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Has Anyone Created a Successful Pre-Order Page?

1254 Views 13 Replies Latest reply: Apr 5, 2012 5:00 PM by Sputnik Slim RSS
MrBlobby1970 Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Mar 29, 2012 10:34 AM

I've submitted my second book, and still, I'm unable to get the pre-order function to work. Or maybe I'm misunderstanding it?


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.


However, for both of my books, this has not happened. They still are pending approval, but there has never been any sort of pre-order page on iTunes in the bookstore.


Has anyone successfully created a pre-order for one of their books titles? I've tried contacting Apple but only get a generic response that doesn't really explain anything. ; (

iBooks Author, Mac OS X (10.7.3)
  • K T Level 7 Level 7 (23,220 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 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.

  • K T Level 7 Level 7 (23,220 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 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.

  • K T Level 7 Level 7 (23,220 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 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.

  • Sputnik Slim Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 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?

  • MichiHenning Level 4 Level 4 (1,350 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 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

    following specifications:

    • 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.



  • MichiHenning Level 4 Level 4 (1,350 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 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.



  • Sputnik Slim Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Makes perfect sense. Good luck with your book. Still looking for the conceirge service though.


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