Written by Joyce Washor Saltzman
I am author of Watercolor Harmony: The Tao of the Complementary Palette and Oil Painting Harmony: The Tao of the Complementary Palette which are both IBooks, published on iTunes. I also published a book called, Big Art, Small Canvas, by North Light, in 2006. I was pleased when I held the soft cover book, Big Art, Small Canvas in my hand, but it pales in comparison to the way videos and slides can illustrate art lessons on the iPad.
Technology provides an amazing tool for the author. It makes books dynamic and interactive. If you have an iPad and a MacIntosh computer running OS X 10.7 Snow Leopard, you can write, edit, preview and publish your own book to people everywhere. Books have always had the ability to include pictures with text, but iBooks allow for the incorporation of videos. This is a dream to an artist writing about painting techniques because live videos show the painting process right in front of you.
To begin, you need to do two things. You need to download Apple’s free iBooks Author software on your MacIntosh and you need to download the iBooks app on your iPad. If you’re familiar with Apple’s application, Pages on the iPad, it will be an easy segue into using iBooks Author. Although similar, there is a learning curve. It took me a month to learn the program because I had not been familiar with Pages.
This is the link to download iBooks Author:
This is the link to download the iBooks app
IBooks Author has many pre-set templates to choose from. You can add images, slides, video, audio, 3D images and more. OReilly.com has a free eBook you can download called, Publishing with iBooks Author, by Nellie McKesson and Adam Witter. It explains the process behind compiling your book’s content. There are also tutorials online and in Apple’s software.
Importing text and photos in iBooks Author are as easy as dropping the images in the page or copying and pasting. Videos need to be exported through Quick Time Player and then imported into iBooks Author. Videos need to have an .m4v extension to the file. I used my iPhone to make my instructional videos.
Authors can contact Apple by phone and email for support of the publication process. In addition to calling Apple, I used Google to answer many of the questions I had about the technology. I am not a geek. I’m just a “learn as you need to know girl”.
You might have online that some people don’t like the fact that Apple limits the publication of iBooks Author to only iTunes, but I think that they have provided authors with great tools that make the finished product well worth the trade off. Since the iBook will only be compatible with iTunes, you will have to reformat it if you want to publish it on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. You can make PDF files and upload your videos to YouTube, since videos are not compatible with PDFs. My PDF was so large (the book is about 70 pages) that I needed to use SendThisFile to email it to people. SendThisFile will send a few large files too big for email for free. If you need to send multiple files there’s a nominal charge.
There are some countries that sell iPads, but citizens in them can’t access the iTunes bookstore. I had a blog follower in one of these countries, so I sent her the PDF and emailed her my YouTube channel. Success! She was able to read my book and watch my videos on YouTube. If you want to market your iBook worldwide, you need to find out how to make it compatible to buyers in that country.
Once you are finished with your book and are ready to publish it, you need to go to Apple (online) and apply for an iTunes Connect account. ITunes Connect allows you to offer your books to customers with an iPad, iPhone and iPod in 50 countries.
You will also need to get an ISBN number for your book. I purchased mine from Bowker (the official ISBN Agency for the United States). You will need to get your book approved by Apple, sign their extensive contract and provide them with your tax ID, before they will put the book live on their store. When the book is “live,” Apple will send you an email informing you of this. You can then use iTunes Connect to monitor your sales and see which countries the books were sold.
Make sure you proofread your book before you hit the “Publish” button. Having an iPad makes this easy. Your book will look exactly the same on your previewed version on your iPad as it will to anyone else buying the book. Once you click “Publish,” you are directed to iTunes Producer which uploads the book to the iTunes bookstore.
I provide information below, directly from Apple regarding the sign-up process for an account. You can sign up to distribute your books directly on the iBookstore.
To apply for an iTunes Connect account, click the link below:
After you’ve clicked “Get Started”, click either the “Create a Free Books Account” button or the “Create a Paid Books Account” button.
Your eBooks should:
– Be in either EPUB or Multi-Touch (iBooks Author) format or both
– Validate EpubCheck, if in EPUB format
– Contain no unmanifested files
– Contain only UTF-8/16 characters
– A US Tax ID (for a Paid Books Account)
– A valid iTunes Store account, with a credit card on file
– An Intel-based Mac running OS X 10.7
If your eBooks aren’t yet in EPUB or Multi-Touch format, or if you would like help with selling your eBooks in the iBookstore, Apple recommends that you work with one of their approved aggregators (a broker who distributes and helps sell the iBook).
This list is also available to you on the home page of iTunes Connect.
If you’re interested in creating and publishing Multi-Touch books for the iPad, iBooks Author is available as a free download from the Mac App Store.
After you’ve signed Apple’s online agreement, you may sell in the iBookstore in 50 countries. However, you are not obligated to sell your books in every country. You’ll have the ability to set country availability and price for each of your books.
If you need further assistance with the sign-up process, you can contact Apple through email. For assistance with any other issues, fill out a the Contact Us form in iTunes Connect.
I opted not to use an aggregator (they take an additional percentage) and am happy with my decision as of now. I wasn’t sure what they would be able to offer me that I couldn’t do myself, so I thought I’d go at it alone.
Apple’s criteria for book approvals are based on using their technology correctly.They call it their “Quality Assurance” step. With their help and technology friendly program, anyone can be an author!
Now I am in the process of learning how to market my books! I am researching the best way to do this. I have a blog and an email list, but this is only the beginning. I want to connect to thousands of artists online. Advertising with art societies and letting my alma maters know about the iBooks are on my “to-do” list. The iBook is a major breakthrough in teaching art through dynamic interactivity using text, photos and video. It’s exciting! It’s in the moment! It’s LIVE!!
If you have any questions about the process or want to suggest any marketing ideas, please contact me:
You can purchase my ibooks in iTunes at the links below:
Oil Painting Harmony: