So by now you’ve heard of the new update to iBooks and the new iBooks Author. There has been a lot of hand-wringing and complaining on both sides. As I’ve recently published a iBooks formatting guide, here are my thoughts. Now, as of this writing, I’m still trying to download the iBooks Author app so I can’t do a direct comparison (I’m sure it will be easier than using iTunes Connect but your level of control over the look of the document will be the deciding factor). Things you should know – iBooks Author is for Macs running Lion only. No PCs, no Macs with Snow Leopard. This is a bit limiting. Plus, the tool is really designed to create textbooks for the iPad. While it says you export your book to the regular iBookstore, it seems that the final destination for most of these books will be the new iTunes U (a textbook version of the iBookstore). For those of you that have asked me about how to deal with pictures in books, this seems to be the answer for you. A few more thoughts: Continue reading
This is the first of my publishing guides for how to self-publish your book. For those with specific questions about how to do X or Y or deal with problem Z, I’m not your guy (though, you can ask in the comments below). I can only report what I’ve done and how it has worked for me. I’m starting with Amazon because, basically, when I self-published Bob Moore: Desperate Times, it was the first one I used. I’ll also be reporting on how to publish to Nook, iBooks, Smashwords, and possibly others. I’ve already had some thoughts on Smashwords in the past as well as how they report (or don’t) statistics which is why I’m doing so much of my publishing manually. Scroll down to for links to my other guides (I’ll make them active when they are available).
If you are intimidated by self-publishing, Amazon is the place to start. Out of all the outlets, it is very nearly the easiest and certainly has the largest audience. So relax, sit back, and don’t worry. It may take you an hour or two to get all the formatting figured out, but, after that, it’ll be easy as pie. As long as you take a few elementary precautions, all the rest of your books will be as easy as running your manuscript through a conversion program (it will take seconds), going to the Amazon website, hitting the button “Add a title,” and uploading the file. So exhale, this isn’t rocket science. We’ll be covering three main areas: Formatting, Converting, and Uploading Continue reading
If you read my review of Smashwords, you might want to check it again. I made a couple of edits. One thing I discovered was that, according to Smashwords, I’ve had zero downloads at the Apple iBookstore. This is patently false as I have 39 real ratings/eviews (meaning I didn’t ask friends to post them) plus I’ve downloaded the book at least twice (once to the iPad, once to the iPod). According to Smashwords, their data is accurate through May 28th. I’m not sure where the problem lies. It could be that Apple isn’t reporting correctly, or that there is a disconnect on Smashwords end. What I do know is that I’ll probably never know. I sent an email to Smashwords to inquire about it a week ago, but I doubt I’ll hear anything from them. Certainly, a week is enough time to send a cursory, “We’ll look into it,” response.
I find this whole situation troubling and, if you are planning on using Smashwords, you should too.