One of the big frustrations for writers who wish to direct publish eBooks using the industry-standard ePub file format is the complexity of that format and the current expense of the tools. Basically, unless you’re a real techie, you need to be a professional typesetter because what the on-shelf choices currently boil down to is the pricey Adobe InDesign.
Last week I learned of a new desktop publishing package for Mac OS X called iStudio Publisher.
I immediately read the description of it and emailed the publisher to ask them to consider adding ePub file output support. This led to the revelation by that publisher that another program is under development, called iStudio Bookbuilder — which will be specifically for building eBooks and which will also feature ePub file creation!
Without divulging any information about the state of its development, let me quote some of an email I received today:
[I]t will be very similar to iStudio Publisher, which is focussed on drawing / layouts, and turning the focus more to writing. There will be lots of features for writers, such as allowing the writer to make notes and save URLs against certain parts of the text, auto indexing, advanced stylesheets, outputting to ePub and many more features.
We aim to sell Bookbuilder at $149 — however, we will give a discount to early adopters of iStudio Publisher — and the two file types will be compatible with each other.
That sounds wonderful!
The price is affordable and it sounds as if they’re thinking beyond static book-like files, with the ability to tap on URLs to reach out to the Internet. That would be especially helpful for non-fiction eBooks that are tied into timely information.