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  • jamesfrombuellton Level 1 (0 points)

    Submitted March 12, published May 7. (May 7 happens to be my wedding anniversary. Could that have anything to do with it?)



    Since the book is about extreme weather, a few things need to be updated. What is the state of knowledge as to whether, when one updates a published book, the new version shows up quickly vs. going back to the end of the queue?



  • JoeScrivens Level 1 (60 points)

    I have my 3 other books finally approved fter over a month. Got to say I continue to see such low numbers of people using the ibookstore.


    Currently these three books are all free, but I am getting only around 10-20 downloads a day, yet they appear first in their search terms.



    Search keyword "Shapes" and my book is number 1, yet I must only have had less than 100 downloads of it - which means all those other books have had even less?



    Search keyword "Numbers" and the same is true again


    Search term "interactive" and all three of my books are in the top 5 listed - but each has had less than 100 downloads. How can that few downloads get them to top 5 of that term?


    In the top 10 charts of education, these 3 books are 6th, 7th and 8th. Shocking that they are in the top 10 with so few downloads - doesn't bode well for the amounts of people actually using the iBookstore.

  • Michael Levenston Level 1 (10 points)

    Submitted April 15, published April 27. My book is a family history containing 250 pages including videos. Have been getting a good response from family and friends. What they like is the iBooks Author layout style, the videos and photos that blow up large, the glossary and general 'gee-whiz' Harry Potter effect.


  • soulhill Level 1 (5 points)



    I too worry that the iBookstore may be seeing low numbers, however, your assumption about how these books are ranked may be incorrect. You're assuming it is based on downloads, but it may be based on views, and possibly other criteria, as well as downloads.


    For example, if you do a search for "Pregnancy" you'll find my book:


    ... has been moving steadilly forward, but the sales have been stable. (My sample time is pretty small since it only went live on Friday).

  • JoeScrivens Level 1 (60 points)

    hmmm interesting. When I do a search for photography I see your book comes up on page 6 whereas mine which has been out longer is on page 7.



    I made it $1.99 just today, but before that it was free and I have had around 40 downloads a day of it - Without telling me your exact sales numbers - can you indicate whether you have had more than 40 downloads a day of your book since friday?

  • soulhill Level 1 (5 points)



    I'm not sure that would be a useful measure.  I  have no way to know how many samples have been downloaded, which would be analogous to a  book in its free state.


    It is also possible that some algorithm is in place to handicap, as it were, newer books.

  • jamesfrombuellton Level 1 (0 points)



    When you change the price, does it take effect immediately? And as I ask above, have you made other changes to the text and then republished?



  • JoeScrivens Level 1 (60 points)

    soulhill - maybe you could pm me the answer if you didn't want it to be public knowledge?

  • JoeScrivens Level 1 (60 points)

    its almost instant, maybe a few hours difference before it gets changed. I didn't make any changes, was just letting it out for free at first to gather feedback and spot any errors before i charged for the book

  • evan20 Level 1 (5 points)

    After 57 days, my book was published to the iTunes Store!


    Lessons Learned:


    1. Read Apple's contact carefully. That is, do not use any words or phrases in your book that are owned by Apple. For example "ibook" is a registered trademark of Apple and so if you use that word in your ibook, it will be pulled from the store.

    2. Once you have corrected the problem reported by Apple, do not re-submit your book or it will simply reset it back to the end of the queue.

    3. Once you're book is published do not make any edits to it or it may be pulled from the store and sent to the end of the queue.

    4. Do not offer your book for free. This causes it to be reviewed last behind any books that are not free. Consider charging just .99 for example but never offer it for free!

    5. Be careful with iBook Author and don't over-use the widgets. If you have too much media or widgets it will take a very very long time to be reviewed. Consider creating many smaller books instead of one large book!



  • JoeScrivens Level 1 (60 points)

    evan20 wrote:



    4. Do not offer your book for free. This causes it to be reviewed last behind any books that are not free. Consider charging just .99 for example but never offer it for free



    this isn't true.


    I submitted a free book and a paid book within a day of each other and my free book was approved before the paid for book

  • jamesfrombuellton Level 1 (0 points)



    Congratulations. 57 days may be a new record.


    But can you explain how you know lessons 2-5 as facts? Not trying to give you a hard time, but one of the things we have learned is that different people have different experiences and we need to know when to generalize. Point 5 seems to contradict the very notion of interactive e-books. I for one don't want to publish a lot of smaller books.


    In fact, the more I think about, there have been so many accounts of differing individual experiences on this forum that it is hard to keep track of what may be true for everyone and what might just be down to the individual Apple reviewer. Maybe we need some sort of best practices Wiki.


    I see KT has started something in User Tips. Good for him. Is there a way to use User Tips in such a way that we would know what was said there is authoritative?


    Again, Evan, congrats.



  • evan20 Level 1 (5 points)

    Hi there Jim,


    No, not facts - just what I experienced. Like anything it's a standard distribution at work. Facts are empirical, black & white, yes & no. What I stated is true (but only for myself) however it could be helpful to others. The reviewers are people (lots of people) with different experience and backgrounds so the review process is different from book to book, day to day, week to week, month to month.


    So, as Obi Wan Kenobi says "The truth depends on ones perspective"...


    Yes, you're correct. There is no "Best Practice". It's all up to the whims and ups-n-downs of each reviewer.


    However, best practice might be "Don't make the book to complex or long". However, that would be difficult for many authors who write textbooks (like myself) where the books are very large and complex. If the reviewer is looking for "low hanging fruit" they will probably review shorter and simpler books before long and complex books.





  • jamesfrombuellton Level 1 (0 points)

    I sent Apple this:

    "If I make changes and re-publish, will the old version remain until the new version clears, and how long will that take?"


    and within an hour got this reply:


    "Once a title had been successfully uploaded to us and is live in the iBookstore, certain changes to the metadata (i.e. book title, subtitle, author name, category and/or book description) need to be requested and made through us.  Please provide us with the Apple ID(s) and/or ISBN(s) of the book(s) in question along with the requested metadata changes so we can file a ticket to make the changes for you. 


    If a book description needs to be updated, please be sure to only include the following tags in the description when necessary:

    Line break: <br>

    Bold: <b></b>

    Italic: <i></i>

    A bullet for a bulleted list: &#8226;


    NOTE: Please do not include any other HTML tags.  The HTML tags above are the only HTML tags we will accept in the book description at this time.


    Additionally, should you need to update the content of your book, you will have to re-deliver your book via iTunes Producer."


    Note that this did not answer my original question. I do not want to change the metadata but the content. I will now ask Apple that question again.


  • Edgar Level 4 (2,785 points)

    jamesfrombuellton wrote:


    Congratulations. 57 days may be a new record.



    Sorry to correct you, my wait time since I uploaded the book is now 77 days and I'm not even sure if that isthe longest wait time. I know it is beyond pathetic.


    About the lessons learned:

    1) Don't use the the "dirty word" ibooks. I agree with evan20 that this is violation No1 next to the violation No2, don't use any links WHATSOEVER. You will never know how Apple will interpret that link as a threat to their $100 billion empire.


    2) Besides that, THERE ARE NO RULES. The ibook department is doing pretty much what they want and you can't do anything about it but be patient, patient, patient. Which translates to "shut up".


    Unfortunately this seems to be a trend in Silicon Valley with companies like Google, Facebook and all the others. It is a real arrogant way of business relationship. They are making billions of dollars off of you, but you have no say in anything. You cannot reach them, there are no phone numbers, sometimes only "DoNoReply" email messages or dumbed down FAQs. There are so many reports on this forum that people are getting either cookie cutter "be patient" nonsense email, or responses that don't answer the question or no email response at all.


    We as authors and publishers are not customers that buy a product, we are business partners, This is supposed to be a business relationship, where we both make money off that 70/30 deal. But what kind of business relationship is this when you cannot communicate with your business partner. Apple just doesn't care that we invest time, money and effort into our products.


    No reliable communication, no accountability, just an arrogant mess.


    Do you need another example?


    1) I submitted my book originally on Feb 22nd


    2) After one or two ticket corrections the process was still pending until I got an email from Sandy on April 25th

    "We sincerely apologize for the long delay in our response.  Please know I've gone ahead and requested that we escalate the review of ticket number  ......  please provide me with the ISBNs or Apple IDs of those books and I will be sure to put in a request for escalated review for you."


    3) Wow, this looked like a real email written by a real person who really seemed to care. I responded with the necessary information and guess what, the next day one of my books was online. Finally, I though someone started to clean up the mess in the ibook approval department.


    4) After the book was online for 1 day, it was pulled off the ibookstore and I got another ticket because of a link to my Amazon physical book page (last time I checked, Apple isn't competing in the physical book business)


    5) I removed that one link the same day and uploaded the book.


    6) Since then, 12 days gone by and .... zzzzzzzzz... nothing. The communication lines died. I contacted them numerous times to find out what had happened to the "escalation" process, nothing, no response.


    So this is how the ibooks department is run.  Sorry but this has nothing to do with incompetence or pure luck (or no luck) anymore on the side of the ibook approval team. To me it looks like that they deliberately pick or ignore books for whatever reason.  It doesn't matter if you call it a black list or not, the results are the same.


    /end of rant - (Can't afford to hire a shrink to vent my anger because I wasted all my money on the production of those unreleased ibooks)

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