Publishing Direct to Apple

Through much trial and tribulation, I learned how to publish my books direct to Apple Books using my Dell desktop computer. Earlier, you had to submit using an Apple computer. Since I didn’t own one, I hired a formatter to do the uploads for me. Then Draft2Digital came into existence, and they offered an easy way to submit your books to Apple. Naturally, D2D takes a commission for this service.

Then Apple changed the rules. You could upload directly through any Apple device, such as an iPad, or via the iCloud on your PC. I decided to learn how to do this rather than going through a third party aggregate or hiring a formatter. 

The first step is to sign on to your iCloud account via your web browser. Make sure your manuscript meets the formatting suggestions: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208716

Click on Pages. If you haven’t added this app, you need to do it first. Once in Pages, on the upper row is an upload symbol. Click on this and upload your Word document. Double click on the document. At the upper right, click on the tool symbol that looks like a wrench. This brings up a dropdown menu. Click on Publish to Apple Books. You’ll have to sign in with your Apple password. Check “This is a new book.” You can update an already submitted book at this stage, too.

Make sure you fill in the boxes accurately. Under Layout, click Reflowable. Upload your book cover. Correct the book title. Add your series name and number. Make sure your author name is correct, including your middle name or initial. Next, provide your book description. If you’re copying and pasting, paste it in with Control-V.

Next, choose your Apple subject category and subcategory, i.e. Mysteries & Thrillers, Cozy.

For Interest Age, I’ll put 12 and Older
Contains Explicit Content: No
Language: English
Publisher and Imprint: [Add your publisher name if you have one]
Original Publication Date: [Today or later]
Pre-Order: Yes or No
Specify Sample Range: No

Vendor Number: Apple assigns you a different vendor number for each submission. Do not make the mistake I did in thinking this was something I had to fill in. It has nothing to do with your seller account. I screwed up on this point and kept filling it in and messing things up. Lesson learned: Leave this box alone.

ISBN Digital: Scroll down below Vendor Number to find this box. Use “Control-V” to enter number if you are copying and pasting.

ISBN Print: Add your print ISBN here if you have one.

Hit “Continue”
Hit “Download Preview” to review.
Hit Open. Use “Page Down” to flip pages.
When done, Hit “Upload” on bottom right of the previous window

This will take you to iTunes Connect, where you should already have an account. Sign in and click on My Books.

It may take a few minutes for your new book to pop up. When it does, click on it, then click “Edit Metadata.” If the spacing isn’t right on your book description, add <br> at the end of each paragraph and in between paragraphs. Here’s mine for Hairball Hijinks.

Apple Edit

Make sure all else is correct, then click on Submit.

Go to Rights and Pricing
Click on Add New Territories
Fill in the Release Date
Cleared for Sale: Yes
Base Currency: US Dollar
Publication Type: New Release
List Price: Fill in your retail price
Suggested Apple Price: Can be same as above
Apply to Territories; Select All, to check the boxes for all territories
Continue, Confirm, Done.

Get your Apple Book ID. Come back later, sign in to iTunes Connect, go to My Books, and get the individual store links. Consider joining their Affiliate program at https://www.apple.com/itunes/affiliates/

More people are reading on their smartphones and tablets these days. While they can download the Kindle app, it makes sense to have your book directly available to Apple customers. If you’re just setting up a seller account for the first time at iTunes Connect, you’ll need to fill in all the payment and tax information. If you have an LLC or a fictitious business name, you may have to contact Apple and ask them to apply this publisher name as the Seller on your account.

Once you’re all set up, everything will become easier. Apple has a few more hoops to jump through to submit a book than Amazon, Kobo, or Barnes and Noble, but it’s worth the effort. And by uploading direct, you can take advantage of whatever promotional opportunities they offer, such as free promo codes.

Tips on Publishing your Books Direct to Apple #indiepub #pubtip Click To Tweet

If your experience is different, or you have more tips to add, please contribute in the comment section.

Self-Publishing Made Simple – Conclusion

Final Thoughts on Indie Publishing
Here are my final words on the topic of indie publishing.

Self-Publishing Conclusion

For Backlist Titles
Once you have your rights reverted, you can reissue these titles yourself. Follow the steps in this series. I always make sure to say it’s a reissue in my promo posts and to mention the original publisher on the copyright page. Since I do a new round of editing, I call these my Authors Editions. Your other choice would be to find a new publisher but it depends on what books you’ll have available and how much control you want. It’s gratifying to improve and launch these titles yourself. You can add your own front and back material, hire your own cover artist, and choose the formats and distributors of your choice. Plus, you can set your own price, and that’s an important benefit considering how high the trad publishers price their e-books.

Once your book is published at https://kdp.amazon.com, go to your account at Amazon Author Central https://authorcentral.amazon.com/. Hit Add Book and claim your title with the ASIN or ISBN number.

Allow a few hours or a day for this book to show up on your Author Central site. Sign in again to Amazon Author Central. Click on Books. Find your new title and click on it. Scroll down to where it says, not finding what you need, contact us. Fill in form and say “Please link this revised paperback edition with the Kindle and other editions.” Or, “Please link this newly revised Kindle edition with my previous mass market edition.” Provide ISBN numbers. Once linked, your customer reviews will show up on all editions. While on this page, you can add your author bio, improve the book description, or add editorial reviews.

Consider bundling your published backlist titles into box sets. Add a special enticement for fans who’ve read these books before, such as a new short story, craft tips, recipes, or character interviews. Make this bonus material exclusive to the box set. Offer a discount so the set costs less than if a reader bought the books individually.

For Original Titles
If you’re writing a series, make sure your series title is consistent at each distributor. Prepare a cover reveal notice and a book launch party. Solicit reviewers with advance reading copies. Consider offering your digital arcs through BookFunnel. You can format your book for free at Draft2Digital without having to publish it there. Use these files for your ebook ARCs. Midwest Book Review offers a pre-published review for a $50 fee. This site is well worth it but be wary of other paid reviews. Look on your social media sites for book review groups where you can post your offer. Ask your FB friends and newsletter subscribers for advance reviewers. If you ask other authors, don’t be pushy and understand that published writers have busy schedules and may have to turn you down.

The Finale
This concludes our series on Self-Publishing Made Simple. If you want more information, both BookBub and IngramSpark offer excellent blogs that you’ll find helpful, as do many other authors out there. Do your homework, present a professional product, become active on social media, and you’ll be headed in the right direction.

Did you miss our earlier posts on Self-Publishing Made Simple Blog Series? Go here to catch up:
Part 10 – The Library Market, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4qq
Part 9 – How to Use IngramSpark, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4qn
Part 8 – Why Choose Ingram, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4qk
Part 7 – Print Book Distributors, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4qh
Part 6 – E-book Distributors, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4qf
Part 5 – Book Production for the Indie Author, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4q6
Part 4 – Buying and Assigning ISBNs, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4pO
Part 3 – Adding Front & Back Material, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4pz
Part 2 – Manuscript Preparation for the Indie Author, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4oX
Part 1 – Getting Started as an Indie Publisher, https://wp.me/paLXP7-4oQ

GIVEAWAY

Enter Here to win a free book from the Prize Vault at Booklovers Bench.

Self-Publishing Made Simple – Part 5

Book Production for the Indie Author

This is Part 5 of my Self-Publishing Made Simple blog series.

Self Publishing Part 5

You have a polished manuscript. You have bought a block of ISBN numbers. You’ve determined how you want to present yourself as a publisher re using an imprint or not.

Now you’ll need to decide if you will be publishing an ebook, paperback, and/or hardcover edition. Finish the copyright page by adding ISBNs for the format of your choice.

Note: If you’re simply going to upload your book to Amazon and participate in their KU program, likely you can use the ISBN number assigned by Amazon. This is true for certain other distributors as well. But keep in mind that this will register them as the publisher on record rather than you. See Part 4 for how to assign book titles to an ISBN number.

Book Descriptions and Tag Line
Write a one-sentence tag line for your book along with short and long story descriptions. If you need help, go here:

Blurb Writer: http://www.blurbwriter.com/
Blurb Bitch: http://www.blurbbitch.com
Karen’s Blurb Service: http://www.angelfire.com/stars4/kswiesner/BlurbService.html
Killion Group: http://thekilliongroupinc.com/

For a paperback, decide if you want a longer blurb on the back cover or a shorter one with review quotes. Remember to leave room for the bar code. You do not need to buy this. Distributors will provide their own bar codes, or you can get one free online. Prepare the back cover copy to send to your cover designer.

Author Biography
Prepare your author biography. This should be written in third person in an engaging manner. List your writing awards, professional organizations, genres, and special interests. Have a long bio, a short bio, and a couple of speaker introductions geared to writers and readers. You’ll need a shorter bio for the online book distributors, where you might want to include the URL to your website or newsletter.

Keywords
Make a list of your keywords. These are phrases readers might use to search for your book. They don’t have to be one word. You can use phrases such as, “mysteries with humor” or “cozy mysteries with pets” or “mysteries set in small towns.” Here’s an example of more keywords for mysteries. Look at the bestseller categories on Amazon for more ideas. https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G201276790

Cover Design
Think about a scene or two that you’d like to see depicted on your cover. Also consider your series branding if your book isn’t a standalone. Colors, text, and placement should be consistent from book to book. So should the art style. Look for a cover artist who has a portfolio of books in your genre. Join the writing community to get recommendations.

Pricing
If you’re unsure what to charge, look at other books in your genre with similar page counts to see what the going rates are. What are readers in your genre willing to pay for a print book or a digital copy? 

Formatting
Formatting comes next. You can do it yourself, hire a professional, or use one of the third party aggregates, such as Draft2Digital, to do the conversions for you. What you’ll need will depend on your technical skills and where you plan to upload your book.

Distribution
Before we get into particulars on book distributors, decide where you want your book to be sold. Are you planning to sell it at Amazon alone, perhaps with their Kindle Select program so people can get your book through Kindle Unlimited? Then all you need is a mobi file. For BN, Kobo, and Apple, you’ll need an ePub file. For print, a pdf file is required.

Ebook Distributors
Amazon: https://kdp.amazon.com
Barnes & Noble Press: https://press.barnesandnoble.com/
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/p/writinglife
Apple Books: https://itunesconnect.apple.com
Google Play: Access through one of the Aggregators below

Third Party Aggregators
Draft2Digital, https://draft2digital.com
Smashwords: www.Smashwords.com
PublishDrive: https://publishdrive.com/

Print Options
Amazon KDP Print: https://kdp.amazon.com
IngramSpark: http://www.ingramspark.com/
Barnes & Noble Press: https://press.barnesandnoble.com/

Once you have all these pieces ready to go, you can start uploading to the various book distributors. 

Self-Publishing Made Simple, Part 5 - Book Production for the Indie Author #indiepublishing #amwriting Click To Tweet

Coming Next: Ebook Distributors 

Did you miss our earlier posts on Self-Publishing Made Simple Blog Series?
Go here to catch up:
Part 4 – Buying and Assigning ISBNs https://wp.me/paLXP7-4pO
Part 3 – Adding Front & Back Material https://wp.me/paLXP7-4pz
Part 2 – Manuscript Preparation for the Indie Author https://wp.me/paLXP7-4oX
Part 1 – Getting Started as an Indie Publisher https://wp.me/paLXP7-4oQ

CONTESTS

April 15-21 RONE Awards
Please VOTE for Body Wave Audiobook in the RONE Awards THIS WEEK ONLY! Sign in or Register at InD’Tale Magazine, https://www.indtale.com Be sure to click the email confirmation link if you are registering for the first time. Once logged in, go to RONES in upper right corner, hover over 2019 RONE Awards, and click on 2019 RONE Awards Week One that pops up. Scroll down to the Audiobook: Paranormal/Mystery Category and vote for my title, BODY WAVE. 

April 1 – 18 Booklovers Bench
Enter to win a free book from the Prize Vault at Booklovers Bench, including a copy of SHEAR MURDER, #10 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries. https://bookloversbench.com/win-a-free-book-april-2019/ #giveaway #cozymystery