Writing books for iPad's iBook application

I've been eyeing methods for publishing books online. It seems that the new media landscape has opened up the possibility to cut out the middlemen of publishing, the traditional book publishers, and sell/interact more directly with your audience. There are several services for selling electronic books, one of which is the iBook app on the iPad (and iPhone). While it's not as popular as the Kindle, Apple's book marketplace is pretty large with plenty of books from plenty of publishers. Oh, and from small time writers like me.

A Macworld article (linked below) went over some software required to publish books into the iBook market. It turns out the same toolchain will more-or-less also work with most of the other electronic book markets like the Kindle, Nook, and Google Books. The market seems to rely on the e-Pub format which in turn seems geared to producing works with the same functionality as paper books, and may not be a format for embracing the brave new world offered by HTML5+Javascript as discussed in my earlier blog post (see: The Baker electronic book publishing format, HTML5 books for ipad etc). But where these electronic book market places may not be flashy and exciting HTML5, they are a large and growing place to sell books.

Storyist and Scrivener are listed as two Mac applications (neither of which are in the Mac App Store) for writing books, and that both have recently added the feature to export to e-Pub format. Saving to e-Pub format is said to be as simple as saving to PDF format. It's an 'File/Export' menu choice and away you go. Sounds real simple.

The same article discussed Calibre eBook as inscrutible open source software.

A novel concept: Roll your own iBooks with ePub