Err, Apple’s New Ibookstore Channel Doesn’t Hurt Publishers

No, really. This thing doesn’t touch Random House or Penguin or S&S. There aren’t that many name authors ready to sell their own ebooks. Yet. Further, self-publishers are really being sent, by Apple, to Approved Aggregators, some of whom still aren’t live.

Interestingly, there were a couple of people stunned by Apple’s announcement at Book Expo America. Pretty much the entire ebook section there, in fact. They were the ones who had a new business of charging publishers to make their books iPad ready. Names omitted to protect the guilty.

I spent most of last Wednesday at BEA in the ebook section, trying to get the best possible deal I could for the Itunes store. What I found was that, not only would I have to pay conversion costs, I’d discovered that, even if you were previously an Epub publisher–like, with Adobe’s Digital Editions or Barnes & Noble–you’d probably have to pay again, to get your one-time, universally-formatted books, ready to put into the Itunes store, ‘cuz not only does Itunes run a different variant of DRM (FairPlay), it’s on a different specification.

So, first I made my usual point about how it only costs $75 for a new customer to print the damn things with LSI, how much should we pay to make an ebook for one vendor? Then… I read on twitter that I didn’t need to deal with any of the conversion houses.

Needless to say, despite iPad’s promise, I’m not interested in taking on another cost center. Will do it if I have to, but if I don’t have to… I won’t.

As an aside, my first book in the iPad store is still pending. But as far as taking a long time to sign up? Well, I registered Friday, after driving 4.5 hours from NY, nearly toll-free, through PA in Memorial Day Traffic, it wasn’t too bad. I had to modify my iTunes account, ‘cuz I’d been using Paypal for it. Then, it took like 20 minutes.Bigger delay came when I realized the Mac Mini I’d bought to handle conversions required a special VGA-DV cable, and by then the Apple Store was long closed. (My fault, not Apple’s.)

So, sign-up in one day, book into the system shortly thereafter. Apple’s got its own software available to streamline the process, and… I’ll let you know when that first book is finally approved and ready for sale.

About dmoynihan

Me here.
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  • http://www.circlet.com Cecilia Tan

    I signed up to publish Circlet’s titles to the iBookstore, too. I’d been using Smashwords, but if I can do it myself, why wouldn’t I? Signup took only about 15 minutes and the approval appeared to be instantaneous — I’m guessing because I had a valid EIN # and valid ISBNs. However, since I was on the road, I haven’t downloaded their ePub validation software as that seemed dicey over a hotel’s wireless network. Will try that next and then upload my first title directly, too.

    I was pleased the terms of service didn’t say a thing about adult content or anything. :-)

  • http://www.munseys.com dmoynihan

    Shh on adult content!

    /But I’m going with the Asian folklore first.