Thursday, February 2, 2012

Lithuanian developer Jumsoft brings the first third party templates for iBooks Author to the Mac App Store

There was a bit of excitement this morning when word spread, via some tech sites, that a Lithuanian company – Jumsoft – had released some templates for iBooks Author and that the app could be downloaded from the Mac App Store. Unfortunately, the app was not showing up in the store, despite the fact that the company was promoting their new app, Book Palette, on their website.
But finally this afternoon the app made its official appearance in the Mac App Store, and as you can see, I was able to download it and start to play around with it.

The fact that Apple will allow for third party templates is a very, very good thing. In fact, I can hardly tell you how excited I am about this. You see one had to wonder whether Apple would allow developers to start to play around with iBooks Author. The fact that they will means that iBooks Author has a real chance to be the game changing book publishing solution we hope it will be.

"We were really excited when the news about iBooks Author first appeared," Algirdas Unguvaitis, general manager of Jumsoft, said in this company's announcement for Book Palette. "The announcement came late at night, European time, and we already had all of the key ideas for Book Palette by the next morning. I really hope that users of iBooks Author will appreciate the beautiful extra design options that Book Palette offers, and I can't wait to start expanding the current template range."

The app costs $2.99 (Mac App Store link here) and it provides users with ten new book templates. Better yet, Jumsoft uses the language "first version", meaning that they may well update the app to add more templates – at least we hope so.
Like iBooks Author itself, Book Palette is very easy to use. One simply opens the app and clicks on a template. That template is then opened in iBooks Author and off you go creating your book.

The big advantage Blogger and WordPress have is their templates, or themes. Often these templates are free, sometimes they are "premium" templates and will cost you a few bucks to download. iBooks Author comes with a few themes, but the promise of additional themes means that authors who are not that great at graphics and access the work of designers to create better looking books than they would normally.

Now, Apple, when can we expect an iBooks Author for magazines? Bring it on.