Are you a budding author? The next Stephen King? Or an author currently looking to cut out the middle man as you rollout your own books? It looks like your time has come — Apple has released information on self-publishing for the iBookstore!
We have to say we were really excited to hear about the iBooks app on our new iPads and the iBookstore that went along with it. Why? Simple, Apple or its partners generally create technologies that empower people to generate content in all kinds of ways and then monetize it. The iBookstore is what iTunes was to Music and Apps — a way to publish your own books and sell them without a publisher, agent, etc. Once we saw the possibilities in iBooks we immediately queried Apple for information on how an individual could participate and over a month ago they had no answer, but today they do.
Apple sent us an e-mail today with details on how someone could sign up to sell their own books in the iBookstore. Their books would have to adhere to these criteria: each one would need to have a 13-digit ISBN, be in ePub format, validate against epubcheck 1.0.5, and contain no unmanifested files. If you are not familiar with any of these Apple suggests working with their aggregation partners.
In addition to these requirements you will need to have a US Tax ID, a valid iTunes Store account with a credit card on file, and an Intel-based Mac running OS X 10.5 or later.
The good news is that once you are established, Apple’s online agreement allows you to sell your book in the iBookstore in several countries. If you don’t feel like your selling your book in every country available, you can set which countries it’ll be available in and the price for each of the titles.
A welcome addition to iTunes as far as we are concerned – global distribution of your book titles at prices you set. Additionally, once iPhone OS version 4.0 is released with an iBooks app, you’ll reach a larger customer base.
You can sell your books after applying to participate in the program or connect with an iBookstore aggregator to get the help you need. Note that before applying you will need to have the ISBN-13 for at least one book otherwise your application will not be accepted.