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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a Mac and I'm curious if I should continue to use SW to distribute my three books to Apple or if I should submit them to Apple myself.

Here are some pros/cons I can think of:

Pro--
Higher royalty
Quicker sales reporting
Quicker payments--for example, it's been reported that I sold X amount of books in Feb, March and April (I think) at Apple, but Apple hasn't even paid SW any of that money yet.
If I change my book because of a typo, the new version will be available much sooner

Cons--
I hear formatting is a bear
If I "opt out" now at SW, it could be a while before my books are actually taken down--I've also heard of people who opt out after the books are live in some of the channels, but the books sent from SW aren't taken down. A friend of mine had this happen with B&N.
Buy another ISBN


Any thoughts?
 

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I have lots of downloads but very few sales at Smashwords...  :(

I've actually been thinking of pulling my book and republishing them directely on the other chanells to see what happens.

@David - do you see an improvement in sales since dropping SW?
 

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You will also need your own ISBN.

If you have Pages, there is a ePub book template that Apple provides. It's just three pages, but contains a variety of styles. I chose the styles I wanted, then cut and pasted my PC Word file into the template on Pages. I had used six Styles in word, and I easily changed each to one of the styles included in the template. Every style can be changed with a single command. So instead of the style I used on Word for normal text, I simply replaced that with the template "normal." All this took about ten minutes.

Then I exported an ePub file. Drag that to iTunes, and it can be loaded on an iPad, iTouch, or iPhone so you can see what you have.

So I would not say formatting was difficult at all. My philosophy was to keep it as Apple as I could and it all went very smoothly.

To actually upload, you first apply and provide an ISBN. I applied on Friday and was accepted on Monday. The acceptance email contains a link to download the software necessary to actually do the upload, title the book, add blurb, define markets and prices, etc. This software runs only on Mac. When I uploaded it told me everything was OK. Eight days later the book was live on iBooks.

Here's the link to apply and get started.

https://itunesconnect.apple.com/WebObjects/iTunesConnect.woa/wo/0.0.0.9.7.3.1.1
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow! Thanks all!

David,

I sell through PubIt already. I know you can sell at B&N, Apple and Kobo yourself, what about Sony and Diesel? Do you (or can you) sell directly to them, too? Believe it or not, I've actually had more sales at Diesel than at Kobo and Sony combined.

Also, after you took your books down from SW (I'm assuming you just opted out and didn't actually "unpublish"), how long did it take before they were gone from those other places? I don't know that I'd want two copies of my books at the same place for too long.

swolf,

It's actually an Ipad2, not an Mac desktop computer. But I can definitely see why some love and some hate Macs.

Terrence,

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I'll look into that. I do have Pages, but as I said above, I have an Ipad2, will it work the same for formatting it in ePUB? Also, I have the "premium" ISBN from SW that's currently attached to my books that are at SONY and Apple (and I know I'm about to eat crow for this, swolf), but I wonder if I'd need a new one...
 

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I've only  had problems with formatting at SW when . . . my document had issues!  The latest was something in MSWord was messing up the size of the fonts.  So I don't think SW was telling me anything that I wouldn't have had to fix once I saw my book on epub anyway.

I've been very happy not to have to upload all 6 of my books to 6 different sites with all their different requirements (in addition to not owning a Mac).  I sell very few books at SW itself, but many to the places they distribute :)
 

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I actually hate publishing direct through Apple and would not do it again.* Beyond the fact that iBooks is a nearly useless book store (unless you already know exactly what you're looking for), I find the iTunes Producer program and delivery process to be a pain, and once you submit, you can't make changes. Or at least, I haven't been able to. You can modify pricing easily, yes, but I have not found a way to update the book description, page numbers, or anything like that. Very frustrating.

*Unless they fixed the many problems in their system.

That said, I don't know if publishing to Apple through Smashwords is any more or less effective, since I never tried it. I do know that while I don't sell many copies through Smashwords, it's been helpful to use b/c of the coupon system, which lets me give reviewers free copies.

Kristan
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Kristan Hoffman said:
I actually hate publishing direct through Apple and would not do it again.* Beyond the fact that iBooks is a nearly useless book store (unless you already know exactly what you're looking for), I find the iTunes Producer program and delivery process to be a pain, and once you submit, you can't make changes. Or at least, I haven't been able to. You can modify pricing easily, yes, but I have not found a way to update the book description, page numbers, or anything like that. Very frustrating.

*Unless they fixed the many problems in their system.

That said, I don't know if publishing to Apple through Smashwords is any more or less effective, since I never tried it. I do know that while I don't sell many copies through Smashwords, it's been helpful to use b/c of the coupon system, which lets me give reviewers free copies.

Kristan
What about uploading a revised version of a book? Say, you have a typo and you fix it, can you re-upload a corrected version? By the way, I love SWs coupons. That's one of the best things about them, I think.
 

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Rose Gordon said:
What about uploading a revised version of a book? Say, you have a typo and you fix it, can you re-upload a corrected version? By the way, I love SWs coupons. That's one of the best things about them, I think.
Since Apple (like Amazon, but not Smashwords) makes you pay to download your own work, I have no idea if any changes to the file make it through. I would be ABSOLUTELY SURE you're satisfied with your book description & info and with your file before you upload.

Their customer support is fairly lousy too. They bury their contact info.

(Note: I don't hate Apple. I love a lot of their stuff, including my MacBook and iPad. But their iBooks system is, in my opinion, terrible so far.)

Kristan
 

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Rose Gordon said:
What about uploading a revised version of a book? Say, you have a typo and you fix it, can you re-upload a corrected version? By the way, I love SWs coupons. That's one of the best things about them, I think.
Yes, you can upload a new version. I've done it. As Kristan said, you can't change your description without contacting Apple, but you can update the content and the cover just by re-uploading.
 

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I'm really happy with my sales in the other channels since opting out of them at Smashwords. I still use Smashwords for direct SW sales, but I opted out of Sony/Diesel. The covers were never correct, the price was never correct,...it looked really unprofessional. And since sales from those were non-existent, I had no issue with opting out. Aside from that, when I wanted to make a price change, it took forever to get the price changed at Diesel/Sony. It wasn't worth it for me.
 

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This thread prompted a few questions, so I went into my iTunesConnect account to look at some things. I discovered you get what looks like a 10% discount off Apple products as an Apple seller. I checked the new iMac. $1079 vs $1200, and the entry iTouch is $206 vs $229. And I didn't even know...
 

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Terrence OBrien said:
This thread prompted a few questions, so I went into my iTunesConnect account to look at some things. I discovered you get what looks like a 10% discount off Apple products as an Apple seller. I checked the new iMac. $1079 vs $1200, and the entry iTouch is $206 vs $229. And I didn't even know...
Ooo, had no idea about the discount! That's excellent.

Kristan
 

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Terrence OBrien said:
You will also need your own ISBN.

If you have Pages, there is a ePub book template that Apple provides. It's just three pages, but contains a variety of styles. I chose the styles I wanted, then cut and pasted my PC Word file into the template on Pages. I had used six Styles in word, and I easily changed each to one of the styles included in the template. Every style can be changed with a single command. So instead of the style I used on Word for normal text, I simply replaced that with the template "normal." All this took about ten minutes.

Then I exported an ePub file. Drag that to iTunes, and it can be loaded on an iPad, iTouch, or iPhone so you can see what you have.

So I would not say formatting was difficult at all. My philosophy was to keep it as Apple as I could and it all went very smoothly.

To actually upload, you first apply and provide an ISBN. I applied on Friday and was accepted on Monday. The acceptance email contains a link to download the software necessary to actually do the upload, title the book, add blurb, define markets and prices, etc. This software runs only on Mac. When I uploaded it told me everything was OK. Eight days later the book was live on iBooks.

Here's the link to apply and get started.

https://itunesconnect.apple.com/WebObjects/iTunesConnect.woa/wo/0.0.0.9.7.3.1.1
Waiiiittt... I use Pages. What template is this? lol
 

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"Waiiiittt... I use Pages. What template is this? lol"

Enter "ePub" in Pages help. They direct you to a download. It's really a nice template. I think the Chapter Heading style has an included page break, so watch for that if you have manual page breaks.
 
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