Blog Post

Webcomic artist experiments with iBooks Author-created monthly archive

Apple’s iBooks Author (s aapl) is being greeted with varying levels of enthusiasm, but its ease of use seems to be the key to appealing to at least one crowd. R Stevens, an independent web comic creator who pens Diesel Sweeties, has already created an iBooks edition of his most recent monthly archive that’s available free to read on the iPad.

In the introduction to the collection, called Waking Up With The Diesel Sweeties, Stevens talks about how he grew up wanting to do a monthly series, and how the iPad seemed the perfect venue for comics from the moment he saw one. He says “for every person who loves reading their daily comics every morning, there’s someone who’d love to grab a magazine of them once a month and soak them all up at once.” Hence his desire to do this iBooks Author-created edition.

iBooks Author has only been out for around four days at this point, but Stevens’ example shows it’s already stirring interest beyond textbook creators. Stevens created the book himself during “a few insomniac hours this weekend,” he says on his blog. The barrier of entry for using the product is so low it becomes a viable distribution option for independent creators looking to expand their audience beyond those they serve on the web, and if they’re willing to offer their product for free (Stevens makes income through online sales of goods tied to his comic), content creators can bypass Apple entirely and serve audiences directly.

To check out Stevens’ project, just download the .ibooks file from his website. If you’re on an iPad, it will open in iBooks, or if you’re on a desktop machine, you can simply send it to yourself via email or Dropbox. This is definitely my favorite use of iBooks Author so far, especially now that I’ve hit a creative wall with Dogs: Their Ways and Woes.