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How to Distribute Your iBooks Author E-Book outside the iBookstore

After you perfect the content and design of your e-book in iBooks Author, you want to have people read it, of course. You can distribute your e-book directly to readers or via the Apple iBookstore, the e-book portion of its iTunes Store. Apple lets you distribute your e-book outside the iBookstore only if you don’t charge money for it. The idea is to let teachers, students, nonprofits, governments, businesses, and anyone give away their e-books to readers for educational purposes.

The first step to sharing a free e-book outside the iBookstore is to export the e-book document (an .iba file) to a format that the iPad can read (an .ibooks file). Follow these steps:

  1. Choose File→Export.

    image0.jpg

    Alternatively, you can choose Share→Export. (File is the historic menu for exporting, but with the growth of social media and sharing services, Apple’s begun adding a Share menu to its content-creation apps. So you can export from either menu location.)

  2. Go to the iBooks pane in the settings sheet that appears.

  3. Click Next.

    The settings sheet changes to one in which you can name the exported file and choose its location (similar to how a typical application’s Save As dialog box works).

  4. Enter the filename in the Save As field and select the desired file location from navigation pane below it.

  5. Click Export to create the .ibooks file.

After you get the file in the proper format, the next step is to share that file with others. You can make that .ibooks file available in all sorts of ways — the same methods you can use to share any type of file:

  • As a download link from a website

  • As an e-mail attachment (if the size isn’t too big)

    You can e-mail an e-book directly from iBooks Author by choosing Share→Send via Mail→iBook for iPad

  • From an FTP server

  • Via CD or DVD

If recipients get the .ibooks file on a Mac or Windows PC, they simply need to drag the file onto the Library section of the Sidebar in iTunes or load it into iTunes by choosing File→Add to Library or pressing Command+O. When the iPad syncs to the computer, the e-book is transferred to the iPad and is available in the iBooks app like any other e-book. If the e-book still doesn’t appear in iBooks, follow these steps:

  1. Open iTunes.

  2. Select the iPad in the Devices section of the iTunes Sidebar.

  3. Go to the Books pane.

  4. If it’s not already selected, select the Sync Books option.

  5. Select the All Books option.

    Alternatively, if the Selected Books check box is selected, select the name of the new e-book in the list of books displayed in the Book pane.

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