iTunes

Book Publishers: Frequently Asked Questions

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

To sign up to offer your books on the iBooks, complete the application. You can choose between a Paid Books Account and 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 for free on the iBooks. You will need to provide banking and tax information so you can receive payment.

A Free Books Account allows you to offer books for free on the iBooks. If you think you may later have books you would like to sell, you should create a Paid Books Account now, as existing Free Books Accounts can’t be converted to Paid Book Accounts.

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

If you currently have an iTunes Connect account to offer 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.

Should I work directly with Apple or use an aggregator?

You can sign up to offer 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. For more information, see the iBooks Aggregators page on iTunes Connect.

Do I need an Apple ID to apply?

Yes, to apply you need an Apple ID that is set up for use on the iTunes Store with a valid 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. The Apple ID you apply with will be the same for iTunes Connect once your account has been successfully set up and activated.

If you already have an iTunes Connect account set up for another media type (such as apps, music, TV content, or movies), you need to create a new Apple ID and use it for the book application. You cannot create another iTunes Connect account with the same Apple ID.

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 (International Standard Book Number) is not required but recommended for any book you are offering on the iBooks. An ISBN uniquely identifies the book and its current edition, and helps you to ensure that you are marketing the right book. The ISBN is also required for reporting your book's sales to the industry reporting agencies and charting organizations.

In the U.S., you can obtain an ISBN from Bowker. Outside the U.S., see the International ISBN Agency.

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

No. The International ISBN Agency requires different ISBNs for the print and digital editions of the same book.

Do I need a U.S. Tax ID?

If you sign up for a Free Books Account, no U.S. Tax ID is required. Free Books Accounts cannot be changed it into Paid Books Accounts. If you set up a Free Books Account and later decide you have books you'd like to sell, you will need to create a new Paid Books Account.

A valid U.S. Tax ID is only required if you sign up for a Paid Books Account to offer books on the iBooks. This also applies to publishers outside the U.S. You can request a U.S. Tax ID directly from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Make sure that you enter your U.S. Tax ID correctly to avoid delays in the account setup. If you have to file U.S. tax forms on iTunes Connect, you must use the same U.S. Tax ID.

Note that recently issued U.S. Tax IDs may not be part of the IRS database yet. Until the information is in the IRS database, we cannot validate your U.S. Tax ID.

I already have an iTunes Connect account for another media type (such as, apps, music, TV content, or movies) and an associated U.S. Tax ID. Can I use that U.S. Tax ID for the Paid Books Account application?

If you already have a legal entity name and U.S. Tax ID associated with another media type you are offering on iTunes or the App Store, you can use the same legal entity name and U.S. Tax ID for the Paid Books Account application. Note that you must set up a different Apple ID.

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

Reenter your Apple ID account information or go to appleid.apple.com and update the name associated with your Apple ID.

Who should apply for the iBooks on behalf of my company?

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

I’m being prompted to enter my legal entity name and Tax ID type. What name should I use?

The legal entity name and Tax ID should match the associated U.S. Tax ID that you provide with your application. The legal entity name will also appear as the seller’s name for all your books in the iBooks.

When entering in your information make sure you:

How will I be notified of my application status?

You will be notified via 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, the iBooks accepts only EPUB and Multi-Touch books.

What’s an EPUB?

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. For more information, see idpf.org/epub.

How do I create an EPUB?

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. For more information, see the iBooks Aggregators page on iTunes Connect. Note that Japanese language books must be in the EPUB 3 format.

What’s a Multi-Touch book?

A Multi-Touch book is the book format created by iBooks Author that supports textbooks, cookbooks, history books, picture books, and more for iPad. To view a Multi-Touch book, you must have an iPad and iBooks 2 or later.

How do I create a Multi-Touch book?

You can create a Multi-Touch book using iBooks Author, available for 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 the iBooks?

The 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 the iBooks?

No, magazines and other periodicals are not supported by the 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 for free, regardless of whether you have a Paid or Free Books Account.

Can I distribute self-published books on the iBooks?

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

I cannot find the answer to my question. Where can I get additional help?

The iBooks also provides support via email and phone. You can choose from the following two options: