If I started giving my iBooks away from my site, someone might find an interest in my work and decide they wanted to hire me to make an iBook of some personal event in their life. The moment I sold the book through my web site download, I would break Apple's EULA agreement.
Why would you sell the new book through your website, rather than through the iBookstore? Only iPad owners would be able to read the new iBook, so there is no good reason not to sell it through Apple (except for the 30% they take, but that's the cost of getting to use iBooks Author).
I think MeCourious's thinking that the person who hires him to make the book won't want his personal stuff available for the general public to buy.
He (or she) is mistaken though, if someone hires him to make a book he's not selling a book that he's made, he's selling his services. That would be fine and not a breach of the EULA. Actual textbooks are not written by just one person, and the people who write the content rarely have the time or inclination to make the book. They hire people to do it.
I have no objections to selling the book through the iBook Store. In fact, I prefer it that way. But the current setup of the store shows all books to all people interested in that book. If you made a book around your child's first day in school or their first birthday, would you want someone on the other side of the world viewing it? I wouldn't.
All I'm asking is we have a super simple way to spread our books to whomever we want. If it's ten people, we got that. If it's the whole world, we got that. No jumping to web sites or figuring out Dropbox files or copying to DVDs or any of the other work arounds. Just Apple doing it's usual "It just works" magic on this little problem
There's more to it than that. To sell books in their store you also have to get an ISBN, which costs money. If you wanted to sell books to just a few people, like your family, you would still have to spend the $100 odd for the ISBN, which would be a bit ridiculous.
[Edit: looks like I was wrong there, you don't need an ISBN for a free book if you have a free book agreement with Apple]
You are basically wanting Apple to provide free software (which they have), and a free platform for you to distribute what you make in that free software (which they have, at least it's free if the books are), and then you're not satisfied with that, you want to be able to customise the platform so you can direct your books to just a few people. I don't think it's likely to happen - Apple are in business to make money, and I can't see a lot to be made like that, even if you did charge for the book.
I am making an iBook version of a class lab book right now, that I want to be able to distribute to just 30-odd students (actually not even that many, they don't all have iPads) and yes it would be great to be able to do it in the iBook store, but I can see that it's not going to happen, and I don't expect it to. It's enough to have the ability to make the book with video etc, I can figure out how to distribute it.
Now if only the thing would stop behaving erratically, I'd be happy.
I understand your point. But don't forget the real purpose of iBooks Author. Apple wants to sell more iPads. That will happen if more people use iBooks Author because it will spur people to buy iPads to see these new personal books. Anything Apple can do to make this easy will help them achieve their goal in the long run.
Plus, not everyone is tech savy like us. We depend on Apple to take the complexity out of the things we want to do.
Apple will make a profit. Not all iBooks will go to a small group. There will be plenty of 30% cuts to support the process. I was just trying to help them see how they could make the format more popular and eventually sell More iPads.
Here is the simplest way I have found so far to give someone an iNook.
1. Use "Export" function under drop down list for file.
2. Save the file as an iBook somewhere on your desktop or laptop computer.
3. Insert a blank DVD in your laptop or desktop computer.
4. When DVD asks for a file to burn to DVD, point it to your new exported IBook.
5. After burning the disk, give it to the person you want to have the book.
6. The person needing the book should insert the DVD into their desktop or lap top computer.
7. They start up iTunes and connect their iPad to iTunes.
8. They select "File" drop down menu and choose "Add to Library. ..".
9. They point their system to the Ibook file on the DVD file.
10. iTunes will add the book to iTunes.
11. After it has been added to iTunes, they choose Books on iTunes and select that book to send to iPad.
12. iTunes loads book to iPad.
You can replace the DVD steps with Dropbox if that is available.
I know it's a lot of steps but it's worth it. The book looks beautiful and the person receiving it is very happy.
If you're sending a web link, there really is no need to have the person download it to their Mac and sync it in iTunes -- they should be able to go to the link on their iPad in Safari, which will then put up a dialog box asking if they want to open the file in iBooks. If they answer yes, the book will be copied to their iBooks "shelf". This is a solution that I have tested directly, and it works great.
In other words, you should be able to email a link to someone, and all the recipient will have to do is click the link in the email on their iPad, and then click one button when it comes up in Safari. Easy peasy.
Tulse, that's a great suggestion. But unfortunately you assume
Everyone knows how to set up a web site with a download button attached. For those who do, your solution will work. But for others who know nothing about web sites, the Dropbox and DVD solution will work. So, we have combined to give multiple solutions to the same problem. A win. Win situation.