available by anyone who thinks they can write. The benefit here is that instead of the traditional method od getting many rejections and not getting it out there, you at least have the chance to see if the real audience will accept it, not someone with a single point of view.

    In an ever changing world, it is strange how Apple is leading the way, by giving the tools to us, so that we may choose to do something with it. If it is a success for both Authors and Apple, then roll on with the changes. I am aware at present that it is only available on the Mac, and maybe if popular and enough people want it on the PC, a version will appear there. Currently the ePub format is the output of choice, and this I believe is a form of industry standard, so it is not locked into viewing on just the iPad.

    As an writer, photographer and artist I say roll on with these tools, we can always use them to create something good.
    • RE: Apple announces iBooks 2, Textbooks, iBooks Author


      Well stated.
  • RE: Apple announces iBooks 2, Textbooks, iBooks Author

    i want to see an open standard eBook platform. BUT it has to be 100% cross platform ,i.e. the book should be 100% similar in all devices.
    damn open source community they rarely do it right.