Apple has opened the floodgates for aspiring authors by revealing a system that allows for self-publishing on the iBookstore without having to sign up with a publishing service like Smashwords or Lulu. The new service, which was brought to our attention by the folks at MacLife, allows anyone to sign up through a Web portal as long as you are able to meet several fairly straightforward requirements. This is definitely good news for new, independent, or undiscovered authors.
To take advantage of the service, you must first have an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) for each work you wish to make available for sale. Obtaining an ISBN isn’t as difficult a process you might think; it can take as little as two weeks. Second, you must have a copy of the work in ePUB format. There are a variety of different ways to convert text into ePUB format, many of which are free (a list can be found on the LexCycle website). You must also have a valid iTunes Store account as well as a US tax ID.
The last requirement is that you, as the author, must have access to a modern Mac. In order to participate, you must encode your eBook with Apple’s software, which needs an Intel Mac running at least OS X 10.5. The encoding process most likely adds Apple’s very own brew of DRM to the book, ensuring that your writings won't be distributed outside of the iPhone or iPad.
It's not clear whether Apple takes a cut of each sale, but the company does allow you to set your own price and choose which countries to publish in.
If you are an aspiring writer and give the service a spin, drop us a line. We’d love to hear about your experience.
Source: ars technica