Currently Being ModeratedMar 29, 2012 10:39 AM (in response to MrBlobby1970)
I assume that if I allow pre-orders when I create my package in iTunes Producer, that after I upload all my assets, etc., and they successfully import, that a pre-order page for that book should appear on iTunes.
Why would you assume that?
Any pre-order content (Title, sample, etc.) would need to be reviewed and approved first, so...if that hasn't ocurred, the option to pre-order won't occur either, I think.
Currently Being ModeratedMar 29, 2012 10:48 AM (in response to K T)
Well, because pre-orders are common throughout the iTunes store and pretty much every major book seller. Also, back in January, Apple announced this pre-order feature via email directly from it's iBookstore newsletter.
It's also standard practice in book publishing, and just about all media publishing (music, movies, etc). As a small publisher, a print edition of our title is listed at Amazon, etc., immediately once we announce the title. You don't need to deliver a hard copy of your book weeks or months in advance to get the title listed on a retail site.
And, currently, you can see preorders in the iTunes for just about everything -- music, movies and books. For example, I pre-ordered that new Madonna album two months ago on iTunes. I doubt Madonna delivered her album to Apple two months ago and has just been sitting on it.
There is no point of a pre-order if you have to deliver the entire completed and approved book. The whole point of a pre-order is to generate awareness and sales for a title as you promote it in the weeks leading up to it's release. Especially for a small publisher like ourselves.You do tons of promotion for a title with limited resources, and you want to capture people's interest when they hear about it -- so they go and sign up for the preorder. By the time of an actual street date, people often have forgotten. So it's vital.
Currently Being ModeratedMar 29, 2012 10:55 AM (in response to MrBlobby1970)
You seem to be making assumptions I don't see, sorry.
I'm not saying pre-orders can't happen. I'm saying you can't expect to be able to throw something directly into the store on any level without it being reviewed first to at least see if it is appropriate....even if it's just a title.
You can't just title anything you like and expect it to go up in the store in any context automatically.
Maybe your title is a slur, etc.....why would anyone expect to be able to make that visible in the store without some sort of review by Apple? They shouldn't because it can't happen.
And there is no point in using Madonna as an illustration. You're not in that league...don't be silly
Big name brands work under a different set of rules. When you're that well known, you'll have concierge service too.
>I doubt Madonna delivered her album to Apple two months ago and has just been sitting on it.
No one said she did. Think about how that process works and you'll understand.
Currently Being ModeratedMar 29, 2012 11:05 AM (in response to K T)
Of course I'm not Madonna. : ) But it's an insult to say that publishers of all stripes shouldn't be treated with respect.
No one is saying no review at all for things like a title, etc. But it is standard industry practice across most media that you can pre-order titles before they are available, and you don't have to deliver the final content at the time the pre-order goes up. Again, to illustrate, our print titles are listed at all major sites well in advance of street date. Of course the retailer can reject the title upon delivery if it doesn't meet standards and the title will not be made for sale.
And again, Apple announced just this feature via their iTunes Connect newsletter just back in February:
Pre-orders are an easy way to generate sales before publication. Now, you can make your book available for pre-order without submitting a cover or book asset up until two weeks prior to publication date. Your pre-order will appear live in the iBookstore as soon as you deliver complete metadata. You must submit the cover, book asset, and custom preview two weeks prior to publication.
For more information, see the iTunes Producer User Guide.
Regards, The iBookstore team"
This is exactly what I'm describing. And it comes right from Apple. It's far from "concierge treatment" to expect or ask for such a feature. Even if I'm not Madonna. : )
Currently Being ModeratedMar 29, 2012 11:07 AM (in response to MrBlobby1970)
>But it's an insult to say that publishers of all stripes shouldn't be treated with respect.
No one said that either. You only want to vent....good luck with that.
Currently Being ModeratedMar 29, 2012 11:20 AM (in response to K T)
I don't see an option to reply privately or I would. Not trying to vent in public.
But you just did when you reduce my points to "assumptions" when they are actually standard industry practice. And that to ask for a pre-order option is not expecting to just throw something on the bookstore without review. And that smaller publishers not in Madonna's "league" are expecting some sort of conceirge treatment. Apologies, but that all came off as insulting.
Currently Being ModeratedMar 29, 2012 1:59 PM (in response to MrBlobby1970)
I would like to use the conceirge service but I can't find it in the IBA menu. Also, I would like to sign up to get pre-orders on my book; it's only half done but should be finished by end of April. Are 1st time IBA authors allowed the pre-order option? What is the criteria?
Currently Being ModeratedMar 29, 2012 2:23 PM (in response to MrBlobby1970)
There is a related thread here:
You can set a pre-order start date for each territory in iTunes Producer. According to the iTunes Producer 2.6 User Guide, the date must be earlier than the sales start date. If you don't want to offer pre-order, you are supposed to leave that date blank.
The user guide says that, if you set a pre-order date, the publication will not be shown in the store until that date. It does not say that, if you set that date, the book will be shown starting on that date (or any date before it becomes available, for that matter).
The user guide also says the following:
Important: Pre-orders require minimal manual production work by iTunes. When you deliver a book that is
available for pre-order, contact your iTunes Technical Account Manager. Pre-orders must conform to the
- All assets (EPUB, iBooks format, cover art, and screenshot files) are due up front.
- You can only create pre-orders with the first, initial delivery of the book package.
- You cannot make any changes to the pre-order once you deliver a book package to the iBookstore with
- a Pre-Order Start Date.
- Each territory where you are sending a pre-order (each territory where you defined a pre-order start
- date) must be priced at a valid price tier.
- Do not send pre-order start dates for territory products that have been marked not cleared for sale. Only
- deliver book packages with pre-order start dates assigned for territory products that are cleared for sale.
Given the current track record in getting books into the store, I would guess that pre-order is something that would only happen for blockbuster titles from large publishers, where actually a significant volume of pre-orders can be expected. For the pre-order to go through into the store, someone still has to review the book, which isn't worth doing for something that sells a few dozen copies a month.
Currently Being ModeratedMar 29, 2012 2:54 PM (in response to MichiHenning)
HI Michi --
Thanks for the reply. I think this is where some of the confusion is. As I posted above, iTunes Connect sent out an announcement back in February that they were offering the ability to have a pre-order page for a title in the iBookstore after submitting metadata, and not full assets (though full assets would need to be delivered by two weeks before street date). However, this does not seem to have been implemented. Maybe it is something that is still being developed? It would be a great feature.
Beyond that, the current iTunes Producer documentation doesn't explicity state if the pre-order will show live in the store when you first submit all assets, or once those assets are approved. It sounds like, obviously, it is the latter. Say, you set a street date for May 15, and deliver your assets and allow pre-orders. Then your book assets are approved for review on, say, May 1. I assume that's when the pre-order page would go up, and would last until the actual street date of May 15. So in this hypothetical example, you'd get two weeks of pre-order time.
As for a pre-order page needing some manual work by Apple, true. But they have to create a page for the title eventually and review the book assets anyway, regardless of how many copies it sells (even if it eventually sells none at all). And again, as Apple indicated back in February they were planning on introducing a pre-order option without full assets due upfront, so hopefuly this is something that will still happen in the future.
Lastly, perhaps there are some internal requirements at Apple to get a pre-order set up (say, needing to be a publisher with a certain number of titles in print, etc.), which is fine. But any such requirements don't seem to be posted anywhere at the present time. Maybe someone else knows?
Currently Being ModeratedMar 29, 2012 3:10 PM (in response to MrBlobby1970)
Currently, pretty much everything in Apple's iBook ecosystem has "beginner" written all over it. The pedestrian design of the iBookstore with it's sub-standard search facilities, the delays and hiccups with the submission and review process, the under-resourcing when it comes to publisher queries, the bugs in iBooks Author, the confusion around pre-orders, the lack of notification of updates to books people have purchased already, etc…
It shows that Apple are the new kid on the block when it comes to book publishing. They don't have the same experience as publishing houses that have been around for decades. And successfully marrying the traditional book publishing model with the eBook model (which, in itself, is still in its infancy) is not easy. It's an immature industry, and Apple is an immature company in this space.
I expect this will change over time. For now, I think all of us a paying the price of being early adopters. If I want to play in this space, I have to put up with the inconveniences. If I don't like that, I can wait until things have matured a bit more.
I see no way around this. I have little doubt that Apple are aware of many of the problems, and I imagine that there is probably a lot of activity behind the scenes to improve things. Apple have too much riding on this to not pay attention. But, like everyone else, they can't perform miracles.
As an author and publisher, all I can do is provide feedback to Apple and hope that they will react eventually. As much as I'm frustrated as everyone else by all the problems I had to deal with while I created my book, just ******** Apple won't help anything. I use the iBooks Author feedback to tell them what problems I encountered, and I use the Apple bug reporter to report any bugs I find. That's the most constructive thing I can do.
And, to be honest, I managed to create book using a tool that cost me nothing, and I could actually self-publish my book with interactive features that a few years ago would have been unthinkable, and do so at reasonable finanical conditions. That's possible only because of what Apple have created.
Currently Being ModeratedMar 29, 2012 3:38 PM (in response to MichiHenning)
I believe you hit it right on the head. But also agreed, iBooks Author is a great platform. Aside from just being free, it allows you to produce an eBook that is head and shoulders above what has come before. I think that is why it is frustrating for many of us -- for example, we have a title coming out that is still in the review process, and we've received already over 500 emails (and that's not an exaggeration) asking why it's not available yet. And that's in large part become the screenshots we've shown of the iBooks version are so impressive.
I too hope Apple, as well as the rest of the ebook industry (which is indeed in its formative stages) can nuture the market successfully, because it ebooks and iBooks in particular have such amazing possibilities. And hopefully, too, smallers publishers that are of quality but still may not be on par with major publishing houses will also be able to utilize features such as pre-ordering, etc., as it helps grow everyone's business.
Currently Being ModeratedApr 5, 2012 4:57 PM (in response to MrBlobby1970)
To update, I think I finally figured out the pre-order process. After approving our book yesterday, Apple put up a pre-order page for it within 24 hours. The street date is April 13. So it looks like you can only get a pre-order page set once the book assets are approved, not when you first upload them. (The iTunes Producer manual isn't quite clear on exactly when the pre-order page goes up.)
Currently Being ModeratedApr 5, 2012 5:00 PM (in response to MrBlobby1970)
Makes perfect sense. Good luck with your book. Still looking for the conceirge service though.