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Apple launches free iBooks Author for ebook publishing

Apple launches free iBooks Author for ebook publishing
Better get started on that interactive novel...

Apple has revealed its latest app, iBooks Author, that aims to make creating ebooks as simple as pie.

As predicted, it's essentially GarageBand for ebooks, which should make it easier for publishers to format digital books as well as to add smooth interactive elements.

Using a template-based tool, iBooks Author rocks a clean layout with straight-forward drag and drop controls.

Easy peasy

The templates are customisable and there's the option to extend with HTML 5 as well as offering the ability to publish direct to the iBookstore, putting Apple in a position to rival Kindle Direct Publishing.

"If you've ever been involved in an ebook creation before, you know this is a total miracle," said Roger Rosner, Apple's VP of productivity apps, demoing the software.

Good news for aspiring authors without a publishing house footing the bill: the iBooks Author app is free and it's available today from the Mac App Store.

Also launched today is Apple's iBooks 2, which claims to have "reinvented the textbook".