Although Apple's education event in New York focused on students, the company today also unveiled a new author platform.
Dubbed iBooks Author, the free Mac OS X application lets authors create textbooks and other books with simple drag-and-drop mechanisms. According to Apple, the application gives authors basic templates to quickly create titles that offer both text and interactive elements such as videos and images. To add multimedia content, iBooks Author lets users drag and drop content onto pages.
Of course, the most important element in any e-book is the text. So, to facilitate its transfer, Apple will let users drag and drop their chapters from a Word file into the application. From there, the application automatically creates sections and headers.
Once the e-book is ready, authors need to connect an iPad to their computers to proof and debug the title. Once complete, they can submit it to Apple's iBooks store.
The other key product unveiled today was iBooks 2, a free app that provides access to digital textbooks at Apple's App Store.
iBooks Author is available today and requires Lion, the latest version of Apple's Mac OS X.