iBooks Author Tips and Tricks [Repost]

Posted by Andrew on July 24, 2013

Reposted from here

Change hyperlink color:

There are many predefined styles with each template, and they are modifiable. Hyperlink color is one of those 'styles'. Follow this process to change: • In your document/book, select a word/text - any word will do. • Color/style it as you'd like your hyperlinks to appear. • Enable Styles Drawer from the View menu. • Locate/select the Hyperlink style in the drawer and right/cntrl-click to select. • Choose - 'Redefine Style from Selection - in the pop-up menu.


Hyperlink two words/text:

Highlight the target word, use the Insert>Bookmark menu, define the target under Bookmarks in the Inspector, then go to the word you want to link from and configure it as a hyperlink in the Inspector.

Insert Bookmark ...is dimmed when the word has already been bookmarked ...is also dimmed when trying to bookmark text in a table ...is also dimmed when trying to bookmark a chapter title ...is also dimmed when selecting a text block ...is also dimmed when selecting an image, image title or image caption ...others include lists, chapter introductions, default latin placeholder text.... There may be other examples, but the thrust is to only use normal text, not an element. To see what the element is, view the 'Styles' drawer with it selected. Bookmarks can only be made on body text on Chapter and Section pages, not in text boxes you create on blank pages.

For the question "How do I make a link back to where they came from?", you don't need to do that - remember if the user taps on the bookmark icon top right in iBook, they will be able to choose the 'Recently Viewed' page they visited before they tapped on a hyperlink. Otherwise, if you want to do the work, you need to create another bookmark/link pair to go back. A→B & B→A.


Basic starting interface...child's book, example:

Crafting a chapter-less book is possible, but a minimum of one section is required. Remove the chapter label, leave the TOC blank and you'll then have a basic/generic point from which to work with. Use the 'File/Save As Template' menu before modifying further if you want to reuse later, etc. -=- How do I clone/copy an existing book for reuse to make another? Don't duplicate an actual iBA book or template in the Finder, or save a book under a different name - this keeps hooks/flags to the original that can cause issues later. Note that using the menu 'Duplicate' will just make another copy/version of the same book, with the same identification, so don't use it either. Issues include same cover on different books and/or deletion of one book by another when updating on your iPad.

Instead, make an iBA template from the first book - save the source book via 'File/Save As Template...' to 'My Templates', and then use it as the genesis for other books, saving with a new name as a fresh new book.

-=- Distribution:

Even if you don’t submit your book to the iBookstore/App Store, you can still export a book that you can distribute yourself.

-=- How to make the cover image remain visible after the user opens the book...

You can have your cover appear first and stay on the screen until the user swipes to the first chapter using these steps:

Make a 'Title Page' (cover) in iBA Use the Edit menu to Select all, then copy Open Preview (the OS X application) Use the menu for 'New from Clipboard...' Name & save as .png Using the 'Tools/Adjust Size...' menu, resize to 10" height, as an example, and save again Go to 'Intro Media' in iBA Drag/drop the .png file to the Intro Media icon Save your book Preview on iPad Note your 'cover' will also appear first in the TOC.

Also, 'Cover Art' added to iTunes Producer is for the store. When publishing directly from iBA, your title page will be used, but if you want something different, drop that image to the Cover Art well, instead.

-=- How-to Read Aloud?

See these threads: • https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3866536?tstart=0https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3780674?tstart=0 If you have paid developer access, see this thread: Re: iBook Creation (Activating Read Aloud function) ...and session #507 from WWDC 2011: https://developer.apple.com/videos/wwdc/2011/?id=507


Can I use the word 'iBook'?

Apple has trademarked the word iBook. Using it in your book or your book's meta data can cause a rejection during review. Search for ibook to be sure you haven't used it anywhere before submitting.


Is it in the store? Remember, your iBA book is iPad-only - don't use an iPhone to check the store to see if your book is available...you won't see it. Use an iPad or your computer to check the store instead.


How to update my book?


...if your change involves screenshots, Apple requests to contact them.


Questions/Issues when applying for an account:


Cover Background Change...

Click on Book Title, unlock it, delete. Select a square graphic, turn 'Object causes wrap' off. Make the square any color you like. Enlarge it to cover the page. Send to back. Lock it down.


How do I change the page background color?

Add your own image as a background or place a shape and size & color accordingly. Be sure to use the pop-menu and move to back as needed.


Working with images...

Optimizing performance in your iBooks Author books [ support.apple.com/kb/HT5117 ]

Use JPG for opaque raster images and PNG for transparent raster images whenever possible. Resize, crop, and rotate images to the desired size and rotation before importing them into iBooks Author. Use an sRGB color profile in your images to improve size and processing time. If you need to use high-resolution images in your book, wait to add them until your book is near completion.

JPEG is typically used for photographic-style images, and will generally compress better than PNG for those. Most JPEG creation software will let you control the compression ratio so that you can trade off file size for quality. PNG typically works better for line art and other images that have lots of same-color areas. Its a lossless format, so there is no control over the compression ratio but you can be certain that what you put in is what you get back out. PNG also supports transparency while JPEG does not.

You will have to find a balance between formats for the images you have. There is no need to have them all in one format or the other, so the suggestion is to make choices on an image by image basis. And as always, test on a device to confirm your workflow.


Why won't my pictures show in Portrait orientation?

Remember to layout in Landscape and edit content in Portrait.

  • Note that images must have at least a title or caption to be displayed in Portrait as well as Landscape. Use Landscape mode...select the image...then use the Widget Inspector ~Layout ~ Title/Caption (Accessibility Inspector).

Adjust positioning/rotation of images in portrait mode by dragging and/or setting coordinates/degrees in the Metrics Inspector. Preview on iPad to confirm all attributes. Try different templates to see various options that may be available for your layout needs.


How do I accomplish 'full screen' images?



How to link an image?

iBA doesn't offer that ability directly, sorry.

The option is to bracket/straddle the image with text and link, or link to text and then put the image in front.

-=- Can I do drop caps w/iBA?

Put your Drop Cap character in a separate Text Box, using a larger font size, positioned accordingly - if you need to wrap additional text, consider using an image for your drop cap and wrapping against it.


How can I add a 'Credits' page?

Use 'Insert/Chapter/Preface' after your last page and name it Credits. Use the Page Numbering user tip to continue with normal page numbers.


How do I link to my book(s) in the store?

Use: http://itunes.apple.com/linkmaker/ - this site will generate a link with a button based which book, app, song, podcast etc. you search for in the store.


Adding a movie or an audio file:

iBooks Author: Add a movie or an audio file


Adding YouTube videos...



Converting GarageBand mp3 audio files for use w/iBooks Author:

Locate your mp3 podcast in the Finder and drag it into QuickTime Player - when the audio file opens in QTP, use the File/Export menu and save where you can find. The export will convert the audio podcast into the mp4a format required by iBooks Author and iOS. This file can then be dragged into the media box provided by a (Media) Widget.


What about DashCode Widgets?

iBooks Author: About HTML widget creation


How do I get the page turn animation and 'spine' effect I've seen in other (iPhone/iPad) books?

If you use Pages, as an example, and create a (industry) standard epub, you'll have the page turn animation built in. iBooks Author outputs a 'hybrid' epub with scroll/swipe navigation by default only and as a result, page turn animation is not available.


A quick word about testing your book(s)...

iBA's 'Preview' is just that. It doesn't provide a 100% true experience of how your book works in the same way your readers will. One example is that when previewing, your book will open to the 'selected' page in iBooks Author while editing. This isn't what happens when viewing the .ibooks version, which always opens to the start on first use.

Be sure to also Share/Export to an .ibooks file, then load into iTunes, then sync to your iPad to insure you know with confidence how it will perform for your users.

-=- How to use HTML5 localStorage?



Using Wikipedia Images:

See this thread...


Top ways to face issues during review:

  • Use of the word 'ibook' is prohibited as it is trademarked by Apple.
  • Pricing references to the cost of your book are prohibited.


How do I remove a book from the iBookstore? There are several options to remove a book from one or more territories.

Admin or Technical iTunes Connect users can: Redeliver the same book via iTunes Producer. Open the iTunes Store Package with the book, go to Territory Rights, and uncheck the Cleared For Sale checkbox for the desired country. Or, locate your book in Manage Your Books and click Edit Rights & Pricing. Then, click Edit for the territory you want to change, and select No in the Cleared For Sale field.



While there is no formal bug reporting method similar to what devs have w/apps, iBA does have a 'Provide iBooks Author Feedback' menu item.


ISBN-13: Any book with a 'paid' account requires an ISBN, regardless of how you price it. Any book under the 'free' account does not need an ISBN and cannot be 'sold'. -=-

How to sign up for a paid books account if you are not a US citizen:

See this FAQ.

You will need an EIN from the IRS/US Govt., which you can obtain over the phone. If you attempt to publish as a company with Apple, you will be expected to show proof. Scan the relevant documents and send to Apple per their instructions.


Skills: - Patience...tons of it - Imagination - Marketing, especially if you intend to put paid books in the store


Helpful links:

• Apple Book Development Forums https://devforums.apple.com/community/ibooks (requires developer account/login)

iBooks Author: Publishing and distribution FAQ - Support

iBooks Author: Add video to your iBooks - Support - Apple

iBooks Author: Best practices for using 3D models - Support - Apple

iBooks: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

• Search Apple.com for iBooks Author notes...