Yesterday was a frustrating day with regards publishing my books to the online bookstores. I am having strange problems with the Kobo bookstore. I can get in to the site for the readers. I don’t seem to be able to login to the site they have especially for selling books. Every time I try to login I get taken to a page which is not where I want to be. The page is absolutely no use to me whatsoever. I did manage to get one book uploaded onto the Kobo site a couple of weeks ago. Now that I try to get in there again, I just can’t get logged in to the account. I spent ages trying every different way I could think of, to get on there. I deleted all the cookies for the site, I tried two different browsers to get in and I have sent messages to their support. After all that and quite bit of time wasted I still haven’t been able to sort the problem out. I am tempted to try and start completely fresh by deleting any accounts I can get into and make a new account. If the problem gets any worse I’d be tempted to say goodbye and good luck to Kobo altogether. It could be enough to have my books on the Amazon store, the iTunes store and the Barnes & Noble Nook store.
More Book Publishing Frustration
The other thing I was trying, was to send a book into the Apple iTunes Store. I had just spent a whole day working to sort out the layout and formatting using iBooks Author. I love using that application and it gives me great quality layout and formatting. I wish it was possible to output from that application to the Kindle format. It is excellent the way I can put pictures exactly where I want them. I like being able to set the formatting for headers and in fact any of the text. I can make changes to one style of text and make it change with all other instances of that style throughout the document. It’s a shame that Apple is not as big at selling books as is Amazon.
iTunes Servers Down
When it came time to use iTunes Producer which is a separate software to upload the book to the store I was having all sorts of problems. I thought the problem was at my end as I couldn’t log in to the account I had set up before, specifically for selling books through iTunes. It would have been handy to have just the one Apple ID and for it to be the same as I have set up for everything else Apple. Can’t do that though, you have to have a separate account for selling through the iTunes Store. In any case, it’s not too difficult to set up a new account and I was trying to get the book published using the iBooks account. Nothing was working and I was getting extremely frustrated. Only after a couple of hours of trying I found out that the problem was a rare iTunes downtime due to DNS problems with their servers. If I had known sooner I could save myself a lot of time and annoyance.
A New Day – A Fresh Start
This morning I have tried again with the Apple publishing and it went surprisingly well. There was a little bit of rigmarole in setting up the bank and tax details, but it wasn’t too onerous. The book uploaded without any error messages at all. One of the error messages I got yesterday was due to a problem with the size of the images you have as snapshot views inside your book. They don’t tell you they have to be of a certain size, until after you have put them in and try to upload them. The snapshots are optional anyway, so I just took the all out. I was able to get around the small problem of it’s not finding my bank by using the convenient search facility. After that it was just a case of the forms not accepting one part of my address and I was able to fix that by making slight changes. I think I was lucky in finding a solution that worked. It’s nice to see a message in iTunes Connect for the Book Review Status, to say they’ll review 95% of all book submissions within one business day. It’s the first time I’ve been into iTunes Connect and I’m pleased to say that it all looks businesslike and may be quite easy to deal with.
Setting the Book Price
After I’d set up all the various details for tax and the contact etc., I was able to go in and to set the price of the book. There are 51 territories where I can have the book available for sale. I set the price of the Good and Geeky – Email Privacy and Security book at $3.99. I used to the dollar price as the reference currency with all the other currencies based upon the price of set with the dollar. All I have to do now is to wait up to 24 hours for the book to be given the green light to go on the store. After that, I will be able to start marketing the book and letting people know it is available.
Lots of Resources and Help
There is a lot of available help within the Apple site to help you get your book published. I just found a page within iTunes Connect that is full of all sorts of helpful information. There are sections for Getting Started, Book Preparation, Book Delivery and Using iTunes Connect. In the Getting Started area there is a tutorial to cover the agreements, tax and banking. There is the iBooks Publisher User Guide and it even tells me I can buy up to 2 Mac computers per year at a discounted rate. Isn’t that nice to know!
Making a Fancy iBooks eBook
The Book Preparation section has information about iBooks Author, including video tutorials and samples. I’ll be having a look through all this to find any gems of information that will help me publish my books. The book I have uploaded so far is only a straight copy of the Kindle book. It doesn’t have any of the fancy things that is possible to put into an e-book done in the iBooks format. I would like to have a more fully featured book and I will definitely update this book at a later date, when I have time. I think it is important not to overdo the use of the fancy little tricks, as it can make it less readable. If you add one or two of the iBooks Author extras without overdoing it, it can make a book look kind of special.
No Megabyte Delivery Charges
One of the good things about using iBooks and the iTunes Store is that you don’t get charged an amount for delivery of your book per megabyte. This means that in comparison to books on the Amazon store, you can add more pictures, audio and even video. This helps you tell your story in a more compelling fashion. This could suit me quite nicely as I do tutorial videos that will be perfect, added to my books. I’ll just have to make sure that I have a good read of the iBooks Asset Guide. I’ll know then, all the video, audio images and ePub docs comply with the standards. At least I will be able to check it by using the application supplied to check everything – Book Proofer.