It's very straightforward. All you have to do is put the iBook file in your public Dropbox so it has a web link, or upload it to a service like YouSendit, which also creates a web link. When anyone opens that link on an iPad, Safari will automatically notice that the link points to an iBook file, and will automatically generate the dialog box I mentioned. You don't have to do anything special at all, just put the file somewhere that is accessible via a web link. It's really that simple.
I tried your suggestion going to the Dropbox website in Safari rather than the Dropbox app to open an iBook someone created for a student. I clicked on the file to download it. My options were to open in Goodreader, which I don't want to do or to Open in ... When I clicked this link, no further options were available and nothing happened. I also tried moving the file into the public folder. Tried to copy the public link. Wouldn't work, so I shortened it and manually typed it in Safari. This brought me to the same place as above.
We can't do this via iTunes, because we don't want the iPad syncing to a different computer, and it will not work to pick up the iPad and bring it to the computer it originally synced to. Need to find a way to make Dropbox work.
Any suggestions gratefully accepted.
You can distribute xxxx.ibooks exported book files using Dropbox, Box or virtually any cloud storage type - providing your friends and family have the same installed, as all give a free version, there should be no problems.
Dropbox as an option to open in iBooks for the receiver to use on the iPad or Mac.
I've tried the cloud storage option - but it is still an extra (and in my humble opinion, an unnecessary) step.
I am looking for a direct solution. For example, when i go to a couple of eBook sites and open them in my iPad - Safari gives me the option to "open in iBooks". And the linked ePub file opens in the iBooks app and begins to download there.
Why can't a similar thing be done for .ibook files? And is there a site which allows for that to happen?
Its simple really, the internet books publishers are dealing with ePubs and although iBooks Author creates "books", its better to think that its an "app". While all the different publishers modify the basic ePub as we think about it, to suit their own storage, distribution by download etc,. most seem to understand that and accept it.
Apple does the same thing really with iBooks Author.. which was designed solely with one purpose.. allow anybody with the equipment and time, to make books for publication only to the iBooks store and viewable only on iPads - and now Mac computers with Mavericks installed.
So although you dont like the idea... distribution by "cloud" ie Dropbox etc,. allows anybody to send a ibook file direct to an iPad where it can be opened in the iBooks app.
Basically if its your choice to use Apple free software to make a book... then you have to accept the ifs and hows available to you and plan around it, What other book suppliers do with their products... they cannot do with ibooks.
I accept and agree with most of what you said about the apple ecosystem - and i have been on its platform for 15 years. So, the purpose of making a book on a mac exclusively for iPads is fully met and understood.
I am simply identifying two pain points - which does not seem to have a plausible answer (preferably technical):
a) If safari on iPad can open a page that gives the user the options of "Open with..." or "Open in iBooks" (when it detects an ePub file) - why is the same not possible with a .ibook extension that is to be circulated for free. (I believe that it should technically be possible - and am seeking a response on that.)
b) If the above is actually possible - then is there a site which allows you to do it.
Also, vinnyvg - it is absolutely possible to do, without using any cloud service. It is a function of changing some server side MIME functions. The only issue is with file sizes.
So, safari DOES allow you to open an iBook - like it does an ePub by giving you the "open in iBook" option directly on the iPad from a host. It does not work/ fails if the file sizes are large (need to check on that aspect - and whether it has to do with Safari or something else in the iPad settings).
Hope this helps.
Also, vinnyvg - it is absolutely possible to do, without using any cloud service. It is a function of changing some server side MIME functions.
Fine, but very few have hosting services and access to servers or the technical knowledge.
Dropbox is a very, very simple method to transport a xxxxx .ibooks exported file to view on iPads direct from Dropbox into the iBooks app - ditto Macs.
Obviously if you have a method works or can be made to work for you, your problem is solved.