New book proofing tool in iBooks for OS X Yosemite
Prior to OS X Yosemite, Apple had a standalone app called Book Proofer that EPUB producers could use to test EPUB files on iOS Devices. Since Yosemite, however, the Book Proofer app has had issues syncing with iOS.
Today with the release of iBooks Asset Guide 5.2Rev2 (available to users who have access to the iBookstore in iTunes Connect) there’s a new way that will work in Yosemite. Here’s how to easily sync and proof books on iOS devices with OS X Yosemite.
Enable the Advanced Menu Bar
The first step is to open the desktop iBooks app and open the Preferences menu. Then click on the Advanced tab. Check the checkbox labeled “Enable Advanced menu in menu bar.”
Add an EPUB to iBooks Desktop
Once the Advanced menu bar has been added, you can select Advanced, then “add ePub to Library as Proof…”
Here’s the biggest catch I’ve found with this process so far. Currently, I can’t seem to add just any .epub file I want. I can only add epub files already put into the iBooks folder on my OS X machine (you can find this folder by navigating to USERNAME>Library>Containers>com.apple.BKAgentService>Data>Documents>iBooks>Books). EPUB files outside of this folder will be grayed out and unselectable, but files within this folder can be added. (To make matters worse, these titles are often given very arbitrary names!) Hopefully this is resolved in future updates…
Select the book you want and it will be added to OS X iBooks. (The Asset Guide says these will be marked with a “Proof” label. Mine are only marked as “New” however.)
Sync to iOS Device
Once you’ve added a book to iBooks in Yosemite, it’s time to sync it to an iOS Device. Plug the device into your computer and open iBooks on the iOS device, and then open the book in iBooks Desktop. Once open you’ll see a new button in the upper right hand corner that is labeled “Devices.” Click this to reveal a list of devices connected to your desktop machine.
Check the box for the device you want synced with the book proof. The book will load on the device and add the label of “Proof” to it.
Now you can proof the book on the device.
Is it Worth It?
I remain unconvinced this is the easiest way to proof a book in iBooks. The issues with folder access seems the biggest dealbreaker. My previously written about Dropbox method seems far more efficient. I know some ebook producers swear by the previous Book Proofer app and its cache-breaking capabilities, so if you’re one of those you may find this new feature for Yosemite a welcome addition. Me, I’ll just scratch my head and keep using Dropbox.