Sat 19 April 2014

ebook Self Publishing - Apple Publishing Direct for eBooks

Posted by. James Jackson This article was posted in Self Publishing, eBook Marketing and tagged with Self-Publishing, marketing, Indie Authors
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James Jackon's Experience of Apple Publishing Directly to the iBookstore

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Just like many indie authors, I am constrained as to what I can do in terms of self publishing. My home computer I write on is a Windows based system, which means publishing directly to Apple is not possible because the Apple publishing process requires an Apple Computer.  However there are companies that will, for a nominal fee, publish to Apple

Another hurdle for all authors is that most eBook libraries require each book and eBook to have an ISBN (International Standard Book Number).  Bowker handles the registration of ISBNs, and sells them individually, or in blocks. The larger the block, the cheaper each one becomes. An important facet to note about Amazon, is that Instead of ISBNs, they have their own numbering system, called ASIN. (Amazon Standard Identification Number)

I also find Amazon to be a very indie author friendly site. They allow the creation of an author page which has many great features. 

If self publishing is not possible, or practical, then Smashwords and Draft2Digital are two companies that will format your books into ePub, mobi,etc, and then distribute them to other retailers. This is a very easy, effective, and cheap way of publishing on iTunes, Nook, Kobo, and more. Both companies charge nominal fees, provide cheap or free ISBNs, and have effective support teams. However this route does have its limitations, as authors have limited control over indexing and keywords on these platforms.

Self Publishing Companies

One serious issue I ran into with self publishing companies was the indexing for my series. The first picture below shows my series when using Smashwords as a distributor, while the second shows the same search criteria when I published to Apple directly. Team Terran has spent considerable amounts of energy branding my product, therefore it was unacceptable that folks could not easily find my series.

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 Index issue when publishing through Smashwords to AppleIndex issue fixed when publishing direct with Apple

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However, publishing directly to Apple was quite a process. First I needed a Mac, so Team Terran shelled out for a MacBook Air. The learning curve for using a Mac after being a Windows user since the early 1990's was quite steep.

I attempted to use the iAuthor software as a means of creating my ePub files. Six weeks later, it dawned on me that this was not the right application for the job. I then began to use iWorks iPages, and found that this was definitely the way to go. Even so, it took me another solid month before I had a template that I was happy with.

Next I needed to test the template. Once again Team Terran dug deep and procured an iPad. This proved to be an invaluable step, as further tweaks were made to the template.

Once I had a template that I was happy with, each eBook only took around an hour or so to convert from a Microsoft Word document, to an ePub. Purchasing ISBNs and registering each eBook took a few more hours, and then it was upload time.

All my eBooks passed every step of the process without error, and were online in around twenty-four hours. I did call Apple support with a question about metadata. They were extremely efficient at answering my question. As for sales, they began to get reported the very next day.

Well folks, as they say, and the rest is history. I am now self published to Apple's iBooks store, and proud of Team Terran's efforts and commitment to supporting my endeavors.

 

Take it easy mates.

James Jackson