e-Book Sales on Apple iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch: A 73-Second Seminar

by Joel Friedlander on May 26, 2011 · 13 comments

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I had the privilege today to participate in an informative and interesting webinar hosted by the book marketing people at BookBuzzr.com. I shared the microphone with Tom Evans, @theBookwright. Tom was south of London, Freya, our moderator, was sitting in Bangalore, India, and I was enjoying the evening in California.

Tom is something of an expert on creating apps for iOs. His presentation was very informative on the subject, and he talked from the point of view of someone who has produced numerous apps. I talked about selling ePub e-books on Apple devices.

These are the slides I used for the webinar. When I re-read this post it took me 73 seconds. Was that fast?


Slide 1: Titles

1. Titles. Not much here, move on.


Slide 2: Devices

2. Devices. They all run basically the same operating system, iOs.


Slide 3: The market

3. The Market. Yes, two hundred million e-book readers, right in your purse or pocket!


Slide 4: Apps

4. Apps. These are the top apps for reading e-books on iOs. Most of them are proprietary to their owners, and all the apps are free.


Slide 5: Channels

5. Channels. You can sell your book by opening accounts with all the retailers who have apps on the platform. Each is unique. You can cover most of the market with Kindle, iBooks, Nook. Apple is the hardest to deal with.


Slide 6: Distributors

6. Distributors. Let them do it for you, for a price. Each has its own idea of how to do this and its own pricing structure.


Slide 7: Needs

7. Needs. Whether you do it yourself or use a distributor, there are certain things you’ll need to get your books up and for sale. To deal with Apple’s iTunes Connect, you’ll need a Macintosh, and many retailers require an ISBN. You may want one ISBN for each format.


Slide 8: Covers

8. Covers. Your paperback cover image looks like your paperback book. So why does your e-book image look like . . . your paperback book? This modified image shows up much better in the e-book retailers’ listings.

There you have it, essentials to get you headed in the right direction in selling your books on Apple’s iOs devices. And here are the links, live:

For Kobo, kobobooks.com
For Kindle, kdp.amazon.com
For iBooks, itunesconnect.apple.com
For B&N, pubit.barnesandnoble.com
For Google, books.google.com/partner

Here are some links that show how to do it:

Joanna Penn’s Step-by-Step Guide to E-Book Publishing
Instant Gratification: Books Meet Kindle Publishing
Getting Started with Barnes & Noble’s Pubit!—A Mini-Tutorial
Making eBook Conversion Decisions

Photo by .Larry Page

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    { 9 comments… read them below or add one }

    Marla Markman July 8, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Hey Joel,
    I read this excellent post and stored it for future reference. I just went back to read it again for a research project I’m doing. When re-sizing the cover for an e-book, can you suggest dimensions for re-sizing a 6×9 book in terms of pixel x pixel as well as inches x inches. Hope my question makes sense! Thank you!


    Mike Perry June 17, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Thanks for an excellent overview of the market.

    Smashwords is easy to work with if you meet their conditions, don’t mind giving their Meatgrinder software control of how your ebooks look, and don’t care if your titles are lumped with a lot of vanity books. Making changes to price and distribution is easy.

    Smashwords will get you on all the major platforms but Amazon, including pain-in-the-neck Apple, for about a 10% slice of the retail price. Submit your titles directly to Kindle and you’ve got the market well covered.


    Chris O'Byrne May 28, 2011 at 7:47 am

    Excellent summary. I wish Apple wasn’t such a pain to work with. Google eBooks could use some help, too. :)


    Steve Miller May 27, 2011 at 6:46 am

    Just what I needed! Thanks Joel!


    Gilles May 26, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Worldwide, thanks.


    Gilles May 26, 2011 at 11:39 am

    So, if someone writes a really interesting book he/she can hope to sell 200,000,000 copies on iOS alone? I’m joking.

    I didn’t realize there were so many “iDevices” sold — I suppose this is worldwide? But what about the Kindle and the Nook and the others? I’d really like to see some numbers.


    Joel Friedlander May 26, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Gilles, these are total figures worldwide. Amazon does not release sales figures on the Kindle but most reports I’ve seen put the installed base at around 7 million. I have no idea about sales of Nook, although it’s going to be much less than Kindle.


    Gordon Burgett May 26, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Very good stuff about the apps and e-book links. I may send my newsletterfolk to it in early June.


    Gordon Burgett


    Joel Friedlander May 26, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Great, thanks Gordon.


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