Part of this whole “I’m writing a book” process has been to educate myself about how it works from start to finish — what it’s like to write a book, edit a book, have artwork designed, and finally publish the book.
I’ve been rolling with the proverbial punches since I started this journey in March of 2013. I haven’t been frustrated at all, despite many parts of the process taking much longer than I wanted. Until this week.
I was finally done with everything. Artwork done, book compiled into eBook format, ready to publish and start marketing myself and the book.
I uploaded the book to Barnes & Noble first, typed in a few bits of information, uploaded my file and had a button that said “Publish” in a matter of minutes.
Amazon’s process was similar — ready to publish in just a few minutes.
Apple’s process has been frustrating and confusing, to say the least.
I found out that you need their own proprietary publishing software, called iTunes Producer. After downloading 3.0 (the latest version), I had nothing but problems. Even on my brand new Mac Pro (one of the most powerful computers on earth), it just kept freezing.
Google suggested that it was the same for most people who’d upgraded. So I found an older version and used that.
After two, or maybe it was three, hours of confusing unhelpful error messages, I finally got the book to compile into their iBooks format, and started the upload process.
My 1mb file took ten minutes to upload. Ten minutes!
Once that completed I was happy. I was ready to go!
Wrong. Then Apple’s “review process” began. They, much like apps submitted to their store, review your book for quality — though it’s unclear what they’re looking for.
This was Monday morning, around 10am. Cut to Friday, they finally approved my book and made it for sale immediately.
I wasn’t ready to be on sale yet, so I went in and turned off the “Cleared for Sale” option on the United States store, which then triggered an error message in their system. It eventually fixed itself, but now I see a big error of “Not available in 51 stores” on my book’s management page. I filled out the contact form yesterday asking for help, but I imagine it’ll be a few days before I hear back.
While the book was up for sale, the “Sample” file that was provided (which may have been my fault), was the entire book, not just a sample. Clearly no one’s going to buy the book if they can get it for free through the sample.
I’m hoping I can get all of these issues cleared up next week and finally be on sale.
I do have to say, though, seeing the book on an iBooks page and in the iBooks app made me feel an extreme sense of accomplishment. Even if no one buys it and no one cares about it or likes the story, I did it. And that’s the most important thing for me.