A new wrinkle

So, as of today, Apple now allows people to self-publish books on the iPad bookstore. (I can’t bring myself to call them iBooks, though; in my old-school mind, an iBook is the low-budget version of a PowerBook… which no longer exists, I guess, so it’s just needless pedantry.) Anyway, as someone who self-publishes, this development intrigues me! The iPad market is small enough that I’d be lucky to sell a dozen copies at the moment, but it’s hard to imagine this particular media niche — as filled by both iPad and the raft of looming competitors — not becoming fairly important in the fairly near future. Thus it seems to be something I should jump on soon, doesn’t it?

I don’t suppose anyone knows how to go about procuring an ISBN number, or how to convert a PDF to ePub format?

17 thoughts on “A new wrinkle

  1. EPub is basically just a zip file filled with html files plus a XML header that describes how they’re related (this file is chapter 1, that’s chapter 2, etc.). If you already have the means to convert the entries to HTML on this site, you can probably convert them to EPub without too much trouble.

    Getting an ISBN is a little trickier, but there are a lot of self-publishing sites to help you do it. I believe Lulu.com already had something set up to let you publish to the iBook store, if I recall correctly. The easy way to do it might be to go through them.

  2. I work on the design team at an educational publisher. Buying fewer than 100 ISBNs at a time is an expensive proposition. You can’t do PDF to epub so easily, but you shouldn’t have a problem producing an epub document from the InDesign file.

  3. Is it difficult to put illustrations in an ePub file? I’ve been intrigued by the prospect of self-publishing my book on iPad or Kindle-like services, but I’ve always been worried about the illustrations would work/not work. :(

  4. As has been mentioned already Lulu gives out ISBNs. You never want to buy ISBNs one at a time. That is super expensive. Buying them in blocks is the way to go.

  5. Sorry to be incredibly off topic, but there hasn’t been a post about Mother 3 in a long time. How’s it going? You playing inspired me to beat it a second time.

  6. Of course, the catch to buying a bunch of ISBNs at a time is that if you don’t manage to use them all within, like, a year? They expire. Something I learned the hard way.

  7. ISBNs have no expiration date. Perhaps you were just thinking of the switch over to the ISBN-13.

  8. I’m interested in this as well. I saw that Lulu and something called Smashwords will publish for you, but that’s with their own cut, on top of Apple’s cut. I’m not particularly worried about money so much as I am rights, and I wonder what control this gives either place over your material. Is there not a way to directly publish onto Apple’s store? There must be, if it functions anything like the App store.

  9. Jeremy — you need Colabri. Best ebook conversion software that I know if.

  10. I use Calibre for converting PDFs -> Epubs to read on my DS, but unfortunately my DS ebook reader doesn’t support graphics, so I couldn’t tell you how well that works.

  11. Spoke too soon; createspace.com assigns an ISBN to your book free of charge, but you can’t use it with any other publisher. KAAAAAAHN!!!!

  12. As an ipad owner I would buy each and every digital copy of these and LOVE THEM FOREVER. Please go for it, Jeremy!

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