How to test your ebook in iBooks on the iPad or iPhone

Apple iBooks

The best way to test an iBooks ebook is by viewing it on an iPad, iPhone or Mac. Transferring a local file to your device is known as sideloading.

In the following example we will use an iPad.

Transferring a file to your iPad

There are several ways to copy an ebook file to your iPad, but first make sure you have the latest version of the iBooks app:

Transferring a file via iTunes

  • Connect your iPad to your computer.
  • Launch the iTunes application and select your iPad from the list of connected devices.
  • Drag your ebook file to the Books section of the iPad library.
  • Click Sync or Apply to copy the file to your iPad.

iTunes sync

The ebook will now appear in the iBooks app library on your iPad:

iBooks app library

OS X 10.10 and iBooks on the Mac

If you're using OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) and the iBooks application on a Mac things are slightly different. The iBooks application is now used to view ebooks on the Mac, and also controls which items are transferred to iOS devices such as an iPad.

You can add an item to the iBooks library by dragging the file into the main window, or by choosing Add to Library… from the File menu:

iBooks add to library

iBooks library

Launch the iBooks application and choose Preferences… from the iBooks menu. Go to General Preferences and make sure the Sync option is selected:

iBooks preferences

Now any ebooks in your iBooks library will also appear in iTunes to be synchronised with your iPad, as described above.

iBooks proofing

The iBooks application on the Mac also allows you add a file to your library as a proof. This will be then be copied to all connected iOS devices with the iBooks app active.

iBooks proof

Upgrading to iBooks from iTunes

If you've upgraded your Mac to OS X 10.10 you may wonder why all your ebooks aren't appearing in the iBooks library. The answer is that they're still in the old iTunes library. To move them launch iBooks and choose the Move Books from iTunes… option from the File menu:

iBooks library transfer

Transferring files via Dropbox

You can use a file sharing service such as Dropbox to transfer ebook files to iOS devices.

Transferring files via email

You can also transfer ebooks to your iPad by emailing them to yourself. Open the email on your iPad and tap the attachment link. You should be given the option to open the file in the iBooks app.