Apple’s new iBooks Author application for Mac is an impressive piece of work, even more so when you consider that it costs nothing. Although easy to use compared to many other page layout apps, it’s still quite a lengthy and complicated process to produce a book with it. It’s also squarely aimed at the education market. It was designed for the creation of textbooks.
So what if you want to make a shorter, simpler ebook? What if your kids want to make one? iBooks Author, for all its benefits, would probably be overkill. Enter, stage right, Book Creator for iOS. This five-dollar app lets you create simple ebooks on your iPad with very little fuss.
Finished books can be exported to the same iPad’s copy of iBooks for instant reading, or published to the iBooks store, or sent to any other service or device that supports the ePub format (which is most of them, except Kindle).
Making a book is a little like creating a presentation in Keynote. You start with the front cover and add pages as you go along. On each page, you can place text, images, or embed sound clippings (the app includes its own audio recorder, but also lets you import audio from your iPad’s iTunes library).
As you’d expect, everything’s very customizable, so you can set up pages, fonts and colors to look just the way you want them.
It’s not very advanced, but it doesn’t need to be. It does the job perfectly well enough for most of us.
That said, it’s best suited to short books combining text and images. If you already have a very long written text that you’d like to convert, Book Creator might not be the best choice because you’ll have to paste your text in one page at a time. There’s no simple way of importing large amounts of text.
But it’s ideal for school projects, photo books for sharing with family, short stories, or any collection of notes or rants you might want to share with the rest of the world. A decent app at a decent price. Recommended.