Apple has a fairly stringent set of initial requirements if you want to publish with them directly. They are as follows:
* An Intel-based Mac running OS X 10.5 or later
* At least 1 GB RAM
* QuickTime 7.0.3 or later. This is so you can encode and deliver content using their dedicated software.
* At least 10 GB of available hard drive space (more for larger catalogs) is recommended.
* A broadband Internet connection with an upload rate of 128 kbps or faster is recommended.
* ISBNs for all titles you intend to distribute
* Able to deliver book content in EPUB format, passing EpubCheck 1.0.5.
* A U.S. Tax ID. Anyone (including non-U.S. residents) can obtain a U.S. Tax ID by phone, fax, or mail. If you don’t have one, request one from the IRS.
* A valid iTunes Store account, with a credit card on file
* Apple does not pay partners until they meet payment requirements and earning thresholds in each territory. While Apple does not tell you what these thresholds are prior to signing up, we have learned that they are somewhere in the vicinity of $150. They ask that you consider this before applying to work directly with Apple, as you may receive payments faster by working with an Apple-approved aggregator; however, we have also discovered that Apple has one of the slowest reporting times, so either way, receiving payments may include a waiting period.
These requirements appear to eliminate all of the people running the Microsoft WindowsTM operating system, which means you will then be forced to work with what they call an Apple-approved aggregator. This is essentially a third-party who can help you get your book prepared and/or submitted.
Compared to the ease of use of Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, or even Barnes & Noble’s Pubit!, the process of self-publishing authors preparing and getting their work into the iBookstore becomes more cumbersome with the addition of a third party in the mix (who may also want to take a percentage of the revenue).
However, if you’re not sure of how to set up, price, and distribute your work, and you do not want to participate in any phase of the process, it might be best to choose to work with an aggregator. (See our article regarding choosing between aggregators and publishing directly with retailers: http://www.ebookdesigns.net/ebook_aggregator_vs_self-publishing We take a close look at the best ways to get to Apple!