Apple's iPad iBookstore offers low-cost e-book self publishing

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Self-publishing authors will be able to offer their titles on Apple's iBookstore for the iPad at almost no cost, potentially breaking down the barriers for independent writers who want to sell their work across the globe.



According to DigitalBeat, the self-publishing service Smashwords has signed a distribution deal with Apple to put books on the iBookstore, which will be a part of the iBooks application, available as a free download on the iPad through the App Store. Mark Coker, chief executive of Smashwords, announced the agreement in an e-mail to authors who use the service.



The e-mail from Coker also revealed Apple's pricing rules for the iBookstore. Each title's price must end in 99 cents (i.e. $12.99), and books can be priced as low as 99 cents. The price of the book must also be less than its print counterpart.



Author Dean Takahashi said users can submit their work to Smashwords through a simple process that involves uploading a Microsoft Word file, setting the price and deciding where the book is to be published.



The company is also reportedly adding support for International Standard Book Numbers, something that is required by Apple for all titles on the iBookstore. In order to see inclusion on the iBookstore at launch, Smashwords authors must submit by March 31 their work to the company's "Premium Feed," which distributes to other major online retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Sony and Kobo.



Through the service, authors receive 85 percent of net sale proceeds from titles, or 70.5 percent of affiliate sales. The report said the cost to distribute a book on the iPad is free.



Last week, it was revealed that Apple has preloaded the iBookstore with 30,000 free public domain books from Project Gutenberg. The Gutenberg library of free digital books is supported by volunteer efforts, and maintains a huge collection of literature in the public domain.



Apple's iBooks application is compatible with the ePub format. Apple will also sell content from some of the largest publishers in the world, including HarperCollins, Hachette, Penguin, Macmillan, and Simon & Shuster.







The iBookstore represents Apple's entrance into the e-book market. Since the iPad was announced, publishers have used their price negotiations with Apple to leverage Amazon into accepting higher prices for hardcover bestsellers on the Kindle e-reader. While Kindle bestsellers previously have sold for $9.99, Apple's deal reportedly sets them slightly higher, between $12.99 and $14.99.



Though Amazon initially resisted, the book seller was forced to reluctantly agree to the higher prices, which are expected to debut when the iPad launches this Saturday.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 76
    I'd love to keep PDFs organized in iTunes!
  • Reply 2 of 76
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    pple's iBooks application is compatible with the ePub format. Apple will also sell content from some of the largest publishers in the world, including HarperCollins, Hachette, Penguin, Macmillan, and Simon & Shuster.



    HarperCollins is back in the fold after their idiotic launch faux pas
  • Reply 3 of 76
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,454member
    "Author Dean Takahashi said users can submit their work to Smashwords through a simple process that involves uploading a Microsoft Word file, setting the price and deciding where the book is to be published."



    Oh please! Not a Microsoft Word File LOL.
  • Reply 4 of 76
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,454member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    HarperCollins is back in the fold after their idiotic launch faux pas



    Yep, with sore knuckles I imagine lol.
  • Reply 5 of 76
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,528member
    This should greatly increase employment opportunities for freelance editors.
  • Reply 6 of 76
    irelandireland Posts: 17,771member
    And still Apple Insider fails to mentioned iBooks is available only in the U.S.
  • Reply 7 of 76
    spotonspoton Posts: 645member
    By offering a lot of lower priced or free content for the iPad, it helps customers justify overcoming it's huge cost



    (computer + iPad + accessories + case + Apple Care + tax)



    I can already see the huge amount of disappointed customers who are interested in getting a iPad after seeing all it's features, going to the store only to find out a computer is required to use the device.



    Looks like Apple is trying to drive down prices from for-profit publishers in the process as well.



    Clever Apple "Charge what you want, but you'll have to compete with free and cheap"



    Good for them! Low content prices drive hardware sales, just look what it did to the iPod.
  • Reply 8 of 76
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    And still Apple Insider fails to mentioned iBooks is available only in the U.S.



    You need to petition your government -- more generally the EU bureaucrats -- to fix your copyright laws before companies like Apple can do anything.
  • Reply 9 of 76
    ddleeddlee Posts: 4member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by quinney View Post


    This should greatly increase employment opportunities for freelance editors.



    One would hope. Many aspiring authors post work to story sites, and skip the use of available free editors and prof readers. Do you really think they would have the good sense to pay for a pro?
  • Reply 10 of 76
    finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member
    AI Quote "Self-publishing authors will be able to offer their titles on Apple's iBookstore for the iPad at almost no cost, potentially breaking down the barriers for independent writers who want to sell their work across the globe."



    Some members in previous forums have asked if this was going to be an option--well it's here.
  • Reply 11 of 76
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    And still Apple Insider fails to mentioned iBooks is available only in the U.S.



    right now. Apple likely has the intention and is working on deals to expand the store. It's just not as simple as Apple saying yes. There are various laws etc. Heck that's likely the reason why they can't launch worldwide same day.



    Also, the title of the article is a tad erroneous. It implies that I can write a book and submit it directly to itunes as I can my music. But that's not the case at this point. The article is about a 3rd party service that is of course going to take a cut of the cut they get from Apple. So not really free just no "X sign up fee" on top of the cut.



    now when Apple posts an SDK and I can directly upload a book then lets talk Apple Self Publishing
  • Reply 12 of 76
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Does anyone have any info on the 'around the globe' status. Is iBookstore app available outside US or not?
  • Reply 13 of 76
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,351member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FineTunes View Post


    AI Quote "Self-publishing authors will be able to offer their titles on Apple's iBookstore for the iPad at almost no cost, potentially breaking down the barriers for independent writers who want to sell their work across the globe."



    Some members in previous forums have asked if this was going to be an option--well it's here.



    I was one of those!



    I guess I better get cracking on my book, eh?
  • Reply 14 of 76
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Sounds great -- until you read the fine print at Smashwords:



    Quote:

    Publishing on Smashwords is as easy as 1-2-3:

    Step 1: Carefully format your manuscript as a Microsoft Word .doc file per the guidelines in the Smashwords Style Guide and, if you desire mainstream distribution via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Sony and other retailers, study the guidelines for inclusion in the Smashwords Premium Catalog

    Step 2: Click Publish on the home page and follow the simple steps to publish your book instantly

    Step 3: Read the free Smashwords Book Marketing Guide for valuable book marketing tips!



    Carefully formatted Microsoft Word file? Isn't that a contradiction in terms?



    What if you want to make your book actually look good, with photos and illustrations?
  • Reply 15 of 76
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Why use this intermediary, Smashwords? Can't an individual or small business owner apply for an ISBN? why give up yet another percentage of sales?
  • Reply 16 of 76
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    Why use this intermediary, Smashwords? Can't an individual or small business owner apply for an ISBN? why give up yet another percentage of sales?



    It's not about the ISBN, it's about access to the iBookstore.
  • Reply 17 of 76
    irelandireland Posts: 17,771member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


    right now. Apple likely has the intention and is working on deals to expand the store. It's just not as simple as Apple saying yes.





    Guys, I know all of this. AI should mentioned it's U.S. only when posting iBooks stories. It's an important point they keep failing to recognize it print.
  • Reply 18 of 76
    irelandireland Posts: 17,771member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    Why use this intermediary, Smashwords? Can't an individual or small business owner apply for an ISBN? why give up yet another percentage of sales?



    Wouldn't that get messy very quickly?
  • Reply 19 of 76
    So what about self publishing something a little more dynamic than a word doc and some images? I am hoping for some decent tools from Apple that allows for included video and other dynamic stuff. I would love to self publish some technical manuals.

    Like HTML5 editing, I think we will eventually see some good Mac based tools, either from Apple directly or a developer like Flying Meat or Omni Group. I just hope we are talking a few months, not years.



    Gordon
  • Reply 20 of 76
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ddlee View Post


    One would hope. Many aspiring authors post work to story sites, and skip the use of available free editors and prof readers. Do you really think they would have the good sense to pay for a pro?



    You did this on purpose, right? I'm not bragging, but I do happen to be a prof who proofreads.
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