Building a London Travel Guide with iBooks Author

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Learn how to read and write books for iBookstore, by fully utilizing Apple iBooks and iBooks Author with this book and ebook.

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by Zeeshan Chawdhary | April 2013 | Enterprise Articles

This article by Zeeshan Chawdhary, author of Instant Apple iBooks How-to, helps us create a full working book with iBooks Author titled London CityGuide. This will incorporate all the widgets and functions available within iBooks Author as well as a case study for layout/design.

The content will be travel-specific for London, sourced from www.WikiTravel.org, Wikipedia, and other open sources. Images will be from Creative Commons wherever possible, or free to use, depending on licenses from original owners.

The finished book is available for download via the iTunes store at https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/london/id593298852?ls=1.

(For more resources related to this topic, see here.)

How to do it...

  1. Building the front page:

    i. Open iBooks Author and select the Editorial template. We will replace the placeholder image on the first page with an image of Tower Bridge from http://wikitravel.org/en/File:Tower_bridge_ London_Twilight_-_November_2006.jpg.

    ii. Add the Tower Bridge image to your iPhoto library and then the image will be available for use within iBooks Author.

    iii. Within iBooks Author, now you can drag this image to the placeholder image on the first page to make your page look like the following:

    iv. Replace the dummy text on the introduction page with a generic description of London from WikiTravel. You may need to remove/edit some text to accommodate the spacing and layout; we have used the text "Noisy, vibrant and truly multicultural, London is a megalopolis of people, ideas and frenetic energy. The capital and largest city of both the United Kingdom and of England, it is also the largest city in Western Europe and the European Union. Situated on the River Thames, London remains an international capital of culture, music, education, fashion, politics, finance and trade."

    v. Now for the book's cover page, let us use the Clock Tower photo from http://wikitravel.org/en/File:Clock_Tower.jpg. Now your book cover should look like the following; note that this is how the book will be displayed on the iBooks Bookshelf as well:

  2. Building the History page:

    i. The next page in our London CityGuide book will be a page that describes the history of the city of London. Click on page 2 of your book in iBooks; based on our template chosen earlier, page 2 of our book should look like the following screenshot:

    ii. We will now use information from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London) to build our History page. We copy the historical facts about London from Wikipedia, format it, and copy it to our page 2. As we keep adding content to our page, iBooks Author automatically adds new pages, depending upon the text.

    iii. Don't forget to rename the title of page 2 from Untitled to History; you can do so by right-clicking on page 2 and selecting the Rename option.

    iv. After adding our history information from Wikipedia, our History page should now look like the following:

  3. Building the Transportation page:

    i. We will create another section in our book to accommodate the transportation information for London; we do so by copying the Section 1 (History) page and renaming it to Transportation:

  4. Previewing the books on your iPad:

    i. Now would be a good time to have a quick look at the book and how it works on the iPad. The new iPad mini was used during the writing of this book. Now, we will move on to discussing how to preview books on your iPad (without submitting books to iBookstore).

    ii. From within iBooks Author, click on the Preview button on the toolbar in the header.

    Make sure you have an iPad connected, as well as the iBooks app open.

    iii. Here is how our London CityGuide book looks on an actual iPad, starting with the index page:

    iv. Clicking on Introduction or swiping right-to-left (page-turn effect), shows us the Introduction page:

    v. Similarly the History page (in landscape mode) looks stunning with the Thames river backdrop!

    vi. While the Transportation page looks like the following:

  5. Building the Culture page:

    i. In the previous section, we added a new section to our book, using the copy-and-paste method. iBooks Author also provides another way to add pages, sections, or even chapters to our book via the Add Pages button in the header toolbar. We use the same method to add a new section to our book and name it Culture.

    ii. We can also select the different layouts that we want for our section, as shown in the preceding image. We choose the Section Text layout for our Culture section. We then copy over the cultural information about London from Wikipedia onto our iBooks Author (after some formatting, by removing citations from the Wikipedia text). Note that on all the pages where we have used images to make our London CityGuide elegant, these images are sourced from Wikipedia and due attribution needs to be provided to the authors.

    iii. Our Culture page now looks like the following:

    Having added a few background and general information about London, let's move forward to adding new chapters for attractions, restaurants, and shopping.

  6. Adding chapters for attractions and restaurants:

    i. We start by adding a new chapter using the Add Pages button from the header toolbar within iBooks Author and naming it as Attractions. The content for this chapter will be sourced from the WikiTravel page for London— http://wikitravel.org/en/London#See.

    ii. Similarly, we will add chapters for restaurants and add content from open source travel guide websites such as www.Wikitravel.org and www.Wikipedia.org. We will not go into the details of adding all the pages, since it is redundant, and by now you, the reader, should have a good idea of how things work with iBooks Author!

    You can also choose to write you own content, maybe for your own hometown; get going around your town and get some pictures, and the rest is what we've already discussed.

    iii. Here is how the Attractions page should look like; for the benefit of the readers, we are including the full source code and text for this book; the name of the file is London_CityGuide.iba and it is available for download via the book's page on www.packtpub.com.

Summary

This article has helped us create London CityGuide with the help of iBook Author.

Resources for Article :


Further resources on this subject:


Instant Apple iBooks How-to [Instant] Learn how to read and write books for iBookstore, by fully utilizing Apple iBooks and iBooks Author with this book and ebook.
Published: February 2013
eBook Price: $9.99
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About the Author :


Zeeshan Chawdhary

Zeeshan Chawdhary has over 8 years of experience in the web, mobile, and location-based services space. With a career spanning from developing 3D mobile game development at IndiaGames to leading a location-based travel startup at iCityConcierge Ltd - as the chief technology officer, Zeeshan has been able to work on a lot of exciting technologies – with the focus on cutting edge travel technology.

Among the key achievements Zeeshan has pioneered is the right mix of using Open Source and Proprietary software to create a technology stack based on the client’s need. He has developed location-based solutions for Nokia (for millions of hits per year) on a scalable cloud platform using Rackspace Cloud.

He enjoys working with PHP, PostGIS, and PhoneGap. He has immense experience in making startups use location data effectively for their growth, from startups like Foursquare to hotel industry big-wigs like Marriott; from mobile giant Nokia to Airline king American Airlines, he has worked with them all.

Zeeshan Chawdhary currently serves as the CTO of iCityConcierge Ltd., where he is currently working on creating the best personalized travel experience for travellers. He can be reached on Google at imzeeshanc@gmail.com

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