Apple's iBooks Author is a free tool that lets users create stunning e-books from scratch in no time.
iWork suite users will feel at home, as at first glance iBooks Author looks like a combination of Pages and Keynote. You can't change the page format, however, as it is designed specifically for the iPad.
The application's user interface is uncluttered and very nicely designed, with all the tools available at a glance. At first launch, you'll need to choose a template from the six default options, but you can also create your own. Since iBooks Author is a native Apple app, users finally have a publishing tool that supports Pages document import in addition to Microsoft Word.
As soon as you have imported the document, the fun begins. Formatting the document is very easy, as is adding media files. When you have added the content to iBooks Author, the app takes care of the rest, so you need only work on polishing it. You can preview your work, too: just connect an iPad to a Mac and click Preview, and the masterpiece will appear on there so you can check each part of it.
There are several export options available: PDF, text file, or the native iBooks format. If you choose iBooks, you can even make money by respecting the program's license agreement.
While we loved using the tool, as it is stable and gives stunning results, we found its restrictions for the H.264 video format annoying, as we couldn't put video shot on the iPhone into the document until we had converted it with Compressor. Overall, it is a great app and highly recommended for all authors who want to produce a great e-book in no time.