iBooks Author Widgets on Mavericks Desktop

ibooks mavericks desktop

I’ve been anxiously awaiting the chance to see if iBooks Author (iBA) widgets would make it to the desktop in the new Mavericks version of iBooks. I’m pleased to report that all the iBA – created widgets run perfectly. Plus, viewing an iBook on 27” Thunderbolt display is awesome.

iBA presented a great vehicle for re-envisioning the textbook, but I was never happy with some of it’s features – multiple choice questions and note cards are so old school. When designing my Homefront iBook series, I looked for ways to feature more student interaction with the material. Nonetheless, working in multiple apps on the iPad is challenging.

But with the new Mavericks desktop version, readers will be able to interact with an iBook and simultaneously use other desktop apps to greatly enhance the learning experience. Desktop iBooks easily shares text material via email and social media. You can copy and paste text from an iBook to another app. While you cannot copy / paste an image, I included hyperlinks to all the images I used in my Homefront series so that readers could use digital images to curate their own collections or as part of a design project in another desktop app.

Bottom line – with more screen “real estate” than the iPad and easier use of multiple apps, the desktop version of iBooks provides exciting new opportunities for innovative projects designed using iBooks Author.

Here’s a short video to demonstrate iBA widgets on the desktop.

8 Replies to “iBooks Author Widgets on Mavericks Desktop”

  1. Peter,
    I admire your dedication and tenacity in finding solutions to problems to overcome in iBook authoring!. Because of time constrains I have not progressed to the pre-flight editing stage.
    I contacted a few entities that advertise their e-book editing services. I just wasted my time in trying to send them my book files to evaluate. Often they don’t know the difference between an eBook and an iBook!. I am now planning to convert my draft into the newest format of iBooks to be able to be used in iPad Air, and other devices using iO7. Your suggestions will be deeply appreciated. Thank you, Rolando

  2. Hi Peter,

    I stumbled across your blog while searching for other authors who have written about their experiences with iBooks Author. I just published my first ebook with this application and was thinking about writing about my experience on my blog.

    Anyway, I’m impressed with all the posts you’ve written with various tips and solutions to iBA problems. I’m glad to hear that iBA books/widgets work on the desktop running Mavericks. I’ve not checked my book on my Mac since I’ve not yet updated to Mavericks; so that is good news.

    I had a very good experience with iBA—but I watched tutorials on lynda.com (free through my university affiliation) first and did a lot of reading online about problems other authors encountered during the publishing/upload process. I was concerned because I had a lot of videos, widgets, and keynote interactives in my book. In the end, however, I had no errors or other issues, and the book went live after about a 2 week review.

    Thanks for posting about your experiences and insights.


    1. Hi Karen,
      Thanks for taking the time to comment. I think blogging about your experience with iBA is a great idea. From the time the software first appeared, I’ve been documenting what I’ve learned and what I didn’t know. It’s brought me in contact with many others – and we’ve exchanged information helping each other learn. I’ve always believed that learning is a social experience.
      BTW -I’ve collected lots of how-to reference material over at ScoopIt. Publishing with iBooks Author Might be of use to you.

  3. Hi, Peter,
    I am working on an iBook featuring sculpture of a little known, 20th Century American Art Deco architectural sculptor, Lee Lawrie. This book is my first, and I have been working on it for about the past six months, incrementally learning iBA as I go along. I read the O’Reilly book on publishing with iBA, and poured over Apple’s iBA forums, but am having trouble with a single issue; I am using one of the basic templates, the Photo Book. The problem is that some of the images I have dragged and dropped–mostly on either new chapter pages, or added pages where the option is a half-page photo and single column of text, is that when I view the book, some images ARE scalable, but others are not. And I am using the term “scalable” to mean “enlarge-able”. These are identifiable by the cursor turning into the little hand icon, allowing you to pop the images out to full size.

    I have resized the all of the photos used down from an original large size down to a max width of 2048, which I understand is the max that you are supposed to be able to use, (as I recall). My Gallery Widgets all work fine and “pop out” to full size, but only some of the “non-gallery” photos do, and I cannot discern what I did that makes some work, and others not.

    None of the info I have been able to find, regarding editing the masks, seems to address what determines whether non-gallery images can be tapped to enlarge.

    I could easily put a copy of the book into a DropBox folder if you have the time or inclination to help me with this.

    That said, I too like your dedication to this. I can’t for the life of me understand WHY in the WORLD they have NOT changed the flow-text deal to allow a user to insert a page. This is such a major “pain in the Mac” that we have to resort to workarounds such as you have described to insert pages.
    Best regards,

  4. Working for a book publisher, we have clients that require a lot of personalization to meet their branding guidelines. I have found the basics on the widgets in ibook author. But what Im finding unusual is, I can’t find anywhere the detailed info. Maybe ibook author is too basic. But what if i want to to change the shape of a movie widget? My client wants the movie widget to be a circle on the page and then pop up to play. You can’t change the shape of the movie widget nor can you paste inside or mask into a circle. And the interactive widget doest have the ability to change any of the text boxes or points. you can’t really change the color of the outline of the box, change the color of the background of the box, or add points to one of the boxes, change the line color or ending point, to like maybe an arrow point. What am I missing? Is there a way to get more design or personalization to the widgets? Has apple not thought of this yet? Im sure it is something that is something that designers and publishers would like to have.
    Any tips?

    1. Hi Carol,
      I think you hit on the answer “Maybe ibook author is too basic.” That may be corrected by version 2.2 which allows you to import Adobe InDesign IDML files. And perhaps there’s a hack possible with the new 2.2 “auto-play for media widget” that would give some flexibility? I haven’t figured one out yet.
      Sorry I don’t have any great workarounds.

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