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.