E-book Platforms

I’m admitting up front that I’ve never published or sold an e-book. I’m hoping to soon, but as of now I can only describe what the process looks like from the the outside looking in.

That being said, I’m a little surprised at the difference in complexity between publishing a book with Apple and with Amazon.

If you want to sell through the iTunes store, this is what you’ll need.

A mac (sorry PC users, you’re out of luck)
A US Tax ID number
Quicktime Pro
ISBN Number
File must be in ePub Format

For Amazon and the Kindle:

No Tax ID number
No proprietary software
No ISBN Number
File can be in .txt format, html, or even .doc.

With Apple there is no guarantee that your book will be published. In fact, they call the upload process an ‘application’.  They will review your book before they publish it.

The Kindle has a feature that allows you to enable or disable DRM. I’m unsure if Apple has the same feature, or if they include or exclude DRM by default.

The Apple application looks pretty costly and complicated. It sounds like it may be hard to get payments processed as well. On their application page they say “…you should consider this before applying to work directly with Apple as you may receive payments faster by working with an Apple-approved aggregator.”

I’m hoping to have an e-book ready for upload this fall. By that time, maybe Google will have their book store up as well. I’ll submit it to all three, and let you know how easy it is.

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