Selling eBooks in the Apple iBookstore is not as straight forward as it is in the Nook or Kindle stores. For one thing to get your eBooks into the store you need to download a huge software program called iTunes Producer and it only works on a Mac. No doubt this is why alternative options such as Bookbaby, Smashwords, Lulu, etc. are popular.
But if you used your Mac, or you hired someone like AuthorImprints to setup your iBookstore distribution, you can manage and monitor key details from any web browser. (To learn more about why I recommend managing your own distribution read my article 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Decide How to Distribute Your eBook.)
Let’s assume then that you have your own publisher account, and your eBook file (an EPUB) is uploaded and accepted by Apple. Here is how to manage the 5 most important sales and marketing features at your disposal. We are going to focus on the 3 areas circled in red in the image below. Login to your account to view this screen.
1. Sales and Trends
This is where you can view things like:
- Book sales, both paid and free
- Top markets and top selling eBooks
A calendar at the top right helps you select a period for viewing.
2. Payments and Financial Reports
In this section you can view earnings and payment details. Apple does a nice job of presenting your sales by selling region and they sell digital products in just about every country around the globe (as does Amazon and Kobo).
By the way, Apple pays out 45 days after period close which is a calendar month and only if your earnings exceed $20 (for the U.S., other countries have different levels).
3. Manage Your Books—Promo Codes
Apple is the only major eBook retailer that gives publishers the ability to issue coupons for free eBooks. Each title is entitled to use 50. See my article How to Create Coupon Promo Codes for Free Copies of Apple iBookstore eBooks for further details.
4. Manage Your Books—Rights and Pricing
Click on the Rights and Pricing button (see screen shot above) and you’ll go to a page that lists every store where your book is for sale. Click on United States (for example) and change your List Price. There will be a brief pause as the Price Tiers change and then you can select your new price.
Here again you have another selling feature unique to Apple: you can select the date you want the price to go into effect as well as the end date. But let’s say you want your price to stay in effect until further notice. Begin typing the word none in the Price End Date box and this calendar pops up. Now select No End Date. This little tip just saved you a call to Apple support!
5. Manage Your Books—Metadata
This last sales and marketing feature allows you to edit your book’s description and categories. Click the Edit button next to Metadata (see screen shot under #3 above) to do this. The Done button is at the bottom of each screen.
I hope you found this brief tutorial helpful. It may seem cumbersome and tedious to manage your books this way but Apple does reach a huge number of countries. In our 2013 eBook survey self-publishers reported they sold only 2% of their books via Apple but it is a growing presence in eBook retailing.
Need help distributing your eBook on Apple? That’s what we do! Contact us to learn more.
Apple iBooks account screenshots courtesy of the San Diego Reader, an AuthorImprints client.