Apple's iWork Suite is composed of three applications: Pages, a word processor and page layout application, Keynote, a slide show app like Powerpoint and Numbers, a spreadsheet app like Excel. Microsoft Office (Word, Powerpoint, Excel, etc.) is also available to MacOS X users. The essential difference is that iWork is focused on elegance and ease-of-use whereas Microsoft Office is focused on power, cross-platform compatibility, feature parity and so on.
An update to the iWork suite late last week included a new export option for Pages. The Pages app can now export a document as an .epub file, the predominant standard for eBooks. While there have been other WYSIWYG editors for producing ePub documents such as Sigil and eCub, Pages is the first mainstream commercial application to support ePub export. What's more, Pages is somewhat ahead of the standard by enabling the inclusion of audio and video media in an ePub document.
In addition to the Pages update, Apple has provided this support page which describes a number of ePub best practices and includes a link to download a very helpful sample file that can be used as a template or a source from which the proper ePub styles may be imported. I used it as a template by saving that file with a different name and then replacing the content with my own.
The key to creating a properly formed ePub document is to select the appropriate Pages Section types (Title Page, TOC, Forward, Chapter, etc.) and use the appropriate Paragraph Styles as you insert the content.
Here's a brief tour of the Pages template showing how Sections and Paragraph Styles are used to define the structure (cover, TOC, chapters, etc.) of the exported ePub file. First, we look at the template as Apple provided it and then with a different file name and different content.