From Talking New Media:
The Apple eBook publishing platform iBooks Author has had its critics since its first launch, but it has also its fans. Those who work with the platform like it for the same reasons many like working with other Apple apps: it is easy to learn and consistent with other Apple programs such as Pages.
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While iBA may be easy to work with, creating a truly stunning eBook for the iPad and Mac is still a matter of the publisher’s design skills. Many of the early eBooks released looked very much like the early templates Apple supplied with the program itself. To help novice designers out, a few developers launched template apps for iBA – some free, some costing $9.99 or more.
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Are these template programs worth buying? It really all depends on your skill level as a designer, and how comfortable one feels customizing a template. The real value of these apps is for getting ideas that you can apply yourself, rather than finding a perfect template that requires no customization.
There are a couple of free template apps, which you might want to check out first before paying for others.
Templates for iBooks Author Free was just updated this month, adding 30 new templates. But all the themes here are in portrait, and a link inside the program takes you to Themes for iBooks Author, which was also recently updated, but costs $19.99, the most expensive add-on out there.
Another, Designs for iBooks Author, has not been updated since 2013.
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One thing one notices right away is that the artwork in these templates is often gorgeous – far better than the artwork many novice designers end up using. So once one deletes the placeholder graphic with the one that will be used the look of the eBook suddenly declines. The lesson is obvious: make sure you have good, high resolution artwork.
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But when examining these template apps one sees a sameness to the templates. These apps, it appears, are all designed by one hand, rather than multiple designers. That means the variation between themes is minimal, a good reason to make sure you look at all the template apps and their screenshots rather than just one or two.
In the end, the two most important things about working with iBooks Author is feeling comfortable customizing templates yourself, and
Link to the rest at Talking New Media