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Metadata issue: The Title and Subtitle is not in catalogue format."

1494 Views 20 Replies Latest reply: Apr 10, 2012 3:30 PM by Edgar RSS
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soyotom Calculating status...
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Feb 29, 2012 5:37 PM

I delivered an iBook created in IBA with the iTunes producer and received the following response: "Metadata issue: The Title and Subtitle is not in catalogue format." What does that mean?

  • K T Level 7 Level 7 (23,215 points)

    Are you using any special characters in either of those locations?

  • doremishock Calculating status...

    I have the same issue, but I am definitely not using any special characters. Any other ideas?

  • doremishock Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    understand, but all my text on titles is formatted as text, using the original text boxes provided by apple... I mean, I can't find any text anywhere in my titles that violates these rules.

     

    anyway, metadata relates to the metadata window in inspector, doesn't it?

  • Edgar Level 3 Level 3 (965 points)

    Did anybody get more information what that error message means? I got the same Ticket:

     

    "The Subtitle is not in catalogue format"

     

    This my Subtitle:

    "A new type of manual - the visual approach"

     

    What is the format error?

     

    This kind of error message is really frustrating. It is just a guess work that costs even more time in that whole pathetic approval process.

     

    * Why is there not a specific note what is wrong (spelling, punctuation, capitalization, …). It isn't computer generated, so whatever guy sitting there and writing the ticket must know exactly what the problem is.

    * Why not a link to the documentation explaining the catalogue format requirements?

    * Why is the contact link on that page not pointing directly to an email address. A bunch of meaningless FAQ's to click through and wasting more time - really? Is Apple adopting Google and Facebook policy to not allow any customer to contact them, because everything is explained in FAQs. We mere mortals are not allow to address your highness - really?

     

    Who is running the approval department at Apple's iBookstore anyway. Steve Jobs wold turn in his grave if he knew about what's going on there, a disgrace to all things Apple.

     

    This is my second book and It has been 4 weeks until I got this first response (ticket). My first book took over a month to get the first ticket and now is getting close to another 4 weeks since my response of the correction (had to replace one word on three pages and one web link).

     

    This is beyond frustrating and the only that makes me feel better is that other people on this forum sharing the same frustration.

     

    Edgar Rothermich

  • MichiHenning Level 4 Level 4 (1,350 points)

    These are good questions. I suspect that if you were to get answers to them, they would be of the embarrassing kind (not embarrassing for you).

     

    With your title, the problem appears to be that you did not follow the required style. You can find it in Publisher User Guide 2. Among other things, it says this for the title:

    If a book’s title has one of the following problems, it may affect the book’s appearance or accessibility in the iTunes Store.

    • No subtitle. Subtitles are particularly important for differentiating multiple books in a series which share the same title.
    • Incorrect title case format for titles and subtitles. The first letter of all words in the title and subtitle should be capitalized, except for the following words: a, an, and, for, from, of, or, the, to.
    • The first and last word of the title and subtitle should always be capitalized. Language rules for each language vary.
    • For multipmedia EPUBs, we recommend adding the words “Enhanced Edition” to the title.

    I suspect that the lack of capitalization was your downfall in this case. Having to wait four weeks to find out is a bit of joke. There is no reason why iTunes Producer couldn't check at least basic compliance to the style guide. It wouldn't be hard to add tests that check that the Author name is capitalized as required, that the title matches the requirements, and so on. The checks could be done when you create the relevant metadata entries, rather than waiting until (or until after) you have submitted the book.

     

    To deal with false positives, iTunes Producer could allow you to override something it has flagged: "Ignore error at your own risk and submit anyway". It could also provide helpful links to the Publisher User Guide for each identified issue, such as the requirements for the title to be accepted.

     

    Yes, I know I'm dreaming…

     

    Michi.

  • Edgar Level 3 Level 3 (965 points)

    Michi,

     

    thanks for your extended reply.

     

    I suspected the capitalization but wasn't sure. However, this seems pretty ridiculous to me. I decided to keep everything in lower case on purpose. What happened to artistic freedom, what happened to "Think difffferent"? BTW, Shouldn't "different" be upper case? Would Apple's own logo pass the iBooks censorship bureau?

     

    I have already published 4 physical books on Amazon that contain the subtitle "A new type of manual - the visual approach". The book cover of my ebook is similar to the physical book. I can change the subtitle in the metadata, but will Apple force me to change the graphics of my book cover too to match the metadata? They didn't issue a ticket on the front cover yet. (Policing - ticket, now it all makes sense). This is getting really ridiculous. No wonder that the approval process takes forever.

     

    Another example of that paranoid over-policing. At the end of my book, I posted some links to my website and links to Amazon for my physical book and my music as a composer. Amazon sells my music as CDs and mp3 downloads. But because the Amazon link to my Amazon Artist page lists all my Amazon music products (CD and mp3), I "got a ticket" to remove the Amazon link, because my music is also available as downloads on the iTunes store. That competing link violates the user agreement. So technically you would not be allowed to have a link to your own website when you are selling your own stuff and competing directly with the iTunes store or iBookstore.

     

    Michi, I like to dream too, but at the moment that whole thing is more of a nightmare - and I can't wake up ...

     

    Edgar

  • MichiHenning Level 4 Level 4 (1,350 points)

    Edgar wrote:

     

    I suspected the capitalization but wasn't sure. However, this seems pretty ridiculous to me. I decided to keep everything in lower case on purpose. What happened to artistic freedom, what happened to "Think difffferent"? BTW, Shouldn't "different" be upper case? Would Apple's own logo pass the iBooks censorship bureau?

    I'm afraid that these are questions that only Apple can answer…

    I have already published 4 physical books on Amazon that contain the subtitle "A new type of manual - the visual approach". The book cover of my ebook is similar to the physical book. I can change the subtitle in the metadata, but will Apple force me to change the graphics of my book cover too to match the metadata? They didn't issue a ticket on the front cover yet. (Policing - ticket, now it all makes sense). This is getting really ridiculous. No wonder that the approval process takes forever.

    I'm afraid that Apple will force you to change the graphic. From the Publisher User Guide:

    If a cover art file has one of the following problems, it will be removed from sale.

    • ƒƒWrong cover art attached (that is, the title on the cover doesn’t match the metadata)

    That language appears quite clear and unambiguous.

    Another example of that paranoid over-policing. At the end of my book, I posted some links to my website and links to Amazon for my physical book and my music as a composer. Amazon sells my music as CDs and mp3 downloads. But because the Amazon link to my Amazon Artist page lists all my Amazon music products (CD and mp3), I "got a ticket" to remove the Amazon link, because my music is also available as downloads on the iTunes store. That competing link violates the user agreement. So technically you would not be allowed to have a link to your own website when you are selling your own stuff and competing directly with the iTunes store or iBookstore.

    Apple can write whatever user agreement they like, and authors can accept that agreement or reject it, at the cost of not having their work made available in the iBookstore.

     

    However, I just had another look through my distribution agreement with Apple and (at least in my contract, yours may differ), there is nothing that would stop me to add a link to a page at Amazon or anywhere else, for that matter. However, the Publisher User Guide says:

    If a book’s EPUB file has one of the following problems, it will be removed from sale.

    • ƒContains advertisements or links to competitor’s sites or competitor’s products

    I do not know whether this is actually legally binding, seeing that my contract with Apple does not mention any such thing, and does not refer to the Publisher User Guide as being part of the contract. Moreover, as far as I can see, Apple can change the User Guide any time they like, without consulting any of the publishers who pragmatically (if not legally) are bound by it. That much at least appears dubious to me.

     

    Not being a legal expert, I think that practices such as this might violate antitrust legislation. But, as usual, that will not be tested until someone is willing to take the matter through a very expensive legal process. (And I am sure that the lawyers who advise Apple are very good at what they do.)

    Michi, I like to dream too, but at the moment that whole thing is more of a nightmare - and I can't wake up ...

    That's the price of being an early adopter, and the price of working with Apple.

     

    For what it's worth, I believe that many of the problems will be resolved over time. What is happening here is not some giant conspiracy but plain and simple immaturity. Apple have no prior experience with this process. The extremely long wait times for books an example of this. Obviously, Apple grossly underestimated the amount of effort that would be required on their part.

     

    As to the rules in the Publisher User Guide, I'm not enough of a legal expert to decide whether such clauses might run afoul of anti-trust legislation or whether they are legally binding, seeing that the Guide is not mention in the contract. Pragmatically, the Publisher User Guide is binding because, if you don't follow the rules there, you won't get your book published.

     

    Michi.

  • Edgar Level 3 Level 3 (965 points)

    This is official text from my ticket (I guess it is from the guidelines)

     

    6.1.8. Competing Website(s)

    The book must not include references or links to a website that sells eBooks or competes with iTunes or the iBookstore.

     

    So technically, my link to Amazon that lists my mp3 files is a website that competes with iTunes (because both are selling my music downloads. The link to my Amazon Author site that lists my books didn't get a complaint from Apple. Maybe because I'm selling only the physical books and no Kindle versions. That would be eBooks and maybe then Apple would have an issue with that.

     

    Edgar

  • jamesfrombuellton Calculating status...

    After about a month I got the message below. Reading from this thread, I see from Michi that a subtitle is required, which I had missed and which I do not have. There is no separate field in the Metadata for a subtitle, so do you just add it after the title and a colon? Thanks.

     

    Jim.

     

     

     

    Ticket Details

    • Ticket # 1264993
    • Publication
    • Your Action Needed
    • Ticket URL external link
    • Updated Apr 9, 2012

     

     

    Reasons for Opening Ticket

    Full EPUB Asset
    1. Trademarks and Trade Dress View Guidelines
  • jamesfrombuellton Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Found that in iTunes producer, metadata, there is a slot for subtitle. Added one and uploaded. But there is no spot for a subtitle in the iBA Document inspector. Curious.

     

    Jim.

  • MichiHenning Level 4 Level 4 (1,350 points)

    Yes curious. The ticket you received seems to refer to a trademark issue though, rathe than a problem with the subtitle.

     

    Michi.

  • jamesfrombuellton Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Correct. I may have another problem yet to be identifed. Have others found that a missing subtitle was reason for rejection? I can't imagine what the trademark issue would be. Here are the guidelines and I don't see how I could have violated anyone of them, but maybe I did. I searched for "iBook" and did not find it.

     

    Books must comply with all terms and conditions explained in the Guidelines for Using Apple Trademarks and Copyrights and the Apple Trademark List. Books must not:

    1. Use the phrase "iBook" to describe the book.  iBooks is the trademark for Apple's book reading software, and iBooks Author is the trademark for its electronic book creation software.  Books created with Apple's iBooks Author software and/or sold on the iBookstore should be described as a book, ebook, electronic book or interactive book, but not an ""iBook."
    2. Suggest or infer that Apple is a source or supplier of the textbook, or that Apple endorses any particular representation regarding quality or functionality.
    3. Appear confusingly similar to an existing Apple product or advertising theme.
    4. Misspell Apple product names in their title (i.e., GPS for Iphone, iTunz).
    5. Contain user interfaces that mimic any iPod interface.
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