How to Add a Video, Audio, or Image Intro to Your eBook

By Galen Gruman

Normally, when a reader on the iPad opens an iBooks Author e-book for the first time, the table of contents appears. But you can have a video or audio file play or an image appear first.

To do so, click the Intro Media button in the Book panel and then drag a compatible video, audio, or image file from a folder or disk in the Finder onto the Drop Movie or Image Here area in iBooks Author.


Any of the following file types are accepted by iBooks Author:

  • Bitmap images: Used for photos, screenshots, and other images composed of pixels — GIF, JPEG, Photoshop (.psd), PICT, PNG, RAW, TIFF, and Windows bitmap (.bmp).

  • Vector graphics: Typically used for drawings — Adobe Illustrator (.ai) and PDF.

Any graphics in imported Word and Pages files are retained and treated as inline objects in your text flow. But graphics in pasted or dragged-in text aren’t retained.

If you use a video or audio file as the e-book’s intro, the table of contents appears after the playback has completed. If you use an image, the reader has to advance manually to the table of contents on the iPad. The reader can also manually advance to the table of contents when a video or audio file is playing back, which stops the playback. The method depends on whether the e-book is displayed on the iPad in portrait or landscape mode:

  • Landscape: Tap the iPad’s screen. You then have three options to advance:

    • Tap the right-arrow button at the bottom-left of the screen.

    • Swipe to the right over the two dots at the bottom-center of the screen.

    • Swipe to the left on the center of the screen. (Reverse the swipe to go back to the intro).

  • Portrait: Tap the iPad’s screen. A Close box appears at the upper-left corner of the image or video; tap it to close the image or video and go to the table of contents. You can’t stop an audio file this way, however; only in landscape orientation can you interrupt the audio intro to go to the table of contents.