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As e-publishing becomes more popular, I am seeing an increasing number of writers ask about getting their books into the iBookstore. My encouragement to them is to think ahead and not wait until the last moment.
There are a couple of different routes you can take.
1. sell your book through the iBookstore directly
Amazon and Barnes & Noble make it easy to sell, in that you simply use your existing account and upload your book. The iBookstore has a higher standard. You have to apply to sell. While this process is not complicated, you will have to wait to be approved.
Just as you have to be approved to sell, your book will also undergo a more stringent review before approval. This can take some time. At Amazon, your book will usually be available within 12 hours after uploading the file. Barnes & Noble states that it can take up to 72 hours (though I have seen it take longer several times). With the iBookstore, it will be even longer. While this is less convenient for authors, it does mean that the quality of books (when it comes to formatting and technical issues) is generally higher in the iBookstore.
You will need an ISBN to sell in the iBookstore. If you’re wondering what an ISBN is, watch for a post on it in the next few days.
Click here to apply to be an iBookstore seller.
2. work with an aggregator to sell your book in the iBookstore
An aggregator will take care of the file conversion, uploading, and all the red tape involved in selling. This is not free, but if the process is more than you want to take on, it can be a good route to take. Click here for a list of Apple-approved aggregators.
What kind of format does the iBookstore use?
The iBookstore sells two formats, the ePub and IBS. ePub is the most widely used e-reader format. IBS is a format specifically used for iPads, utilizing the capabilities of that device to the fullest.
If you would like to read more about selling in the iBookstore, I highly recommend taking a look at their Book Publisher’s FAQ page.
In case you missed it yesterday, I am running a giveaway of my book Self-Publish: Moving from Idea to Product through Friday morning (10/17) at 6:00 EST. Teri Lynne Underwood (my co-author) and Jessica Heights are giving away the book this week as well. Make sure to enter at all three places!
During the month of October, we’re chatting about everything self-publishing—design, branding, marketing, formats—you name it! Pulling questions from Design by Insight clients, Re:Write Conference attendees, and you, we’ll take a look at what can often be a confusing and potentially overwhelming subject.