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Apple iBookstore Now Open Directly to Independent Publishers

Written: 5/28/10
You can now work directly with Apple by meeting specific criteria, which will allow you to sell your book on the iBookstore without the middleman or content aggregator - much the same way as independent music artists sell on iTunes.

This development is a two-sided coin, as Apple won’t help you to promote your book at all. In fact, they clearly recommend going with a 3rd party content aggregator if you would like help boosting your book sales.

According to Apple, payment to iBookstore partners does not occur until payment requirements and earning thresholds have been met in each territory. This means that the best way to receive a check from Apple is to be a big seller across regions, and the easiest way to do this is to have a book with near-universal appeal.

If you are expecting only strong sales in one region, then it may be a much better decision to go with a 3rd party content aggregator, which has a lower payment threshold then Apple.

In other words, if you are realistically expecting a steady, trickle of book sales instead of a giant torrent, then going direct with Apple will result in a longer period of time between checks.

iBookstore Criteria
• Have an ISBN

• Be in EPUB format and validate epubcheck 1.0.5

• Contains no unmanifested files

US Tax ID from the IRS (Also know as an EIN)

• Valid iTunes Store account, with a credit card on file

• An Intel-based Mac running OS X 10.5 or later

The Intel-based Mac is probably the only surprise on that list. At this point we can only assume it exists because Apple has proprietary software for uploading the ebooks and that software has not yet been successfully been ported over to Windows. (The assumption that they will eventually open the process up to Windows users is reinforced by the fact that iTunes is available for Windows)

If you think that you have enough sales to justify Apple's payment requirements, then to get started with direct ebook distribution into the iBookstore visit:

If not, check out our article on 3rd party content aggregators, here.


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