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How to Submit Your iBooks Author E-Book to the iBookstore

To distribute your e-books via the iBookstore, you need to set up a publisher account with Apple. Click the Online Application link to open the Create an Account screen in Apple’s iTunes Connect service, which is the service used to sell e-books and other content through Apple’s various iTunes stores. You need to choose between a paid account and a free account.

You can’t convert a free account to a paid account later, so if you think you may want to sell e-books at some point, choose the paid account. For a paid account, you need a taxpayer ID for your organization or yourself, as well as the legal name used for a business taxpayer ID, so be sure to get that information before you start.

Also, if you have a developer account with Apple, you can’t use that account to sell e-books (or other content) via the iTunes stores. You need a separate account for each type of the iTunes content you intend to distribute (such as e-books, music, and movies).

After you complete the online application, Apple sends you a confirmation e-mail. For a paid account, the processing can take a few days for Apple to verify your information. After your information is verified, go to iTunes Connect in your browser to set up the remaining details of your account, including agreeing to the account terms. For paid accounts, you can set up additional contacts if you’re not an individual or a sole proprietor.

For all paid accounts, you must set up banking information (to deposit your sales receipts) and your taxpayer reporting information (an electronic IRS W-9 form in the United States, for example).

After your setup is complete, a confirmation screen appears in your browser. In this screen, you download the iTunes Producer software that you need to complete your e-book for distribution in the iBookstore.

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If you have a paid publisher account with Apple, before you can publish your e-book, you need to get an ISBN for it, even if you’re not charging for the book. You need a separate ISBN for each edition, so if you also plan on publishing a print version, a Kindle version, and/or an ePub version, you need a separate ISBN for each.

You don’t need an ISBN if you have a free publisher account or if you’re distributing an e-book somewhere other than the iBookstore. But you can still get an ISBN for e-books published those ways; for example, you might want ISBNs as part of your inventory management system or to prove you’re the publisher in case of an ownership dispute.

After you’ve created your book in iBooks Author, set up at Apple, and finished prepping e-book and its elements in iTunes Producer, follow these steps to submit it to the Apple iBookstore:

  1. Go to the Delivery pane.

    The Delivery pane in iTunes Producer lists any issues that must be addressed before you can submit the e-book to the iBookstore.

  2. Go to the appropriate panes and subpanes to resolve any issues listed.

    iTunes Producer lists the fields or other items that need to be corrected, but not which pane or subpane they reside in, so you may have to hunt for the settings to correct.

  3. After you resolve all the issues, save the .itmsp file by choosing File→Save.

    Alternatively, you can press Command+S.

  4. Click Deliver in the Delivery pane, choose File→Save and Deliver, or press Command+D.

    If you have multiple e-books ready to be uploaded to Apple, choose File→Save and Deliver All or press Shift+Command+D.

    At this point, iTunes Producer uploads the e-book to Apple’s servers. (If you see an error message saying the files aren’t saved, don’t panic. iTunes Producer itself should save the files and continue the upload process.) The upload could take several minutes, depending on the speed of your Internet connection, the size of your e-book file, and how busy Apple’s iTunes Connect servers are.

  5. Go to your iTunes Connect account via your web browser to verify that everything is as you expected.

    You can see the status of your e-books by clicking the Manage Your Books link in iTunes Connect.

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