iTunes

Book Publishers: Frequently Asked Questions

How do I sign up to offer my books on iBooks?

To sign up to offer your books on iBooks, complete the application. You can apply to create a Paid Books Account or a Free Books Account.

What is the difference between a Paid Books Account and a Free Books Account?

A Paid Books Account allows you to sell books and offer books free on iBooks. You will need to provide banking and tax information so you can receive payment.

A Free Books Account allows you to offer books free on iBooks. If you think you may want to sell books later, you should create a Paid Books Account now, because a Free Books Account can’t be converted to a Paid Book Account.

Should I work directly with Apple to distribute my books, or should I go through an aggregator?

You can sign up to sell your books directly using iTunes Connect. However, if you are not sure how to create digital editions of your titles, or if you have other operational or financial needs, it may be best to work with an aggregator. Aggregators are experts in ePub conversion, formatting, marketing, promotion, and price optimization. For a nominal charge, they can format your book to Apple’s specifications so that it uploads correctly the first time, and they can distribute your book across multiple channels. See a list of Apple-approved aggregators

Do I need an Apple ID to apply?

Yes, you need an Apple ID that is set up for use on the iTunes Store and that has a current credit card on file (for identity verification purposes). If you don’t already have an Apple ID that you use on the iTunes Store, download iTunes and create one for free.

How much does it cost?

There are no fees associated with setting up an account. More details regarding sales terms are available during the sign-up process.

Do I need an ISBN?

An ISBN is not required but recommended for any book you are offering on iBooks. An ISBN (International Standard Book Number) uniquely identifies the book and its current edition, and helps you to ensure that you are marketing the right book. In the U.S., you can obtain an ISBN from Bowker. Outside the U.S., see the International ISBN Agency.

An ISBN is not required if you have a free book agreement and choose to offer your book free on iBooks.

The print edition of my book already has an ISBN. Can I use it for the version that I’m submitting to iBooks?

No. Print and digital editions of the same book must have different ISBNs.

Do I need a U.S. Tax ID?

A U.S. Tax ID is required as part of the iTunes Connect sign-up and authentication process to sell books on iBooks. This requirement also applies to publishers outside the U.S. To request a U.S. Tax ID from the IRS, click here. Be sure to enter your U.S. Tax ID correctly when applying. If you are prompted to complete U.S. tax forms on iTunes Connect, you must use the same U.S. Tax ID.

If you choose to enter into a free book agreement, a U.S. Tax ID is not required at this time.

I get an error message that the first or last name I entered does not match the name on file for the iTunes Store account I entered. What do I do?

Reenter your iTunes account information or go to the iTunes Store and update the name on file.

I already have an iTunes Connect account to sell another media type (apps, music, TV content, or movies). Can I use it for iBooks?

If you currently have an iTunes Connect account to sell another media type, you cannot create a second iTunes Connect account with the same Apple ID. You’ll need to set up a new Apple ID and use it to complete a separate book application.

Who should apply for iBooks on behalf of my company?

Someone with signature authority should apply to offer books on iBooks. Only such an individual can accept the standard iBooks agreement on iTunes Connect.

I’m being prompted to enter my legal name. What name should I use?

If you’re registered as a company, enter your legal entity name. If you’re signing up as an individual, enter your first name and last name. The legal name you enter should match the name affiliated with the U.S. Tax ID and Tax ID type that you provide with your application. This name will also appear as the seller’s name on all your books listed in iBooks.

How will I be notified of my application status?

You will be notified by email. Check any spam filters on your email account and make sure your account is set up to receive email from do_not_reply@apple.com.

Do you accept PDFs?

No, iBooks accepts only EPUB files and Multi-Touch books.

What is an EPUB file?

EPUB is a free electronic book standard that uses XHTML. You must validate EPUB files to make sure they comply with EPUB formatting standards (EPUB schema). All submitted books must pass the latest version of ePubCheck, include only files listed in the manifest, and use UTF-8/16 characters. Read the complete EPUB specification

How do I create an ePub file?

A variety of conversion tools are available. Or you can get help from an aggregator. Aggregators can help you convert and deliver your titles for a nominal charge. In addition, they can distribute your book across multiple channels. See a list of Apple-approved aggregators

What is a Multi-Touch book?

A Multi-Touch book is a new kind of book for iPad that can include photo galleries, video, interactive diagrams, 3D objects, and more. To view a Multi-Touch book, users must have an iPad and iBooks 2 app.

How do I create a Multi-Touch book?

You can create a Multi-Touch book using iBooks Author, available free from the Mac App Store. iBooks Author makes it easy for anyone to create textbooks, cookbooks, history books, picture books, and more for iPad.

How do customers access iBooks?

iBooks can be accessed from the iTunes Store on a Mac or PC or from the iBooks app, available from the App Store, on a compatible iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch.

Can I offer subscriptions to a magazine on iBooks?

No, magazines and other periodicals are not supported by iBooks. Consider making your magazine available as a web app or via the App Store. Find out more about Apple’s developer resources at developer.apple.com.

Can I distribute books for free?

Yes, you can make your books available free, regardless of whether you have a Paid Books Account or a Free Books Account.

Can I distribute self-published books on iBooks?

Yes. All instructions and processes are the same for both publishing organizations and self-published authors.