Uploading Books to iTunes using iTunes Producer

My first experience of using iTunes Producer wasn't just awful, it was gawd-awful. I was scared half to death to begin with, and what should have been a simple and easy process turned into a nightmare. I'm sure my lack of techie-ness (is that a word?) had a lot to do with my problems. But I learned a lot by plowing through the process, and all the other books I uploaded to the iTunes iBook Store went very smoothly. Because I'm sure I'm not the only tech-novice out there, I thought I would post the steps I used in an attempt to turn your nightmare into a sweet dream.  

I am going to assume a few things here. Firstly, that you own a Mac computer (you need to use one in order to access iTunes Producer). Secondly, that you have applied to iTunes for an account via iTune Connect Online Application. Thirdly, that you have purchased an ISBN from Bowker (this company sells ISBNs to US-based publishers…if you are uploading and selling your books, you're considered a publisher). All of these things are necessary in order to upload and sell your iBooks in the iTunes Store. Oh, and once you open an account to iTunes Connect, you'll have to sign in and download iTunes Producer.

Also before you begin uploading, make sure you have everything you’ll need at hand. I store everything on the desktop, then I can drag it to where I need it: ePub file, Cover, Blurb, ISBN.

1. Open iTunes Producer
2.  Select ‘New Book’ - click ‘next’
3.  Info Page: Fill in all pertinent information, add blurb, don’t be afraid to leave some spaces blank. Double check that you've filled in all info, then click ‘next’.
4.  Categories Page: Click the ‘add categories’ button. BISAC will show up in the box...use that (there are a couple of other choices, but BISAC is what I used). Use the pull down arrow in the bottom box to choose the category. Click ‘add category’ again and repeat. Add whichever categories fit you book. Make sure your ‘primary category’ check mark is next to the primary category. I added 3 categories to each of my books. Click ‘next’.
5.  Author Page: this one is easy. :)  Click ‘add author’, choose ‘author’ in the ‘role’ box, type in your name. If your book has more than one author or an illustrator or an editor who needs recognition, add them on this page. Click 'next'.
6.  Target Audience Page: Click ‘add criteria’. For most fiction authors: use the pull down arrow in the first box and choose ‘Apple’, use the pull down arrow in the next box and choose ‘General’. If you're uploading a text book or some other type of book, choose the appropriate target audience from the available choices. Click 'next'.
7.  Related Products Page: Use this page only if you have ‘related products’ (example: paperback copy version of the same book).
8.  Rights and Pricing Page: This section will take a little doing, but you only have to do it once. I had 2 computers going to do this...my Mac (working on iTunes Producer) and my Dell (working with a money conversion site). I'm sure you could do this with just your Mac…just have iTunes Producer open and a money conversion site on the web using your browser. In iTunes Producer, click ‘add territory’ and then choose a country. Then move down to Publication Type and use the pull down menu to choose 'New Release'. Move down to 'Sales Start Date' and type in the current date. I skipped the next box. In the 'Physical List Price' box, add the price (this is where you’ll need to convert the chosen country’s money to USD using a conversion website). Check ‘cleared for sale’...check the DRM free box if you want to offer your books DRM free. When you finish one country, click ‘add territory’ again and start all over...do this for all 32 available countries. When you’re finished, click ‘make default’ and you won’t have to do this again. Click ‘next’.
9.  Books Page: This is where you drag your ePub file into the box marked ‘Publication’. The first time I uploaded, I thought I needed to have preview, so I made an ePub file of the first chapter of the book and dragged it into the box marked ‘Publication Preview’, but I left this box blank with the remaining books. Click ‘cover art’.
10.  Cover Art Page: Drag your cover into the box. Easy! Click ‘screenshots’.
11.   Screenshots Page: I ignored the Screenshots page. I think this is where you can allow potential readers the chance to actually see some of the images inside your book. Click 'next'.
12.   Now you’re on the Delivery Page. If you are missing any information, you’ll see red x’s and messages regarding what you've missed. Read over the error messages and go back to add/fix the errors. If you see no red x’s, your book should automatically begin to upload to the iTunes iBook Store. You will hear a wonderful trilling sound and a big green check when your book has successfully uploaded. And it will be available for sale almost instantly.

Congratulations! You’ve published your first book to the iTunes Store!


Elaine Raco said...

I am in awe! Maybe it was easier when computers/tech just started. I have a degree in Fortran prog. & use to run a Univac computer (oh, gawd just really dated myself.) and still could not understand the instructions! And I don't own a Mac!

Will let Smashwords do it for me..but now I know why it takes a bit! Happy Sales! You write fab books!

Unknown said...

Sounds amazing but difficult. I don't own a Mac so I'm let off the hook lol! Hope it works well for you though.

Katherine Owen said...

I am contemplating adding books to Apple directly. My Smashwords experience was less than stellar when I was trying to do Amazon Select. Thanks for the tips.


Barbara Silkstone said...

Thank you. A big help.