back to article Apple tells authors: All your books iBook files are belong to us

In a legal rewrite pushed out Friday, Apple has made its iBooks publishing agreement sound slightly less evil by clarifying just what you can do with the content you create on its iBook Author software. Yes, all iBooks are locked to the iBook store but you can export those files as PDFs. As The Reg pointed out at the time of …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Colin Millar

    I don't get it

    If you wanna take advantage of Apple's distribution network you pay their fee - otherwise you take your work which you own and distribute it some other way of your choosing.

    Nothing like Photoshop or Adobe or any of those other products which you pay for.

    Not an Apple user - wouldn't even consider buying their overpriced crap but this iBooksAuthor stuff is one of the worst examples of partisan rubbish I have ever read in the Reg.

    1. Chad H.

      So what you're saying Colin

      Is that apple should provide - for free - software that allows you to create products for their competitors... Why exactly?

      If you want to use Apple's tool for personal gain, why should they not share in the wealth - you used their tool after all and didn't pay for it.

      Don't make any money with it and you don't pay - lets see you get a deal like that on photoshop and word.

      1. Piloti


        ""Don't make any money with it and you don't pay - lets see you get a deal like that on photoshop and word. ""....

        So use GIMP and Open Office / Libre Office.

        1. erann

          If you insist Apple software use Pages

          If you have a problem with iBooks Author EULA, use Pages. It cost only 15.99€, it has very similar UI and functionality with iBA, it can export PDF and ePub and you do with the output what ever you want.

      2. Colin Millar

        OK - lets try again

        No - that is not what I am saying - read what I wrote - here's a step by step guide

        1) I think that apple things are dear for the spec

        2) I to think that this story is anti-apple nonsense

        3) These thoughts are not logically exclusive

        1. icanonlyimagine


          So...'overpriced crap' >> 'dear for the spec'

          Sort of...quantity trumps quality argument ? Yeah, I heard Apple was really suffering by losing that battle.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        "So what you're saying Colin Is that apple should provide - for free - software that allows you to create products for their competitors..."

        That is not what he said, at least not in the understanding I have after reading it.

    2. LarsG

      SOUNDS LIKE.....

      A Simon Cowell kind of contract tie-in, not something I'd sign without reading the small print.

      The term 'got you over a barrel' springs to mind.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I think the primary problem is that Apple wants to take it all. As soon as you use their software, your work is legally infected from being distributed somewhere else. Well, there is an answer to that - use other software, and make Apple the last environment you publish to.

      It's IMHO perfectly OK for Apple to take its share of Apple shop sales, after all, you're plugging into its eco system. However, I'll be damned if I let Apple expand its influence outside its closed box and take revenue from other platforms as well, so they can screw that. I'll keep the master in something that converts relatively quick, and Apple gets the last show - and it'll be a version labeled "Apple version" to make it clear it is not the same as the work sold outside Apple (it's your copyright, so it's up to you to state what is or is not identical - Apple cannot change that just yet).

      What pisses me off about this is the sheer greed on display. Honestly, is the Apple revenue not enough? Are they so desperate for the next private jet that they are willing to totally toss away the goodwill they have collected by making rather good products? (no, *good* - not perfect).

      T*ssers, the lot of them.

      1. Gary Riches

        Did you not read the story or did you just not understand it?

      2. Steve Ives
        Paris Hilton

        It'd be nice to say that comprehension skills have gone downhill, but there's just too much of this kind of thing to say that.

        1. Alfred

          @Steve Ives :(

          I don't understand.

      3. ChrisB 2

        Mmm. Clearly you've mis-read or not understood the story.

        Apple is in no way trying to stop you selling your work via any other channel, just saying you can't use their (free) assembly line to build for another channel.

        BTW Home/Student Office has pretty much the same terms.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Haterz gonna keep on hatin'

      Wintel fanboys are really losing it. What a bunch of clowns. All Apple is doing is trying to avoid the usual bit where the clown fanboys (hacking at Windows, mostly) are kept from exploiting them all over again.

      Regular non-nerds will love the iBook Author sofware as they have no deep seated issues (fear of Windows taking a dirt nap after Win 8 flops, perhaps?)

      And you know win 8 is going to flop. Only question is how bad, if it will be slightly less than Vista, or perhaps it will be FAIL on a new level. I think the later is most likely as this is the only project they've ever deined to take on that had any sort of challenge to it. Go ahead Redmond, make Windoze work on a tablet. LOL, didn't you guys already try that? How'd that go last time? Remmeber what Einstein said about insanity?

      1. Goat Jam

        What's a "Longhorn" grandpa?

        "this is the only project they've ever deined to take on that had any sort of challenge to it"

        Eh? Was the "Longhorn" fiasco so long ago that everyone has forgotten that it is to this day, the gold-standard benchmark for FAIL in the IT world?

    5. Vic


      > I don't get it

      You certainly don't.

      > If you wanna take advantage of Apple's distribution network you pay their fee

      If that is all that were happening, that would be perfectly fine.

      But it isn't.

      What Apple are saying is that, if you develop your own book with your own material, and use this piece of software to create something in the .ibook format, you may not distribute it for a profit unless you sign a deal with Apple first.

      > otherwise you take your work which you own and distribute it some

      > other way of your choosing.

      If you wish to distribute as an ibook, that is explicitly prohibited by the licence agreement.

      Now do you see why people are upset about this?


    6. Piloti

      Ms Leech.....

      ... could perhaps clarify /exactly/ what she means ?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Yes, all iBooks are locked to the iBook store"

    No, only the paid books are.

    You can distribute free iBooks - also created using iBooks Author - anywhere you want.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      that Amazon removed publications off the Kindle, without telling anyone they would.

      The tie ins are all the same.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Yes and no. Because I also recall that they were called back by a Judge and ended up having to pay damages. In the mean time Amazon also openly admitted that deletion wasn't the best of ideas and they would avoid doing so in the future.

        Quite frankly I don't see Apple ever doing that because they have a tendency not to care too much about public opinion and sometimes even the law.

  3. Gary B.

    Comparison to Photoshop, et al

    "Internet commenters have compared it to Adobe demanding a 30 per cent cut of any graphics or artwork made using Photoshop, or Microsoft getting a kickback every time you use Word or Powerpoint in a commercial situation. "

    Um, no, that's a poor comparison because Adobe and Microsoft don't ALSO provide a distribution means for the resulting output like Apple does. There's a license agreement on how to use iBooks, except it also has a clause saying if you distribute a .ibooks file FOR PAY, THEN you can only distribute it through the iTunes store. BUT, if you distribute a .ibooks file FREELY, OR distribute a .pdf version (for free or for pay), you can distribute it as you wish.

    I dislike Apple's practices as much as the next, but I see nothing inherently wrong with this particular EULA. You want to use a FREE content creation package by Apple, for creating an *Apple-proprietary* output file, useable ONLY on an Apple device, then you play by their rules, and for once they actually seem like fair rules.

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Did you read the article?

      It specifically says you can do whatever you want with the resulting PDF - which is super easy to do in the iBooks Author application.

    2. Colin Millar


      30% for distribution through Apple in iBooksAuthor

      Nothing, free, no charge at all to export to PDF (made easy by iBooksAuthor) and distribute some other way including printed - yes that is nada, not a sausage, bugger all, SFA.

      Where did you get the impression that

      "you repackage as PDF and sell it - Apple want 30%

      - you print it out and sell it as a Hardback - Apple want 30%"

      It wasn't from anything your read here - unless your definition of reading is skim over the headline and make up some stuff based on your preconceived notions on the evility of fruit companies.

      1. Santa from Exeter

        RTFA yourself!

        Specifically this part.

        '(ii) if the work is provided for a fee (including as part of any subscription-based product or service) and includes files in the .ibooks format generated using iBooks Author, the work may only be distributed through Apple'

        In other words, if you charge, and have an ibooks edition created using iBooks Author, you have to pay Apple for *all* versions!

        1. Colin Millar

          No seriously - read it

          "includes files in the ibooks format"

          Which, if you exported it to {formatX}, it wouldn't - so this part wouldn't apply because "the work" wouldn't "include files in the ibooks format" because it would be in {formatX} which you just exported it to.

          You are reading words that are not there.

        2. Neroon

          No, you RTFA

          This is so simple that it is amazing how much energy and stupidity is wasted on attacking what is at its heart a relatively simple matter.

          1. Apple does not own your content in any way (ask any other Publisher about that).

          2. Apple owns the format if you choose to make money on it. That format only applies to the .ibook format and only if you sell the book (ask any other Publisher about that).

          3. You can sell the content in other formats (ask any other Publisher about that).

          4. Apple takes 30% of your proceeds for delivering you a vast marketplace, the formatting program, and you get 70% (ask any other Publisher about that).

          5. Apple controls wether you can publish on their marketplace. They are not interested your pedophile manual (like Amazon let slip into their marketplace and only removed once they were made aware of it). Go and ask any other Publisher like Random House about that.

          For authors this's an amazing deal and more than fair. Ask any other Publisher about that!

          1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

            I am Any Publisher

            .. and you have to stop sending people to me asking stupid questions.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meet the new publishers, same as the old publishers

    I can't image why anyone would be dumb enough to use this publishing model. It's like something from Dickens.

    1. Steve Ives
      Paris Hilton

      "Meet the new publishers, same as the old publishers "

      I think a lot of authors would jump at the chance to receive 70% of the cover price of their books that they sell..

  6. Arctic fox

    "All your books iBook files are belong to us"


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hopefully Ms Leach won't be writing ANY books - i or otherwise - soon.

      1. jai

        perhaps there is a missing apostrophe? (i'm assuming you're internet savvy enough to have gotten the Zero Wing reference she is making?)

        it should be: All your books' (fee-charging) iBooks files are belong to Apple.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Miss Leach is just being hip and cool

          I was hip and cool like that until I took an arrow to the knee.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Didn't you get the meme?

      1. Arctic fox
        Thumb Up

        RE: "Didn't you get the meme?" No old chap I did not which is why I did not say more.....

        .......than "pardon?". However, thanks to your kindness in posting that link, I now understand the reference. -:)

        1. Chad H.

          Oh Fox...

          Someone clearly set you up the bomb.

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. BristolBachelor Gold badge


    The IP lawyers at my previous employers looked over the T&C that everyone signs when they used MS Office package, and told everyone that the license actually meant that MS owned all of the work that you created in their software. Obviously, everyone had just been accepting all the EULAs on the software up until that point (anyone seen the Dilbert cartoons about this last week?).

    Eventually, MS backed-down and said that they only owned the copyright in the actual doc and xls files, because it was their software that created them, and they weren't trying to steal your IP. I think in the end even that went though, and Open Office etc. can now open the files with impunity.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Other things in Microsoft's EULA

      There are other issues in Microsoft's EULA, for example the Office Home & Student version can't be used for commercial purposes, you must buy the Business edition (which is twice the price) if you intend to profit from any content created using it.

      Of course if anyone actually follows this is another question, but it's there in black and white.

      1. dssf

        Which brings up my question

        IIUC, someone can go to a store that sells (legitimately) ms office pro, not the home/student edition, say. Now, said person is running an office at home, or maybe not, and takes it to ones law office or candy store or such, and generates letters, pamphlettes, invoices, and even for-sale books. IIUC, a BUSINESS has to get a special license/permission to do those things.

        Is that so? If so, why? Why is that so? Isn't ms' income on that limited to the first sale, and to whatever desired tech support the consumer is willing to pay for? It seems the same with Lotus SmartSuite. Not sure of Corel/Borland back in the old days or now.

        Sounds like double-dipping to me.

    2. bazza Silver badge


      Someone read the EULA?!?!

      Regardless of what it used to say in the EULA, given how old Office is there was clearly no intent on MS's part to claim IPR ownership. They've not so far as I'm aware ever sued someone for royalties because they used a licensed version of Word. Maybe their reticence was because they were embarrassed that they're made a legalese mistake; lawyers are supposed to be fully conversant in it.

      It goes to show how useless the complex EULAs of the software world actually when not even the originators understands its meaning fully...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You should have a read of the current T&Cs of Google. ANYTHING you place on or route through their services they can use for themselves without fee. It's chapter 11 of the current set, haven't seen yet if changes are afoot there.

  9. Marlan

    Complete rubbish compared to any other publishing agreement

    If you wanted to publish your book any where else you would only receive around 15% of any proceeds from sales - even less a percentage for electronic versions, audio books, etc. - so count yourself lucky you are getting more then two thirds of the sale price.

    When you publish a book you give up your copyright to the publisher, so don't confuse things with the 'moral' copyright everybody holds and Apple recognises. Publishing is a form of leasing out your work and the publisher takes a big profit.

    Given Apple's worldwide distribution network through iTunes, it is almost equal to most large publishers, so you are getting a bargain on distribution.

    The Register is merely Apple bashing as usual on this one and should get its facts right - i.e. producing some pretty rotten cider with a load of silly fizz. Obviously the editorial staff have been replaced by Androids!

    1. HollyHopDrive

      You forget......

      The (traditional) publisher actually does some fucking work! For a start, he will get it laid out so it looks nice, proof read, offer advice, provide illustrations, support and marketing of your book, in return for (sometimes) upfront cash, other times royalties or a combination of the two. They may even buy a series of your books. Most importantly they will market them and try and get them in prominent promotions either on-line, in store etc etc. However, they take a risk with their money. (hence why they are so selective, though that one that missed harry potter - doh!)

      Apple, by contrast, give you a word processor, you do all the hard work, formatting etc. You will need to promote yourself, and do all the other stuff. If you are lucky enough, they will give you a prominent position in the bookstore, but then they most likely will not. Either way, they get 30% for *you* doing *all* the hard work. And then, you may do all the hard work and they may just decide to tell you you can't sell it, they don't like it. (Odds of a book "How android is better than ios" ever getting published are not high :P, but i suspect "Taking old people on a one way trip to dignitas" equally won't be allowed )

      That is why it just looks a bit unfair. They get 30% profit for 0% risk, unlike a traditional publisher. You take 100% risk for a potential 70% share. I know which party I'd rather be!

      1. dssf

        Let's not forget, though...

        When many if not MOST people do get signed up with a tradtional publishing house, said person may have to fork over blueprints, sketches, drawings, notes, etc to help the publisher obtain legal indemnity. Then, said publisher may demand you produce or show in production 2 or 3 other books to whet their appetite in said author. Then, said publisher will offer upfront money, which is the clincher to drag out some authors, and then take ages to get stuff put to shelf if that stage even arrives.

        Meanwhile, the unluckier of authors may toil for years or under a very hard and fast deadline, make numerous harrowing/stressful flights, do book signings, and more, and stil have to promise to said publisher that 3, 4, or 5 future books will go through and ONLY through said publisher, which has right of first refusal, first look, and more.

        Even publishing a fork of the work without clearing it through said publisher could spell doom and blacklisting throughout the upper tier of the industry. Numerous authors chew their nails and tear out hair trying to find out where their book is, and it may be buried under a pile of other books, waiting for an intern or junior reader to sift through. There've been cases of people stealing drafts and reformulating them via other parties.

        (2000 char limit....)

    2. sabroni Silver badge

      Apple bashing?

      If you think this article is apple bashing you must be new here. It's actually pretty balanced, makes it perfectly clear you're entitled to rebundle your work in a different format if you like and that the comparison to other paid for software is disingenuous. In fact, this site is getting more like the daily mail everyday, comment threads full of people complaining about articles they couldn't be bothered to read properly... Depressing...

      1. Vic

        > you're entitled to rebundle your work in a different format

        That is actually the whole point of the article.

        A previous version of the EULA laid claim to all versions - including pdf exports.

        It is good that this restriction has gone away, but I still wouldn't be happy with what remains...


    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      You do not relinquish your ownership of copyright unless you sell it to the publisher. I would think most individuals would be intelligent enough to sign off on their copyright (you know... lease) with an agreed upon time frame.

      The problem is not that Apple wants 30%. They could ask for 95% with their model and it wouldn't make a difference. The point is, if Apple dis-agrees with your content, it won't sell it. If they're the only company with the software to make an iBook, then they are effectively blocking you from the market. This may be an ommission in the article, but I haven't read of any other software the creates the same format.

      That 30% may be less than an actual publisher, but you aren't given the same services as a real publisher. Apple's 30% cut is just that, a cut. They provide no specialized services that are specific to the industry you are selling from. They don't provide software engineers to de-bug or double check the code for apps either, so you're comparison is piss-poor at best.

      1. Neroon

        More dumb comments

        Hmm, Apple gives you a program to create your dynamic content book. Apple gives you access to a vast marketplace. Apple will let you publish almost anything. They block you far less than any Publisher would. They give you 70%, while you get less than 5% from a regular publisher who has exclusive distribution rights and effective ownership over your content while giving you 'specialized services' like preparing your book and marketing. Guess what, you can take your iBook content and go see if a Publisher will print it in physical book format. Or you can repurpose the content to sell on Amazon's Kindle marketplace. There is no other software that creates it because it's called .ibook format because it is sold using iBook. This whole debate is beyond silly.

      2. Goat Jam

        Dingbats Ahoy!

        "The point is, if Apple dis-agrees with your content, it won't sell it."

        This is no different to Walmart or any other bricks'n'mortar store refusing to sell a CD that has an (in their opinion) offensive cover or content.

  10. Paul Smith


    I seem to read clause (ii) differently to other commentators :

    if a) "...the work is provided for a fee..."

    and b) "... and includes files in the .ibooks format ..."

    then c) "...may only be distributed through Apple"

    This would appear to mean that if an ibook format version of my work exists, then I can not sell it by any other means - even if apple refuse to sell it.

    1. Sean Timarco Baggaley

      You do know that the .iBook format is proprietary, right?

      The only device that can even read an iBook file is the iPad, using iBooks v2.

      Apple are just arse-covering here: they're giving away an application that lets you create content for their device. If someone writes an iBook-compatible reader for, say, Android, then, suddenly, Apple's free app can also be used to produce content for a rival platform.

      This makes Apple lawyers angry, and you wouldn't like them when they're angry.

    2. Gary B.

      Except if Apple refuses to sell it, that renders the .ibook format of the work pretty useless and you might as well delete it. So there's then no reason you couldn't export it as a .pdf format and sell it (or give away for free) elsewhere.

  11. Jason Hindle

    I'm fine with this

    You get free access to an extremely well subscribed distribution network and Apple takes its cut if you want to make a sale. If you don't like that, find another equally well subscribed, equally usable, equally free on the point of publishing distribution network. It will be interesting to see how Apple works out which books are not suitable though.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Apple's sold, what, 55 million iPads? (That's based on estimates of just under 15M for 2010 and around 40M for 2011, according to supposedly-reputable stories I found online.) I wouldn't call that "an extremely well subscribed distribution network" - it's not peanuts, but it's not "extremely" anything either. It doesn't matter how many people have iTunes accounts if the only ones who can read your iBook are those iPad owners.

      Of course, it's hard to say how it compares to the other dominant e-book market, the Kindle, because Amazon won't release Kindle sales figures. (It's somewhere in the tens of millions, so perhaps roughly equivalent to the iPad.) And while you can get Kindle-format readers for other platforms, I'm assuming that's a niche. On the other hand, Kindle's a proven market, with 14 authors who've passed the one million e-book sales on the platform. iBook might well see the same sort of success, but it might not.

  12. Eddie Edwards

    EULAs are enforceable now, are they?

    I don't see any reason I can't write a book and distribute it in iBook format on any channel I please. I'm not going to read the EULA, and when I click OK it's so I can run the software, not because I agree to any conditions which I haven't read anyway.

    If Apple choose to give away iBooks Author that's up to them, but people own content they make, owing to the Berne Convention etc., and a click-through EULA on some free software is not going to trump those long-standing legal principles in any sane court of law.

    IMHO, IANAL, and so on and so forth.

    1. Neroon

      Really Eddie!?

      Yes, you own the content, but Apple owns the format so they can enforce it. Good luck getting a lawyer to defend you. Yes, EULAs are enforceable, especially when they do a search and find your post and sue you for 'Willful' violation.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Apple's right not to distribute your work if it doesn't like it"

    Is this any different to a high street shop or even Amazon? Do Amazon have a policy that they'll agree to distribute to their kindle ANY book, no matter what the topic or content? I'm pretty sure there are some topics and taboos that they would draw the line at.

    Apple are providing you access to a massive potential audience. Seems perfectly reasonable to me that they'd have a clause in there to prevent some spanner from trying to sell a book that crosses child pr0n with the holocaust, or something. When you're giving everyone in the world the chance to publish whatever they want, you're just asking for trouble if you're not going to give yourself some way of controlling what goes on the shelves of your store.

  14. Steve the Cynic

    You think...

    So, you think that because you deliberately didn't read the EULA, then clicked OK indicating that you had read and understood it, and agreed to it, it doesn't apply to you?

    (It may well not apply, but any law on the applicability of clickware EULAs would not centre on the question of whether you read them or not. It would centre on whether clicking OK is sufficient to create a binding agreement. But if it doesn't, you are, by clear implication, not allowed to use the software, because your right to use it is based on the existence of a binding agreement. If, on the other hand, the law comes down in favour of the clickware EULA being binding, then your non-reading doesn't enter into it one way or another, just as it doesn't when you sign a paper contract in the real world.)

    I, too, am not a lawyer, but I've read up a bit on b2b and b2c contract law, and all I can say is my God, what a mess.

    FAIL for you, sorry.

  15. Graham Wilson

    There's no doubt about it, Steve Jobs truly was the Pied Piper.

    It's sans Apple here, and I'm forever grateful that I've nothing to do with iTunes, iBooks, iPhone or 'i'-anything.

    It's this highly proprietary side of the Internet that truly sucks big time (and it's antithetical to the Internet's founding principles).

    I've still difficulty comprehending why anyone would really want to use Apple's services at all when he/she has so very little control over them.

    There's no doubt about it, Steve Jobs truly was the Pied Piper.

    1. jai

      Where's the lack of control? i can write a book, publish it in iBooksAuthor and sell it via iBookstore, if i wish, so that people with iPads can read it.

      OR I can also produce a .pdf version and sell that myself via whatever means are available (Amazon, eBay, personal website, etc etc). I could even use that pdf to pitch the book to a traditional publisher to get it printed as traditional books.

      As a user, I can purchase a book via the iBookstore if i wish. Or i can go and hunt down the pdf, load that onto my iPad, and still read the same content. Or I can purchase/acquire a Kindle format .mobi file, cover that to .epub, and still read it on my iPad.

      So as an iPad user, i have freedom of choice on how i consume content. And as an author, i have freedom on how i choose to publish.

      I don't see where this "lack of control" is that you harp on about?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I guess there will soon be 3rd party converters

    The EULA doesn't seem to prevent converting your iBook content into ePub, losing a few proprietary features on the way. That way you get to use a simple publishing tool, and still control where you publish your books.

    Maybe there'll even be a Kindle format converter

  17. Anonymous Coward

    30%? Boo hoo!

    Distributor needs to make a profit shocker! If you write a traditional book you have a publisher, distributor and a bookshop all taking a cut.

    In all 30% might not be bad compared to the traditional model.

  18. Stevie


    If you don't like the terms, don't use the product.

    Of course, terms subject to change without notice and all that.

    And there are plenty of less expensive alternatives to writing (and distributing) your work, but they don't come to you just because you switch your computer on.

    On the writing front I'd like to put in a plug for Scrivener, a nice little number that works fine on my Windows 7 laptop and cost the pocket-ripping amount of $40. You may need a word processor to leverage this baby for your purpose, and sadly it doesn't speak native OpenOffice but the good news is that OpenOffice can write Office 97 files and Scrivener understands *them*. If you are a budding screenwriter or stage author, it has a number of in-built extras to make your life particularly easy. You can try Scrivener yourself for free of course.

    Not affiliated or in any way compensated for that plug, just impressed with the thing.

  19. sabroni Silver badge

    You may need a word processor to leverage this baby for your purpose

    You may need a thesaurus to avoid using the word "use". Sorry I mean you may need a thesaurus to avoid leveraging the word "use"....

    Are you paid by the letter?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Last book I wrote...

    ...I made a storming 2.6% of the sale price. If write another one, Apple can have its 30% and welcome!

  21. Anonymous Coward


    This kind of thing really is bizarre.

    If the Apple marketplace is really the place to go for getting your books out there, then they will sell. I just don't understand the mentality of the people at Apple that they feel that they need to infuriate their customers like this.

    1. Neroon
      Thumb Down

      Only idiots are upset

      Apple gives you 70% which is vastly more then any Publisher ever would. The only people who seem to miss that this is a great deal are either: 1. Too stupid to read, 2. Fandriods, 3. Not authors, or 4. Conspiracy nuts.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        I'm sorry that you don't understand

        That's just my point though.

        If the deal is so great, then what is the point of all this shit that Apple put into their terms and conditions? A great service and a great deal sells itself.

        If I got into the supermarket to buy corn flakes, they don't say "You can only buy our corn flakes if you sign this piece of paper to agree never to buy corn flakes from anyone else every again."

        I think that half the time we don't think clearly about the ludicrousness of what companies demand from us because we are so used to getting shafted by them.

        And saying, the deal is great, so bend of and take it is quite the answer I was looking for.

        1. Chad H.

          Well Skellband

          You also have to remember that the software to create the book, they're giving away that for free - to anyone who wants to use it. The only caveat is you can't use its full power to benefit a competitor.

          It would be like a business letting you make free phone calls, only for you to turn around and use those to make deals for their competition.

          is it really that objectionable that they give you something for free, on the caveat that you don't sting them with it.

    2. dssf

      Maybe it'll get up to 40%?

      Suppose Apple and some well-heeled/cultivated scouts find a good crop of books, and rave about them in the Saturday Evening Post (if that still exists), Time, etc, extending serious cred to newbie authors. If that happens, Apple may decide it's time to bump it up to 40% so that 10% will go straight to the "culler"/"curators".

      If that happens, and so long as the "curators" don't get tainted & drunk and lose their edge, it could be a win-win-win for Apple, the reviewers (assuming they are not Apple employees eliminated from the cut) and the budding/aspiring authors/artists.

      If this works well, it could upset Amazon as well as the already ailing traditional publishers/clearing houses.

      It increasingly becomes more and more astonishing that the aging paper publishers did NOT catch up to this point ages ago. Eventually, the paper publishing industry of school texts will be decimated, too, for constantly pushing $150 texts of 800 pages, 350 of which might be covered in and out of class, and which are cosmetically enhanced to coercer semester-on-semester repurchases and near-needless obsolescence.

  22. johnnymotel
    Thumb Up

    OK, here's a real life example...

    My sister in law edits knitting and crochet books for other authors and publishers. But she has her own patterns that she has created and she is a gifted person in this area. She just never got around to writing her own books and going through a publisher.

    I sent her the link for iBooks and she is over the moon, finally she has an easy route to self-publish without any of the hassle of middlemen. Plus she knows without a shred of doubt, she will get more in her pocket using iTunes, than using a publisher.

    Does she care about Apple's EULA? No, she cares that she can put her creativity to work in her own name, in a very simple manner, reach a very wide audience and make some money off she never had.

  23. TheOtherHobbbes

    Let's just remind ourselves

    that if you write a book for a traditional publisher, they will typically keep at least *85% of their net income.*

    That's for books that sell reasonably well.

    If you're a midlist fiction author, you typically get to keep just 7% of the net income.

    Oh - and if you have an agent, the agent will keep between 10% and 20% of any payment the publisher makes to you.

    Some agent contracts stipulate that you must pay them 10-20% of *any* work you do, from any source, whether or not they made it happen for you.

    And the really evil ones expect you to keep paying them that 10-20% even after they're no longer working for you.

    So that's how author-friendly trad pub is.

    Now - if you're lucky, existing publishers will pay you an advance. It might be a few thousand for first time novel, although it's usually a lot less in the UK.

    If you have a name and a platform (as it's called - i.e. you have some kind of relevant professional or media profile) advances can range from 10k to 100k. The real heavy hitters get seven figures. (But there aren't many of those.)

    So - d'ya feel lucky?

    With Apple you can write a book and keep 70% of the income.

    With trad publishing you can write a book and make something less than minimum wage on an hourly rate basis.

    Since publishers are no longer doing PR for non-famous authors, the Apple deal really isn't so bad - especially given that it's a new market, it's going to get bigger, and now is the time to make yourself a new niche.

    You'll probably be wasting your time, especially if you don't know how to do the PR thing.

    But some people will do okay. A smaller number will do more than okay. And a handful of people will do very well indeed from this.

  24. dssf

    Let's not forget, though... (part 2 of 2)

    (Apologies for the split... there's apparently a 2000 char limit)

    At least with the iTunes Store, provided one is not stealing/plagiarizing, and assuming no one has stolen an author's drafts, a decent, budding author may get to establish him/herself without going through layers and lawyers for months or years and be beaten out by a 'similar" work in the pipeline which gets preferential treatment because 'first" author is chums or been in the pipeline too long to be shunted by a newcomer who has few chops.

    I tend to rail and bash apple a hell of a lot, but, the more I think about it, the more I polish off my crap, I may be able to turn something of a turd into a gold pile. I just don't know that I want to have my digital world converted to all-apple. But, if my turd sells like gold, i certainly will bite my tongue and milk iBook Publisher thingy for all it is worth. If I can sell 1,000 copies of something at $500 each, and come out with $350,000, I'll take that route over a traditional publisher ANY day. On my own, though, I *might* hit 500 potential buyers of my material. Even selling at $150 each is still a win for me if I keep 70% of 500 copies for $52,500 gross, that is a win. Especially since what I may do can be repeated at least 5 or 6 times before it gets old.

This topic is closed for new posts.