I'm starting to write a book and I am considering to use the iBooks Author app since I tend to like Apple products. Through my research, I learned I can publish it into iBooks, export it for iBooks or in another format, which all seem valid options as, for example, I could also publish it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

But I also want to have the option to generate a formatted (or pre-formatted) version to send to a publisher to print, to possibly avoid the costs of formatting. Is this possible through iBooks?

Some contextual information:

Please notice that I'm a beginner in this area, so any advice is appreciated. I'm open to using different software too, if it meets the requirements. My current goal is to start simple, maybe with e-book and paperback versions.

I'm very skilled with learning to use software in general and somewhat creative with artwork, although I don't have plenty of time available to spend on over detailed formatting rules. Software that can help me with that is valid, even if it has a reasonable cost.

The book's humble goal is to raise hope and clarity about life for interested readers through inner reflections and the profits are to support a non-profit organization with the same goals.

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    Welcome to Writing.SE Ricardo and thanks for your question. Please check out our tour and help center. I added the tag book because it fits very well. And, guess what, we're also doing a tag promo this week for two tags, including book. We'd love to have you add your question to the promo. Check it out: writing.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1988/…
    – Cyn
    May 5, 2019 at 1:10
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    Did you notice support.apple.com/en-us/HT211136, where Apple says iBooks Author will no longer be updated, and it is no longer available to new users? Jul 30, 2020 at 22:15
  • Thanks for the update; so it seems like Apple now recommends you to use Pages, instead.
    – Ricardo
    Jul 31, 2020 at 0:00

2 Answers 2


iBooks Author creates e-books in EPUB for the Apple Store. But AFAIK (I haven't used it) you can export your iBooks Author e-book as a PDF.

POD (Print On Demand) companies like IngramSpark will take a PDF and convert it to print for you.

However, most authors will use apps like Vellum, InDesign or PressBooks to create their e-book and then upload the finished file in each applicable format for each store. Or they will upload the PDF (or Word file) to an aggregator like Draft2Digital and get them take the strain of each format for each store.

If you're publishing a book, you don't want to limit yourself to the Apple store. You want to be selling everywhere. How well iBooks Author converts to PDF and then onto every store format, I don't know. I wouldn't do it this way. But, you could do a small test file and try uploading the PDF to IngramSpark (or another POD company) and the Amazon store to see how well it converts to these formats.

But, as I say, I don't know any authors who do it that way around.

I wouldn't recommend sending files to a publisher to print. Why would you when POD is so readily available these days? To make non-POD viable, you'd need to print a good sized run and you could end up with a garage full of unsold books.

It also means that you can't change any of those books. You have to do future editions and reprint. With POD you can make changes to a print book on the fly.


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    @Ricardo I'm assuming from the way you worded your original question that when you say 'publisher' you mean a printing house that specialises in short print runs? I.e. you own the rights to your book, publish it in e-book format online, and pay the printing house to print out, for example, 500 copies of your paperback/hardback book? As opposed to a traditional publisher who would buy and own the rights to publish your book in multiple formats and take care of the digital and print publishing for you, paying you small royalties from sales? When you say 'publisher' you generally mean the latter.
    – GGx
    May 8, 2019 at 7:35
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    New authors have a choice to make. Either they submit their books to agents (or direct to small publishers) in the hope of getting a publishing deal that would include an advance on royalties and then a small royalty (less than 10%) for every book sold once the advance has been earned out. Or, they self-publish. Self-publishing again has choices. You can just upload an e-book and sell it online, or you can format it for print also, and use a POD service like Amazon's KDP or IngramSpark. Generally, non-fiction books need a print option because readers like hard copies on which to make notes.
    – GGx
    May 8, 2019 at 7:39
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    If you mean 'would a first time author use a' traditional 'publisher'? That very much depends on what you're wanting from your book. Advances from traditional publishers are very low. Royalties are very low. You don't traditionally publish with a view to making money as a first time author. But some writers enjoy the kudos of a traditional publishing deal, being able to say, 'My book is being published by Penguin Random House!' and choosing that kudos over money. If you're running a business that kudos can sometimes carry enough weight to justify the low earnings.
    – GGx
    May 8, 2019 at 7:42
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    But if you mean, would a first time, self-published author use a printing house? Well, then you need to weigh up costs. A short print run could work out less expensive than POD if you have guaranteed sales. So, if you know beyond any shadow of a doubt that you can sell 500 copies, the print run may be cheaper than print on demand. The only way you would know would be to do the maths. Work out what people are prepared to pay versus the cost of each type of printing service. BUT if you don't have guaranteed sales... and I mean GUARANTEED... it's generally considered unwise to do print runs.
    – GGx
    May 8, 2019 at 7:46
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    I know an author who did a short print run for a non-fiction book and ended up with a garage full of books she couldn't sell. Times changed, the information in those printed books quickly became outdated, and she was forced to destroy them when she wrote a second edition with more up-to-date information. She lost A LOT of money. She now does POD.
    – GGx
    May 8, 2019 at 7:49

This discussion may convey that it's not possible through Apple.

Then this article written in April 2018, by Rohi Shetty provides some insights:

You can use KDP Print (Beta) or Createspace for creating and distributing print books. Publishing a paperback can help you reach new readers. KDP prints your book on demand and subtracts your printing costs from your royalties. That means you don’t have to pay any costs upfront or carry any inventory. You can also order proofs and author (wholesale) copies of your paperbacks on KDP.


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