iBooks Author

Online publishing software that empowers writers to create visually attractive books for iOS devices


32 Votes

The iBooks Author application is an eBook construction suite that also comes with a number of typesetting tools. Users can write and publish entire manuscripts using simply the software or import text and images from another application. It's especially useful for those in the education market since the integrated layout tools can be helpful to those who have to arrange text into columns and flow it around tables or illustrations.

While iBooks Author was designed with educators and individual publishers in mind, it comes with everything that you'd expect from a professional tool. Anyone who has used a conventional desktop publishing application in the past is already familiar with the features that iBooks Author provides. Those who want advanced typesetting options, like the ability to specify point sizes and set custom kerning, won't be disappointed.

To some degree, iBooks Author allows content creators to embed fonts directly into their documents. Considering that the software can export books as PDF documents, this is a particularly important feature for those who want to ensure that their books look identical on every platform that they're read on. However, it's also possible simply to specify a typeface that comes default with iOS devices.

That does include the San Francisco font on some devices, which should prove attractive to those who've grown tired of various Helvetica derivations. However, specifying anything out of the ordinary could make a book look strange when used on older iOS machines. Nevertheless, the internal editor is designed around traditional WYSIWYG guidelines, so you'll know what your book will look like long before you even publish it.

Additional features like a glossary and a table of contents can be automatically generated by iBooks Author, which makes it easy for serious textbook authors to start writing books without having to worry about where they're going to put references at a later date. The user interface is designed to match that of Apple Keynote and Pages, which makes it easy to run all three products alongside of one another.

Unfortunately, iBooks Author itself is deprecated and the proprietary file format it utilizes is anything but universal. While this doesn't mean that users have to stop relying on the app totally, it does mean that additional support for it will probably run out. By making sure that you export all of your documents into the PDF format, you can avoid any of the issues that come with reliance on undocumented XML traps.

To some extent, iBooks Author can even help users to request an ISBN, which will then give them the freedom to sell their books online regardless of the type of book in question. This, again, should prove mostly useful for those in the education market who are offering textbooks for a specific class.


  • Authors professional-looking eBooks
  • Integrated word processor
  • Includes all features of a desktop publishing program
  • Fast and lightweight


  • Deprecated
  • Relies on outmoded format
HQ Location
Cupertino, CA
Total Revenue (USD mm)
Top 4 iBooks Author Alternatives

Adobe InDesign

Document design software featuring an advanced editor and a world-class typography module for desktop publishers

Microsoft Publisher

A desktop publishing program that is highly accessible and comes with many templates


Open-source and cross-platform desktop publishing software with advanced features to design PDF documents, manuals, and books

iStudio Publisher

Take content you've created and place it into a location where anyone may view it