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Discussion Starter #1
I've decided to take the plunge and buy a Mac Mini so I can upload direct.

I've been advised to start the process of opening my iTunes publisher sooner rather than later. How long are they taking to approve new publishers these days?

I've also been advised to start the process now of opting out through Smashwords.

I went today to file a DBA so I could use my pen name as the publisher rather than my legal name.

Anything else I need to think about?

I'm so excited to do it myself. Not only a higher royalty, but uploads going live much sooner and instant price control. And monthly payments!!!!
 

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The time it takes Apple to release your book can vary quite a bit, which is maddening for some. But once you're in, updating is a snap through iTunes Producer, and you don't have to wait 12 hours, like you do with Amazon, to make further changes or corrections. I like that. And of course, any old ePub will do for Apple, as long as you're not making iBooks Author books (which I do too).

Yes, start the process of getting an iTunes Producer account early and make sure you fill in as many blanks in the tabs as necessary. Things like not clearing the book for sale (in the pricing Tab) can trip you up. One thing they look for is to make sure you have no links anywhere in your text to Amazon pages or other competitors. I custom-make a copyright page for my iBookstore releases that link to other books of mine in the iBookstore, rather than my usual links to my Kindle offerings.

Good luck, Amanda!
 

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I uploaded my first book to them direct in November, using macincloud (which is PAINFUL, btw). It took 2-4 days for them to approve my account, then something like two weeks to approve the first book for sale. I just bought a Mac mini a couple days ago myself to do the direct upload myself for the rest of my books, but I will say that the amount of work that goes into setting prices for the books is a little excruciating. Worse on the slow, laggy macincloud, but probably still going to be painful no matter what because it's poorly designed.

Let me know how long it takes to get your books pulled through Smashwords, because I am hesitant to pull them until the last minute if I can avoid it. I'm making too much money through Apple lately and I'm kind of hesitant to make them disappear from the store for any longer than I have to.

Oh, and monthly payments FTW! No more quarterly Paypal misses!
 

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Working with Apple entails three phases:

1. Application
2. Upload book after application accepted
3. Checking sales, etc.

#1 and #3 can be done with a PC. Only #2 demands an Apple. When you get accepted in #1, they send a link that allows you to download the software needed for #2. So you can do #1 right now.
 

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H.S. St.Ours said:
And of course, any old ePub will do for Apple ...
Not quite.

Apple requires its ePubs to be validated whereas B&N and Kobo don't, so what may pass muster for those two sites, could very well fail when uploaded to iTunes.
 

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Pages is the Apple WP. It can export an ePub file. I ran my PC file into eBook template included with Pages on the iMac, adjusted the para spacing, then exported an ePub.

Dragged the ePub into iTunes on the iMac, synched an iPad to the iMac, then checked the book on the iPad. It looked good, so I proceeded to upload.

I figured the Pages version of the ePub would work well with other Apple stuff. No problems encountered. Everything went smoothly the first time.
 

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Yep. Apply for your Apple account now. It took two weeks.

2) As far as Smashwords go, it took a couple of weeks for them to remove my books. Though I know someone who didn't take their books down for Smashwords until after their books went live with iTunes direct.

3) The first time around it took 5 weeks for my Apple direct books to go live. My last upload took about a week.
 

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Deanna Chase said:
Though I know someone who who didn't take their books down for Smashwords until after their books went live with iTunes direct.
Gonna test this, I think. Seems like a reasonable thing to try out, especially since who knows how long Smashwords will take before it removes them?
 

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So, a few notes. I uploaded all my files to Apple yesterday (6 of them) at about 3:30 PM Central, and they were all live this morning as of 8 AM. So that was faster than I expected after my last release. Second, they went ahead and left the Smashwords versions live on the store, so now I'm double-coveraged, which is interesting. Nice to know, too, because I didn't like the idea of having to lose sales for a few days.

Also, the Apple interface is WAY easier to use with the Mac Mini than it was on Macincloud. Once I got the hang of it (and figured out Mass Territory setup; that was not possible given the slowness of Macincloud) I was finishing and uploading a book package in a little less than five minutes each. Hope this helps!
 

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It took me a day or two for my books to be listed there via D2D.
 

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I submitted some books to the store in November that STILL have not gone live. No tickets, no validation issues. They're just sitting there. I'm thinking of going to Smashwords for the iBookstore. This is ridiculous.
 

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James Bruno said:
It took me a day or two for my books to be listed there via D2D.
Lucky man. D2D sounds like a good option for me too, but they aren't taking new publishers right now. :(

I looked into the pricing on a Mac Mini. I'd have to sell about 1,000 books just to break even on the purchase. Given how poorly my book does right now in non-Amazon outlets, I'm not willing to make that investment.

If D2D doesn't open the doors again soon, I might just have to go through Smashwords after all. Now that Smashwords has direct EPUB upload, I'm willing to go that route.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
DRMarvello said:
Lucky man. D2D sounds like a good option for me too, but they aren't taking new publishers right now. :(
Give them your email address. I got the "we're not adding new publishers right now" message a couple of days ago and then last night got an email that they'd added some more to the beta test and I was in. Give it a few days -- you'll probably get in.

DRMarvello said:
I looked into the pricing on a Mac Mini. I'd have to sell about 1,000 books just to break even on the purchase. Given how poorly my book does right now in non-Amazon outlets, I'm not willing to make that investment.
Your book is priced at $2.99, which means you'll earn roughly $2 per book sold. A Mac Mini through the Apple store is $599, although you need to add your own monitor and keyboard...but an HDTV monitor works nicely. Just sayin'...and if you're only going to be using it for uploading to the Apple store then you wouldn't need to leave it installed on the TV all the time either. Just hook up and unhook when needed.

So it's more like 300+ books sold to break even.

Or you can get a refurbished Mac Mini for around $300 or under, so that would be 150 books sold to break even.

Keep in mind that either Smashwords or D2D take 15% commission, which isn't bad really, but you do need to factor that in to the "break even" number. 150 books sold through Apple via SW or D2D wouldn't result in $300 income but rather $255. You'd actually need to sell 176 books to make $300.
 

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Amanda Brice said:
So it's more like 300+ books sold to break even.

Or you can get a refurbished Mac Mini for around $300 or under, so that would be 150 books sold to break even.

Keep in mind that either Smashwords or D2D take 15% commission, which isn't bad really, but you do need to factor that in to the "break even" number. 150 books sold through Apple via SW or D2D wouldn't result in $300 income but rather $255. You'd actually need to sell 176 books to make $300.
Thanks, Amanda. I'm apparently math-impaired today. I multiplied the $500 cost of the Mac Mini by $2 instead of dividing.

All the same, I have no reason to believe I'll sell 176 books on iTunes, given that I've sold exactly 0 (all time) on Kobo and maybe 10 to 15 on B&N. Meanwhile, I've sold over 2,000 on Amazon. It's almost enough to make me go back to Select!
 

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Amanda Brice said:
A Mac Mini through the Apple store is $599, although you need to add your own monitor and keyboard...but an HDTV monitor works nicely.
Actually if you get your iTunes producer account set up first (which you can do without a Mac), it's only $539 because you get a 10% discount.
 

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My books yesterday went live within hours, ONCE I got it all right. I alway forget to format the date correctly. Then I forget the cover inside the book has to be smaller than 2 million pixels, but the cover for the actual cover has to be bigger than 1400 on the short side...

I should take notes, really.

But I LOVE having my free book up instantly there.

And you can have as many author names as you want, but realize your company/publisher name is the same on all your books and will be linked in the store.
 
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