Apple just came out with a neat app for the Mac today named iBooks Author. It does exactly what its title suggests, and that is to help you put together books for the iOS iBooks app. It's neat and it's free! And in a way, it feels like Keynote and Pages just had a kid.
A lot of people (including myself) were hoping Apple would come out with an ePub authoring tool today. The hope was there would finally be a usable tool for authoring and generating ePub files. Those ePub files could be uploaded to Apple's iBook Store, Amazon Kindle, or even your own store for sale. Or even make them downloadable off your website for free. Read them on your Kindle, iPad, iPhone, etc.
Random Thought #1:
I guess when I see it laid out like that, it's obvious why iBooks Author has the restrictions it does. Why make a tool which could then be used to make great products to be used on competitor's platforms?
Random Thought #2:
Apple releasing iBooks Author makes it easier for indie devs to jump into the arena now. Apple has shown us what their vision is, and if you don't like it- tough. You can use another app.
And that means indie devs can now make that app without being worried that Apple will pull the rug out from under them. (And believe me- the indie guys who would like to do this frequently worry about such things).
Random Thought #3:
It's not scriptable in any meaningful way. If you want to drive it with AppleScript to make your iBook, you're out of luck.
Bonus Crazy Thought:
I really hope Xcode doesn't ship with the same restrictions some day. "Binaries created through Xcode can only be sold through the App Store, and you can't charge more than $15.99".
I don't see it happening, but at the same time such a move wouldn't surprise me. They wrote Xcode after all, it's free, and Apple can do what it wants with it. Go somewhere else if you don't agree.