We’re now into the technical part of the Publishing on the iBooks Store guide. It’s time to package up our ePub file in iTunes Producer.
In February 2014 Apple released iTunes Producer 3.0, and subsequently iTunes Producer 3.1. This guide is for v3.1.
iTunes Producer is essentially about packaging up the details of the book, the assets, and the metadata to submit to the iBookstore.
The book we published for this tutorial is called ‘Eye Spy – The Parasitic Peril‘ – click the link and read the great story behind this book.
1. Fire up iTunes Producer
Having downloaded and installed iTunes Producer, the first step will be to choose a template. For Book Creator this will always be Book rather than Textbook.
Your now presented with the main window, which consists of 3 main sections – Details, Price and Files, with Details being the currently open tab.
2. Book > Details
- Description: This will be used in the iBooks Store. You can use around 2000 characters for this.
- Book Type: Choose Book or Textbook. Note that Textbook only applies if the book is multi-touch format, which doesn’t apply to books made in Book Creator.
- Book Language: Note there is no differentiation between US and UK English.
- ISBN-13: ISBN is the unique industry standard number for recording your book. It is no longer required for submission to the iBookstore (but you might still want one for your book anyway).
BISAC means Book Industry Standards and Communications, whilst in the UK they use the Book Industry Communication (BIC) taxonomy. CLIL stands for Content and Language Integrated Learning and is championed by the European Commission (hence it’s in French!).
Choose the category scheme you want and then choose a category and sub-category from within. There are a lot to choose from, and it’s not always easy to find an obvious match. It’s also not at all clear how these categories relate to how the book is categorised on the iBookstore.
If you choose a couple of options from each category scheme you must choose the Primary category under each section (most likely these will be the ones that iTunes references against for its own categorisation).
TIP: It seems to be the category you choose for the BISAC option that is also the one used to categorise your book in the iBooks Store.
Book Cover art and screenshots
Unfortunately iTunes Producer cannot just use the first page of the book. You’ll need to create a separate cover image and upload it here.
The file must be a JPEG, PNG or TIFF file in RGB mode, (these are standard filetypes for images, but if you’re not sure what that means then you might need to get some technical help!).
The image must also be a minimum of 1400px on its shortest side. It doesn’t matter if the cover art is landscape, portrait or square.
You might have a suitable image already made. But one creative way to make cover art if using Book Creator on the iPad is to take a screenshot of the cover page of your book (press the home and power key at the same time).
Better still, you can make use of Book Creator’s ‘share page’ function to save the cover page as an image to the Camera Roll on your iPad.
By pressing the home and power buttons at the same time, you can take screenshots of pages of the book as viewed in iBooks on my iPad, and transfer them to your Mac via iPhoto. You can upload up to 5 screenshots and order them as you wish (hint: put the best one first!).
3. Book > Price
Click on the + to get started.
- DRM Free: Digital Rights Management (DRM) is a kind of copyrighting protection for digital files. In this case it would restrict use of the book to the machine that it was downloaded on. Checking the DRM Free box means that this is not the case.
- Publication Type: Digital Only means that the book does not have a hard copy paper equivalent, or has been significantly enhanced from the print version (e.g. with audio/video). This is the one that will apply to books made in Book Creator.
- iBooks Store Price: Once you choose a currency and then enter a price as the iBooks Store Price, you can then choose the countries you want to make the book available to. iTunes Producer will convert the price you entered into the appropriate pricing tier for each country. It is not a currency to currency conversion.
- Choose Region. If you want your book to be available in all 51 possible territories, it is quicker to choose All here.
Toubleshooting note: If you select ‘All’ it will also include ‘World’. If you try and submit the book you will get a validation error that says “World products are not allowed on books.” It’s not enough to uncheck the World option, you have to highlight it, go up to the Settings cog and choose Delete.
4. Book > Files
Simply drag and drop the ePub file into iTunes Producer.
You don’t need to upload a sample book unless there were particular pages you wanted to include in a sample. Apple will automatically produce a sample if you choose not to upload one.
Click the Submit icon in the top right corner and you will be prompted to save your submission as an iTunes Producer file (.itmsp). This will allow you to edit in future. The default location for saving will be the iTunes Producer Playlist folder.
The moment of truth arrives as you click Submit again and the book is sent to the iTunes Store for authentication. This will take some time to process depending on the file size of the book and your Internet connection speed, so don’t worry if seems to be taking a while.
Providing there are no issues, your book will be submitted and you’ll get a confirmation message.
Log into iTunes Connect and click on the My Books icon to see your book. You can click on the thumbnail for your book and check the status.
Go to the Resources and Help section in iTunes Connect and you’ll see News, Videos, Guides and Frequently Asked Questions relating to the iBooks Store.
You may also find the Apple Support Community to be a useful resource.
You can always ask us for help too, just post a comment below.