Feeds

Apple opens doors to vanity publishers

Fancy getting published on the iPad?

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Apple has provided a publishing service on the iPad for those who don't want to go through all the hassle of finding a publisher.

Responding to a long-standing enquiry from Mac Life, Cupertino is now inviting budding authors to sign up for self-publishing, as long as the work is in ePub format, the author has an ISBN and a US Tax ID, and is using an Apple Mac, obviously.

Self-publishing, also known as "vanity publishing", has been around slightly longer than professional publishing, but electronic distribution puts the means of production into the hands of the author. This means you can publish a book for a few quid, though publication is no guarantee of sales.

You could, of course, put your Great American Novel onto the internet, but unless you're writing for love* you'll need some sort of revenue stream, which iBookStore can provide.

You'll need an ISBN - a unique number identifying every book published. Those come in batches of 10 and will set you back £111 if you're British, but only $30** if you're American which is more likely if you've the mandatory US Tax ID too.

Once you've got that you can submit your opus direct to Apple, though the company recommends working through a publisher if you want paying with reasonable celerity:

"Apple does not pay partners until they meet payment requirements and earning thresholds in each territory. You should consider this before applying to work direction with Apple as you may receive payments faster by working with an Apple-approved aggregator."

You may want to do that anyway - publishers do an awful lot more than arranging for printing - editing and marketing is their prime business. If you think your book is so good it doesn't need editing then you're wrong, and if you think you can sell a book through iTunes recommendations then remember that the scum also rises to the top, as iPhone application developers are learning.

But it seems we're going to be awash with electronic vanity publications this year, with Barnes & Noble launching their pubit service in the summer, and Google promising great things real soon now. Apple is the first but it won't be the last and we look forward to being swamped by the literary equivalent of thousands of farting applications any day now. ®

*Most authors do write for love, mainly, or as a form of self-promotion. The proportion who actually make a living writing books of any kind is surprisingly small.

**Thanks to the readers who have pointed out that this is in addition to the $215 "registration fee", making a total of $245 and matching the UK rate much more closely.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Mighty Blighty broadbanders beg: Let us lay cable in BT's, er, ducts
Complain to Ofcom that telco has 'effective monopoly'
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
BT said to have pulled patent-infringing boxes from DSL network
Take your license demand and stick it in your ASSIA
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Ofcom tackles complaint over Premier League footie TV rights
Virgin Media: UK fans pay the most for the fewest matches
prev story

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.