Wednesday, January 18, 2012

If the rumor is true: Apple is about to start a self-publishing business

This Jan. 9, 2012 news could be great for authors or doom for ebooks. What do you think?

"We broke the news last week that Apple is in development of a self-publishing program and many leading websites such as Media Bistro, Paidcontent, and tons of others. The essence of our writeup was that Apple will be holding an event at the end of the month where they are expected to take the wraps off of their self-publishing program for iBooks. This may benefit indie authors that want to submit directly to the service and not be forcibly relegated to doing business with various Aggregators. What does it mean for these companies if Apple starts their own program?

iBooks only launched in the last few years and has been playing catchup with Amazon, Kobo and Barnes and Noble. All of its competitors have expansive ecosystems that have been developed for many years and have solidified partnerships with the leading publishing companies and also smaller ones. The iBooks store is woefully sparse in terms of selection compared to the other stores. Most of their books are overpriced and many bestsellers are not available for an international audience.

One of the advantages Amazon and Barnes and Noble have over Apple is their own self-publishing program. Apple does have a little known process to publish your own books but it involves a validated ePub file, ISBN identifiers from the Library of Congress and a willingness to run the gauntlet of contracts, paperwork, and use iTunes Connect. This entire process is very daunting and many users are unaware of its existence.

Instead of dealing directly with Apple self-published authors have been using official Aggregator’s such as; Ingram, INscribe Digital, LibreDigital, Lulu, and Smashwords. If you live and publishing in Europe, you can do business with Bookwire and Immatériel. Of these, only Smashwords will convert MS Word documents to ePub.

Publishing Aggregator’s are proving to be a popular option for people to self-publish with because they help you along the entire process and normally submit to many other bookstores. Smashwords is one of the leading companies that do this and even provide you an ISBN number for free. They submit to Kobo, Sony, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple and a few others. One of the drawbacks of using any major Aggregator service is that they brand your book and serves as self-promotion."

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Anonymous said...

Es serio? No!~ Es no posible!

Anonymous said...

Excellent post! I think you've encapsulated the mission of this blog and our challenge.