I think the most important limitation of iBooks Author for your purpose is that the result can only be read on an iPad (plus OS X 10.9 when that is released this fall). So if you want a wider readership, you need to use the .epub format, and the Apple app for that is Pages.
I wrote a reply but then clicked on reply to original post and it vanished. Ugh. Ok. Here we go again.
This is just for iBook (iPads).
There's no animation, just a link to one youtube video (I don't own rights to the video)
Parts are the sections of the novel: Part 1 - Chapters 1-9, Part 2- Chapters 10-13, Part 3- Chapters 14-16. It's 828 9x6 pages (Createspace-Amazon.com) paperback. Originally when I realized how long the story was going to be I wanted it to be in 3 volumes Pocketbook size so I created 3 Parts to be the 3 volumes.
But you can't add or insert a Part, at least not in the Classic Text Portrait template. Anything you add is a Chapter, section or page.
I looked at how a Atlantis (for PC's) wordpressor .epub file is displayed in iBook (on my iPad 3) and it looks ok. So I'm probably going to go with that unless I feel like spending the $20 for Pages to run on my 2009 used Macbook I just bought (upgraded OS to 10.6).
I just have to get the list of characters in the back of the book formatted right. the conversion from MS Word doc to .epub loses the proper column alignment created by using the tab key (name, title-description, nickname)
Parts are the sections of the novel
I think you either need to use an epub authoring tool that allows such flexibility or give in and follow iBA's chapter/section/page convention.
As for Word to iBA, that process has always been less than a button-push. I find it easier in many examples to work out a recipe, and then rework on the Word side to reduce fooling with layout and styles, etc, on the iBA side.
LibreOffice is free and has quite a bit to offer for epub work. Requires a small additional plug-in, but you may find it helps without spending on Pages. Check to see if your computer/OS is supported.
What is the plug-in it requires?
The Atlantis program .epub file looks ok in iBook except that the images do not display centered in iBook. They are off to the right and the right edge is cut off. I can't seem to format it in any manner in Atlantis so that iBook will display the images centered in the page.
I'll probably end up spending the $20 on Pages. My only other problem with doing that is that I bought the MacBook (2009 model refurb) used at Micro Computer and there seems to be something wrong with the enter or return key. Sometimes it sends the cursor somewhere else in the text instead of just going to the next line. So it can be a little frustrating although I probably don't have to actually type anything new, just copy and paste.
Well... I downloaded LibreOffice and Writer2ePub and openned my Atlantis doc in it and converted to epub file. The good news is it didn't cost a dime.
The bad news is one image is now tiny which is odd because it was 600 dpi so I would think it could be displayed larger, not smaller but maybe the epub conversion downsizes a higher res image (some are 300dpi).
The cover image shows up in iBook as a wide and short image. The cover itself is tiny and then it just fills in black for the rest of the screen width. I used a large, high res image.
Then there was something with the TOC. It created a good TOC but then there's another page with a none hypertext version and a big rectangle error message and the TOC only shows about half of the chapters.
There was some advice on the internet about centering images in iBook. It seems that iBook doesn't recognize text justification coded in a document. So you have to embed another element on the same line as the image (html stuff) and give it a center alignment tag. I haven't done any html ebook stuff so I may not be explaining that the best way possible.
So, I'm going to take another look at my iBook Author version and see if I can live with that. If not I'll probably try Pages although I don't know what other problems I'll run into. Fun, fun, fun
If a standard text novel, then use Pages. Export as an ePub that can be read using the iBooks app on iPad and iPhone. (that's the one with the page curl effect). The book still gives readers the ability to highlight, add notes and use the in-built dictionary. If you want more functionality, then look at iBooks Author.