Authors who want to get eBooks published have a baffling array of choices. The Gravity Switch Blog says you’ll be able confidently choose the e-publishing path that’s best for you with their new (free) report here (pdf).
- Services, pricing & policies of Apple and Aggregators compared side-by-side
- Recommendations for a handful of common scenarios
- What indie authors should know about ISBNs
- How, exactly, to submit directly to Apple
- Terms defined so you don’t get lost in the mumbo jumbo
Getting you book into the iBookstore can be done by submitting your eBook directly to Apple or by having one of the five Apple aggregators who work with independent authors do it for you, says Gravity Switch. They include; Apple, BiblioCore, BookBaby, InGrooves, Lulu and Smashwords.
To publish on the iBookstore, you must first have an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) for each book. That can take as little as two weeks. Second, you must have a copy of the work in ePUB format. There are a variety of different ways to convert text into ePUB format, many of which are free (a list can be found on the LexCycle website). You must also have a valid iTunes Store account as well as a US tax ID.
The ePub format — an open eBook standard — expands the number of possible readers. It’s designed for reflowable content, meaning that the text display can be optimized for different display sizes. According to Wikipedia, one criticism of EPUB is that, while good for text-centric books, it may be unsuitable for publications which require precise layout or specialized formatting.
EPUB eBooks are usable on many different eReaders including the Apple iPad, dedicated gadgets such as the Sony Reader and smart phones like the iPhone and Android.
Amazon has developed an .epub to .mobi converter called KindleGen. DRM is independent of eBook formats.
Penguin Books sees ebooks hitting 10 percent of book sales next year (it’s currently four percent in the U.S.).
Forester says 14% of Americans — 27 million people – plan on purchasing a tablet device next year.
A similar study by the Magazine Publishers of America found that nearly 60 percent of U.S. consumers expect to purchase an e-reader or tablet within the next three years. Notably, iPad fans aren’t necessarily Apple worshippers: More iPad customers own HP computers than Macs.
Apple could announce a print-subscription offering as early as the next month or two, says the Wall Street Journal. Newspapers and magazines may be Apple’s next front, after music, television shows, movies and books.
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