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Get Your Ebook in the Apple iBookstore

After weeks of anticipation — and months of speculation — the iPad and iBookstore are finally here.

We know many of our authors are excited by the possibilities of this new device. And we’re excited to offer you access.

Apple has selected Lulu as a certified aggregator to provide content for the iBookstore. We have been hard at work pushing hundreds of titles to the store as part of a pilot program to ensure all of our processes are ready for the volume of content that we expect. I’m sure you have many questions, so let me get right to it.

Four Points iBookstore Plan:

  1. ISBNs – Apple requires ISBNs on eBooks. Lulu can assign one for free.
  2. EPUB – All ebooks on the iBookstore must be a valid EPUB file. Our conversion tool will create an EPUB for you from your DOCX, ODT, or RTF file. We’ll do the validating as well, all you need to do is format the file correctly and you’ll be all set!
  3. Pricing – All ebooks sold on the iBookstore must have retail pricing that complies with Apple’s guidelines. We will automatically price Lulu eBooks submitted to the iBookstore to meet these guidelines. The creator revenue that you receive per sale will be 80 percent of the profit after deducting Apple’s share. On a $9.99 book, for example, you will receive $5.60 .
  4. Content – Apple could decline to list an ebook in the iBookstore if it determines the book violates the company’s policies on inappropriate content. We have submitted hundreds of titles and, so far, have had only one rejected.

We can help you get any project into the iBookstore, even if you’ve published only a printed copy of your work on Lulu so far. The key is that you must already have a project on Lulu — or publish a project now.

We’re committed to open publishing — to helping as many creators as possible reach as many consumers as possible, no matter the platform. Publishing at Lulu means you can have your work in hardcover and paperback and as an ebook accessible on many popular devices, including the iPad. In addition, you can create photo books, cookbooks, calendars and many other products.

We’re excited to add iBookstore distribution to our catalog of products and services. Please let us know if you have questions about this exciting new service.

Team Lulu

Since 2002, Lulu has powered the knowledge-sharing economy by enabling creators in more than 225 countries and territories to publish over 2 million books. Lulu’s industry-leading tools and global network of print facilities provide creators with the resources to succeed on their terms.

86 thoughts on “Get Your Ebook in the Apple iBookstore”

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  6. I do have a question about EIN’s for the US iBookstore. My new book shows its listed in iBooks, but isn’t showing up yet. Also, if I search for the title, iBooks says “that title isn’t available in the US yet. Do I need an EIN to get it to show in the US? Also, what does an EIN actually do? I’ve googled and found several sources to say iTunes updates the book lists monthly, when is that?
    I’m a little confused how that all works.
    Also I am sure I checked sell everywhere, but only iBooks and nook show in my manage distribution list. Will more show later or what should I do?
    Thanks for your help and considerate time in answering these questions.

  7. Hi, I am really interested in submitting an ebook that I am planning to compile for the the ipad and for other e-readers. Do I have to set a price?(is it required?) Because I’m planning on giving it away for free.

  8. Hi
    I am interested in your ebook publishing services, but have never published a book before. The manual script is 100% completed but still needs to be edited. Can you assist with editing too.

  9. We have an ebook of Indain language (Malayalam) in epub format which supports Apple’s iBook. How can we sell these books through this portal.

  10. I have recently “retired” one of my digital books for iTunes bookstore/iBooks. Will Lulu take care of its removal from iTunes iBookstore, or is there something else I need to do?

  11. According to a survey conducted in India, more than 50,000 people use iPad. This increased interest results in a boom in the development of different Softwares for iPad. iPad does not support any regional languages without the use of Softwares. These Softwares use the technique of Unicode font to read books in regional languages. But publishers find it difficult to create books in Unicode font. The use of these softwares demands elaborate processing. New updations have to be done by the user from time to time.
    As a solution to these problems, we (I and my collegue Mr. Jinu) introduces an updated eBook version for the first time in the world, for readers everywhere. iBook reads these eBooks created in the EPUB format without the use of any additional software. One of the main features of this new version is that it supports all Indian languages.
    Can we sell Indian language books (Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi, Telugu etc…..) through any portal?

  12. It seems like a great deal for Lulu to get 16% of gross Apple sales with no risk, marketing, writing, editing, cover design, or much else.
    It’s annoying the Apple mandated this system, which pulls money out of authors’ pockets.

  13. Hello all, this is a very true and relevant article I have ever found, this is very much detailed, I had been referring, rather still referring a lot for my book conversion, very truly mentioned is an HTML play an important role, nor the word or pdf directly, I would have never known this until I ordered my book for conversion to but will soon try to convert my book own next time….thanx

  14. I have a book (magazine) that i want to put on ibookstore. i have it in Ipad and epub.
    Is there someone i can work with to get this done.

  15. Actively Social

    The Apple iBookstore sounds like a really useful app to use while travelling. Thanks for sharing this post!

  16. howard n bricker

    Do we do the formatting of our book or does
    Lulu? Is this distribution to Apple, ony with th I Pad/ My book The Christmas Santa Had No Beard will be sold on Amazon and other places. What is Lu lu’s function

  17. Anyone have any information on how to get “Featured” within the iBooks App/Store?

  18. hi i am from india . iwan’t to publish my ebook
    to the apple ibook store . can u guyz help

  19. what if your book is free? and you didnt want to make any $ off of it, how would you get it into ibookstore?

  20. We hope to sell our paperback book in conventional book stores for £12-99.
    We had hoped to sell an IBook for £9-99.
    Can anyone simply explain how much we will receive from the Apple IBook store using Lulu?
    I am told Amazon only like selling books on Kindle that are priced between$2-99 and $9-99.
    Our book is 608 pages of valuable information.We do not want to give it away.

  21. I am already a happy customer with Lulu.
    Do you know what the customer profile is for Apple iBook Store. Is it a younger crowd or what? Any suggestions for finding demographics?

  22. This is a little out of the topic but can somebody help me how to submit free ebooks to the Apple ibook store?
    Things like:
    1. What format should the book be in
    2. What type of details do we need to supply to apply
    3. Is there a particular way to apply to submit free books versus paid books

  23. Hi,
    I’m considering publishing a harbor guide as an ebook. It has a lot of pictures and charts. What design program do I use?

    1. Susan,
      A US tax id number is not required for payment.
      However, a US tax id number, reported to us on a W8BEN form, would reduce US tax withholding on royalties income from 30% to 10%.

  24. Murat Ozpehlivan

    Thanks for helping young writers.
    I have published two of my novels as usual way and now thinking to publish them on ibook in iphones and ipads.
    My question is just, what should i do?
    and can i earn money by usind this way.
    The book i wrote is around 340 pages.
    Waiting your answer,
    Murat Ozpehlivan

    1. Murat,
      Offering your books in as many distribution channels as possible is always a good idea and is one of the big bonuses of Lulu is non-exclusive. That means you can publish and distribute through multiple channels, but your book will always have a home in the Lulu Marketplace for free. Offering your book in as many formats and channels as possible just makes it that much easier for potential customers to find, and ensures that they can purchase and read your content the way they want to. If the iBookstore is a route you’d like to take, then check out this page and add iBookstore distribution to your cart.

  25. Was Jen Middleton’s question every answered? I am planning exactly the same thing… 10 poems for a buck

    1. Jen and Edward,
      eBooks of any length are allowed both on Lulu and on the iBookstore, however Apple generates a free preview automatically which may end up showing all pages in a short book. You also have to set a minimum price of $.99 in the eBook wizard if you want to sell your eBook (this is the base cost/delivery fee). At this price, you’d make no revenue on Lulu, but $.56 per sale on the iBookstore.

  26. I have currently been given permission by a publisher to make an iBook of one of their publications.
    I am having problems finding out how to get the book onto the ibook store and also as I would be doing this as a business is it true that I have to have a US tax ID – so working from Sweden I would not be able to publish the book anyway!

    1. Joe,
      You would need to supply an EIN for the company or a SS# for an individual in the Remission Settings of your “My Lulu” page in order for us to send royalty payments.

  27. I already have a project in Lulu. It is written in Chinese. Can the contents written in Chinese be converted to an ePUB file?

    1. Ching-Fuh Lin,
      You would need to properly embed your characters as images in a PDF and either convert that yourself or use a conversion service.

  28. or just email the ebook to yourself then from ipad open your email open the ebook, then the ipad gives you the option of opening it in ibooks

  29. Stephen Willis

    your previous comment says that you take 20% of books sold through ibookstore. Do you take this amount as payment for creating an epub file or for giving an ISBNS number? Basically what I’m asking is if I publish an ebook with you will you be owed 20% of all future profits regardless if I sell the book through or another online retailer? Cheers
    Stephen Willis

  30. Is it possible to convert a graphic novel ( which has illustrated panels) into ePub format or is ePub suitable for text only?

  31. Giuseppe Furnari

    Dear Daniel,
    the April 3, 2010 did you say “in the coming weeks, we will automate more of this process and will incorporate it into our eBook Publishing Wizard”
    Is now available the new Wizard to convert the Word in our files and-pub in a new project, getting the ISBN?
    It is already possible, or when it will be for us authors can do so from Italy?
    Thank you for your attention
    Kind regards
    Giuseppe Furnari

  32. Can you provide me with Lulu titles that are only available for eReaders and not in print? Or direct me to a Web site that lists them?

  33. Eolake Stobblehouse

    I’ve looked into the ePub format, and it’s *very* simple. Like a web page in 1994. It will not support complex tables and footnotes and stuff like that.

  34. Which book did Apple reject? And what reasons did they give? Are there any guidelines from Apple on what they determine inappropriate content for us to look check prior to submission?

  35. Daniel,
    If we provide a book in different languages, is that considered one book or several?

  36. Dear Daniel, are there any restrictions about the language?
    E.g. can I publish a book in italian in the iBookstore through Lulu or the language of publication is country-specific (English and maybe spanish only for the U.S. iBookstore, Italian only for the Italian iBookstore – when it’ll be launched, and so on)?

  37. If I have sold the domestic US rights to a book, can I only offer that book via LuLu on the iBook store Internationally?

  38. “Content. Apple could decline to list an eBook in the iBookstore if it determines the book violates the company’s policies on inappropriate content. We have submitted hundreds of titles and, so far, have had only one rejected.”
    If you can, please clarify the nature of the title and reason for rejection for the one rejected title.

  39. Sounds like a great opportunity for self-publishing authors!
    Not sure why some commenters are so openly hostile-try calming down a bit before clicking the post comment button, geez.
    Stephane, you probably need to find an enterprising iPhone/ iPad developer for something like that- it sounds beyond the scope of iBooks. There are several sheet music apps in the App Store already.

  40. Hello Daniel,
    My question is: can I price my own book, or you do this?
    How do you know what would be the best price for that book?

  41. I published an ePub anthology through Lulu tonight, with the primary purpose of it getting in the iBooks store. Though the submission went through, I saw no dialog stating that it had been submitted to the iBooks store. Where would I get clarification on this? Is there an extra step I need to take or are all ePubs submitted automatically submitted to the iBooks store?

  42. Stéphane Horeczko

    Hey, I’m a pianist, composer and will like to see the same offer to be able to release a sheet music App. for iPad with page turns, optimized pdf pages to see
    real A4 staves and play-along mp3s
    Is-it a dream or will you come into this market into the near futur?

  43. Hi Daniel.
    I’m an independent publisher who contracts overseas printing for my illustrated children’s books. They are all formatted in Adobe InDesign. Some of them are “non-standard” sizes–5×12, for example.
    1. Will your conversion services take my InDesign files and, if so, how do I submit them? They are super huge files that I send to my printer on a dvd.
    2. I have all my own ISBN numbers. I want to remain the official publisher of record. Is this possible using Lulu as my Apple liaison?

  44. @Christian, @Paul, @Scott
    1) Yes, you will be able to use your own ISBNs when we release the new version of the eBook wizard. Today, there is no functionality in the wizard to assign an ISBN, so Lulu provides one of ours for free as part of generating your eBook and submitting to Apple.
    2) No. ISBNs must always be unique, so you cannot reuse an ISBN assigned to another edition. This is not an Apple restriction, but a universal requirement. Just like a hardcover and paperback edition of the same book have separate ISBNs, so too must the eBook edition.

  45. @tbrookside
    We don’t deduct the $1.49 transaction/delivery fee for eBooks sold on the iBookstore, only for books fulfilled by Lulu. Since Apple handles fulfillment, Lulu doesn’t incur that cost. The “real” math is pretty simple:
    Price on Apple= $9.99
    deduct Apple’s 30% = $7.00 net proceeds
    $7.00 * 80% = $5.60 (Author share)
    $7.00 * 20% = $1.40 (Lulu share)

  46. Christian Cantrell

    Daniel, can you please clarify two things?
    1. Will it ever be possible to enter your own ISBN?
    2. Will it ever be possible to use the same ISBN as a print edition?

  47. I am having trouble figuring out your pricing for this service.
    Your website makes it fairly opaque.
    The graphic on your ebooks page makes it appear that you charge a base fee of $1.49 for each ebook sold.
    So is the “real” math Apple takes 30%, then you charge a fee of $1.49 against what’s left, and then of whatever dollar amount is left over, the author gets 80%?

  48. My main concern is the ISBN. My ePubs already have an ISBN. I don’t need or want Lulu to add their own ISBN to my ePub file.
    Is there a way to submit to the iBookStore through Lulu while retaining my own ISBN?

  49. Daniel Wideman

    Don’t delete your titles yet! You must apply and be accepted into the publisher channel, which is reserved for publishers pushing large catalogs (multiple authors, hundreds or thousands of titles per year) . If you’re just looking to get several of your own books into the iBookstore, you’ll need to follow the process described in this blog and on the Author tab of the aggregator page.

  50. @Daniel.
    This is more helpful. Thanks. Will delete the titles in my dashboard, and sign-up through the Publisher’s form instead…

  51. @David.
    Yes, but I WANT to receive a notification once a file got accepted from apple, and what the metadata requirements/recommendations are to get sorted in the correct categories etc. Without this medatada informations your title will get “lost” within the ibookstore.
    Still no information about reporting times and payment time either…

  52. @Daniel.
    Sorry. But are you reallyserious about all this?
    I spent 3 days uploading epub files, and added the iPad distri to my shopping card, with the result of getting automated responses 2 days afterwards, asking me for a “link”, telling me that I would NOT get info if the files would not get submitted “on my behalf” to the ibookstore if they not pass the epub file, and that it could take 4-6 weeks, and that I would basically will not get any notification anyway.
    NO word at all about
    1) who will be listed as the publisher-of-record, or as the seller.
    2) metadata requiries/recommendations within the epub files
    3) how and when the sales and royalties would be reported
    I will fo forward to talk with SW straight away. Will then decide if I go ahead with Lulu, or simply delete all my titles.
    What a lack of service, customer support and information. Horrible!

  53. I think this is a great service. I’m curious as to whether or not the books my independent poetry publication will “meet the standards” to be distributed through iBookstore. Also, why not offer a deal for indie publishers? 5 books for X amount. Or maybe you already do that?
    Haggard and

  54. Does Lulu have to be listed as the Publisher of record, or can I use an ISBN registered to my own self-publishing entity?

  55. Can I include media (animations, video, audio, etc) in an EPUB file and sell on iBooks/iTunes Bookstore?
    Also, what (if any) page layout tool on the Mac can I use to create a book.

  56. Jen M Middleton

    I am looking to publish “Poem Packages” on the iBookstore – 6-9 poems/song lyrics that all center on a genre/specific content/style, ex: “Love at a Distance” or “Friendship during Turmoil” – so it’s not a full book, but as a result I don’t expect to receive more than a dollar (closer to $0.25-$0.50) per sale of each “package.”
    Do you know if this is an option for me, or that the concept will be rejected outright due to not being a full “book”? I thought that this would be the best way for me to sell my poetry – in small clusters at a cheap rate – because it would be something that people might actually buy, rather than a whole book of poetry.

  57. One of my books has a table of contents, an index, and footnotes. It’s layout is precise as it goes back and forth between letters and diaries. It sounds like an epub version would would eliminate or invalidate all of this. True?
    Suggestions on how to create an epub of tightly formatted books?

  58. Hello,
    I’ve got a simple question. If I’ve got an eBook that I give away for free on my website and I’d like to offer an ePub version of it on the iBookStore, can I do that through your service? – Or do you have to charge for ebooks on the iBookStore?

  59. I have a question about conversion to ePub from a document with multiple complex tables. Have there been such books converted successfully and with full content?

  60. @Robert – calm down just a bit. A couple of things that might help you out.
    First, the ePub standard does not include DRM. The DRM comes from Apple or Amazon. ePub is simply a file standard that eReaders are made to interpret.
    Second, the iPad can read ePub books that have no Apple DRM. You are free to publish an ePub book on your own, through any means you have available. I can buy it from you or you can give it to me, and I can put it into iBooks on my iPad by dropping it into the iTunes software on my computer. No DRM required.
    Third, the only content that I *must* buy through Apple is Apps, and even that is not strictly true since the iPad has already been jailbroken, and I expect entire free marketplaces of apps will be springing up shortly. I can get music, video, PDFs, eBooks, photos – basically anything I want – onto my iPad from my own DRM-free collection. I don’t have to buy them from Apple. So, no, you are not denied any freedom of commerce. The only freedom you are denied (and it’s not really a freedom) is the ability sell your work through the iBooks bookstore. But, I’m pretty sure that you already believe that any store proprietor should be free to determine what products they stock and sell, and the iBook store is just that, a store. But there are other ways to get content onto the iPad, so no worries for you.

  61. Robert Yannetta

    I’m confused about a few parts of this article.
    1) Why *must* we use the ePUB format? Apple is pushing DRM down our throats and I don’t approve nor believe in it. The iPad can read PDFs perfectly and I’d rather distribute in its non-DRM format.
    2) Why does EPUB conversion cost so much through Lulu when other competitors of yours offer it for free? It costs next to nothing to convert a .TXT file to .PDF ~ The same conversion happens here, just turning the digital file into a new format. It costs you nothing to convert it.
    3) What are Apple’s pricing guidelines you speak of? You provide no link. Does Apple tell us how to set prices for our own books or what the price range is they will sell it in? Is the $0.99 price verboten now?
    4) Content. This one gets me the most. Why is Apple so concerned about content? Also, what gives them the right to censor/reject books based upon their content. This wonderful country of ours wasn’t founded on the moralities of The Church of Steve Jobs.
    What’s more is that I’m an Apple fan myself. I own two Macs that I use daily to write with, but the invention of the iPad is a very bad thing. The item is nothing but a large iPhone without the phone. Every application and piece of content MUST be purchased through Apple’s servers. Apple approves/disapproves everything it sells, controlling content and price. Which means to me that if you’re not on Steve’s side, he has the right to deny you the freedom of commerce. This sets a very bad example as to where the future of computing and content control lies.
    Honestly, it scares the hell out of me.

  62. Will there be any alternative to ePub? My Lulu textbook is “heavily designed” and will not work in ePub. I’m currently having Lulu use Adobe DRM (Adobe Digital Editions) on the PDF. Unless Adobe does an iPad version of ADE, I don’t see a way around this.
    Any suggestions?

  63. Daniel Wideman

    Hi Gummy,
    Yes, you’ll need to manually opt your Lulu ePub project into the iBookstore. This choice and process will be automated in our eBook wizard soon, but as a temporary workaround to enable authors to get their Lulu ePub eBooks submitted to Apple ASAP, we’ve created a free iBookstore Submission Service.
    Just add this to your cart and check out (you won’t be charged). You’ll then receive an email asking you to supply the content ID of the ePub project. This can be found in your My Projects list in My Lulu. Reply to the email with the content ID, and we take it from there.
    We’ll add a unique ISBN, set the price to the maximum allowed under Apple’s pricing tiers, and submit your eBook to Apple. It will show up in the iBookstore automatically, there’s nothing more you need to do.
    For each iBookstore sale, Apple takes a percentage (contractually, we can’t disclose the pricing tiers or percentage until Apple releases this information publicly), then Lulu splits the remainder according to our standard creator revenue model (80% to the author, 20% to Lulu).
    One last note: we’re upgrading the eBook wizard to automate as much of this process as possible. In the coming weeks, we’ll add support for automatic ePub validation, getting a free ISBN (you can’t reuse an ISBN assigned to a print book, eBook ISBNs must be unique), and setting retail pricing for your eBook.

  64. The creator revenue that you receive per sale will be 80 percent of the profit after deducting Apple’s share
    so what’s the % of Apple share?
    (Price -AppleShare)*0.8

  65. Hi Bill,
    No. The iBookstore is simply another retail distribution channel. Any author or publisher who owns the copyright to their work can sell in multiple channels (Lulu, Amazon, Apple). The only catch is pricing–while Lulu lets you set your own price, most of the eBook retailers enforce some pricing restrictions (i.e. a set maximum price) which Lulu must adhere to. That said, we’d love to help you get an ePub edition of your work submitted to Apple!

  66. If we have a book published on Lulu and the same book on Amazon’s Kindle, will publishing as a e-book through Lulu for the Apple I-bookstore cause any problems?

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