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Me? Publisher? Really? - A Hands on Guide to Self Publishing to the iTunes Store
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Me? Publisher? Really? - A Hands on Guide to Self Publishing to the iTunes Store

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I helped my friends Nonzwakazi Sgwentu and Ali Michael publish a book to the Apple iBookstore. Based on Ali's thesis from 2000, I used iBooks Author and describe why we did the book and the steps to …

I helped my friends Nonzwakazi Sgwentu and Ali Michael publish a book to the Apple iBookstore. Based on Ali's thesis from 2000, I used iBooks Author and describe why we did the book and the steps to do so.


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  • 1. 1  
  • 2. If  you  need  any  jus.fica.on,  eBooks  are  exploding,  and  mobile  readers/tablets  are  a  big  part  of  that  explosion.   2  
  • 3. 1.  Our  good  friend  Nonzwakazi  lives  in  Cape  Town,  South  Africa.  My  wife,  Teresa   met  her  in  2000,  and  we’ve  been  very  close  with  she  and  her  family  since,   including  suppor.ng  the  children  through  private  high  schools.  2.  Ali  Michael,  an  American  “African  Studies”  student,  lived  with  Nonzwakazi’s   family  for  a  while  in  1998.  While  there,  she  wrote  Nonzwakazi’s  story  as  her   thesis.  3.  In  2000,  Ali  graduated,  and  her  thesis  was  published  and  put  on  an  academic  shelf   somewhere.  4.  More  than  a  decade  passed.  5.  We  visited  Cape  Town  for  three  weeks  just  aUer  this  past  Christmas.  6.  At  the  same  .me,  Apple  released  new  publishing  soUware,  iBooks  Author,  and  an   ePub  extension  for  textbooks.  7.  I  had  the  bright  idea…  8.  Let’s  publish  Ali’s  thesis  as  an  iBook.   3  
  • 4. When  I  started  the  project,  it  seemed  pre[y  simple:  1.  Take  the  thesis  contents…  2.  and  some  pictures,  3.  and  import  them  to  iBooks  Author,  cleaning  up,  edi.ng,  and  forma]ng  a  bit.  4.  Then  publish  it  to  iTunes.  5.  Wealth  and  fame  –  for  Nonzwakazi,  not  me  -­‐  will  follow.   4  
  • 5. But  it  wasn’t  nearly  that  simple.  1.  Take  the  thesis  contents…  2.  and  some  pictures,  3.  and  import  them  to  iBooks  Author,  cleaning  up,  edi.ng,  and  forma]ng  a  bit.  4.  Go  into  Apple’s  online  iTunes  Connect  portal  and  sign  up  to  be  a  publisher.  5.  Sign  the  contracts.  6.  Add  your  tax  and  banking  informa.on.  7.  Publish  the  book  to  a  tool  called  iTunes  Producer.  8.  iBooks  Author  generates  the  cover  art,  but  you  also  add  screenshots…  9.  and  a  whole  bunch  of  meta-­‐data…  10. and  a  whole  separate  book,  excerpted  from  the  main  one,  as  a  sample  book…  11. all  into  iTunes  Producer.  12. Then,  use  some  money…  13. to  buy  a  block  of  ISBN  codes  from  Bowker  Iden.fier  Services.  14. Add  the  book,  the  cover  page,  and  a  bunch  of  metadata  to  Bowker.  15. Assign  one  of  the  ISBNs  to  your  new  book,  adding  it  to  iTunes  Producer.  16. Upload  it  all  to  iTunes  Connect,  validated  by  iTunes  Producer  before  the  upload.  (I   did  this  on  Sunday,  April  22.)  17. Apple  then  reviews  it  for  content,  style,  and  other  aspects.  18. Wait  for  approval..  19. Once  approved,  it  goes  to  iTunes.  (This  happened  on  Wednesday,  April  25.  No     5  
  • 6. I  haven’t  done  it,  but  in  looking  at  the  instruc.on  for  Amazon,  it  is  simpler,  but  with  much  poorer  tool  support:  1.  Take  the  thesis  contents…  2.  and  some  pictures,  3.  using  Word  or  another  publishing  tool,  clean  up,  edit,  and  format  a  bit,  and   export  it  as  HTML.  4.  Review  it  in  Amazon  Kindle  Previewer.  5.  Upload  it  to  Kindle  Direct  Publishing  (aUer  crea.ng  a  KDP  account).  6.  Add  cover  art  and  metadata.  7.  AUer  a  few  hours,  it  appears  in  the  Amazon  store.  8.  Wealth  and  fame  follow.     6  
  • 7. My  book.  Only  $.99  or  .49  Euros.   7  
  • 8. 8