Apple Upload Information & Pricing
- Who: Indie authors who do not own a Mac computer but are interested in uploading books directly to Apple’s iBookstore and managing their pricing and royalties with no middle man.
- What: We’ll upload your .ePub file, cover art and metadata through Apple’s proprietary software iTunes Producer. If/when you need to update your .ePub file, cover art or metadata, we can assist with that. You will have complete control over your pricing and the availability of your book in all countries.
- How: Apple allows publishers to assign a “Technical” person the ability to upload and manage book and metadata content. The Technical person is not granted access to any of your personal or financial information. You can delete the Technical person from your account at any time.
- Why: Uploading directly to Apple affords you more control over your book. Books can be uploaded and made available for pre-sale prior to an official release date and price changes typically occur within 3 hours of input on your iTunes Connect dashboard. Publishers are also granted a certain number of coupons to give free downloads of their books. Royalties are paid monthly (must meet a sales minimum) and at a slightly higher rate than through most aggregators. You always have visibility of your daily sales. Apple also offers publishers a discount on buying Mac computers and offers an affiliate program where you can earn a commission on book sales.
- Schedule: If you deliver an Apple-compliant .ePub file, cover and metadata, we can usually upload within 24 hours. If we need to format your book first, our regular turnaround is 7 days. If we don’t think we can deliver within 7 days, we’ll let you know when we receive your files.
- Cost: $30 for each book upload. Payment is expected within 10 days after we complete our work and may be made via PayPal or by check or money order in U.S. funds.
Ready for More Specifics?
Please read through all the following information to be sure you understand what this process entails.
• Introduction from iTunes: http://www.apple.com/itunes/sellcontent/
• iTunes Book Publishers FAQ: http://www.apple.com/itunes/content-providers/book-faq.html
What You’ll Need:
- Apple iTunes Connect account. To create this, you need to already have an iTunes ID with a credit card on file for purchasing from iTunes. If you do not have an iTunes ID, you can download iTunes and create an account here: http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/
- ***Note for authors writing under a pseudonym or publishing under a different business name: The iTunes bookstore will show your legal name on your book pages as The Seller (not to be confused with Author or Publisher.) To protect your privacy, you can work with Apple to get your legal name changed to a DBA name. Email us if this is a concern for you.
- Once you have an iTunes ID set up, you can start the iTunes Connect application process here: https://itunesconnect.apple.com/WebObjects/iTunesConnect.woa/wa/bookSignup
Should you also wish to join Apple’s affiliate program, you’ll find info here: http://www.apple.com/itunes/affiliates/
- Cancel other Apple distribution. If you’ve been distributing via Smashwords or another aggregator service, you’ll need to remove your book(s) from their distribution channel. It is best not to have two versions of your book for sale on the iBookstore at the same time. Be aware that you will lose any sales history for this title when you move the book to your own dashboard from another distributor.
- ISBN. It is strongly recommended* that you provide an ISBN number for each book uploaded to Apple. When uploading to Apple, you cannot use an ISBN granted to you by Smashwords, CreateSpace or an ISBN you use for a print edition. Authors in the U.S. can purchase ISBNs from Bowker. 10 ISBNs are currently $250 total. https://www.myidentifiers.com/
Canadian authors, ISBNs are free. http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/ciss-ssci/index-e.html
For authors from other countries, check with the Int’l ISBN Agency for where to acquire ISBNs in your country: http://www.isbn-international.org/agency
*Update, Nov. 2012: Apple no longer requires an ISBN, but they continue to recommend it for all books that will be sold.
- U.S. Taxpayer ID number (EIN). You do not need to be a U.S. citizen, but you do need a U.S. taxpayer ID number in order to receive payment from Apple. Apple’s FAQ describes some of this. For more perspective, visit this IRS government link, explaining Requirement to Withhold. http://www.irs.gov/instructions/iw8/ch01.html#d0e26
Instructions for how to apply for an EIN are found here: http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=97860,00.html
- A current, valid and Apple-compliant .ePub file of your book. If you currently have an .ePub file, we will validate it before we attempt to upload. We also skim the file for likely trouble spots that will prevent the ePub from passing the initial upload or Apple’s quality review. Examples include: embedded cover or other art too large; mentions of Amazon or other book retailers; broken hyperlinks; links to other retailers; calling the book an “iTunes Edition” and more. Your iTunes Connect account will grant you access to Apple’s formatting guidelines regarding other specifics for formatting. Note: If we format your .ePub file, we guarantee a successful Apple upload; the same file will also be compliant with all retailers that accept .ePub files for upload.
- Cover Art. You must provide the cover art image per Apple’s current standards. We will provide the specifics in the info packet we send you. Current standards include: 1400 pixels wide minimum; RGB color; high resolution preferred (300 dpi).
- Metadata. You must provide metadata per the info packet we send you. The iTunes Producer software won’t upload an incomplete book and metadata file. Metadata isn’t scary: it’s all the information used to complete your book’s product description page on the iBookstore.
Still With Me? Let’s Get Started!
Contact us via the Contact Us page. We’ll send you the complete info packet, answer any further questions you may have and add you to our work schedule.