iTunes won't let you publish books if you write software

Summary:Apple today finally opened up the iBooks store for smaller publishers. And I hit a snag.

Apple today finally opened up the iBooks store for smaller publishers. And I hit a snag.

Here's a quick bit of background. I've written and published 40 incredibly simplistic apps on the iTunes store. At my deepest core, I'm a developer and I wanted to see what developing for the iPhone would be like. Meh. Not the most fun I've ever had coding.

But, mostly, I'm a writer and my day job is working for ZATZ Publishing as editor and publisher. We have a book that I wrote and ZATZ published, called How To Save Jobs. The book's been donated to a nonprofit and the electronic PDF version is being given away fro free.

I wanted to put it up on the iBooks store and see if I could either give it away, or sell it for the lowest possible amount.

The process is simple. You need it in ePub format, you need a valid tax ID, you need an ISBN, and you need an iTunes account with a credit card on file. All easy. You also need a Mac.

So, I logged into iTunes Connect with my iTunes account. Here's the error message I got:

Apparently, the same iTunes account can’t be used to sell books and software. I'm not sure if they’re going to make a fuss about the same tax id -- that could get problematic.

Did you notice the second sentence in the error message? Let me break it down for you:

Enter a different iTunes Store account,

That's not too bad. But the next part is a doozy:

or deactivate the existing iTunes Connect account before trying again.

Basically, my active iTunes Connect account is my iPhone developer account. If you're a developer and want to publish books, you either need a new account or need to KILL your developer account.

Don't kill your developer account! My next step is to create a branny-new iTunes account and see how that works.

Update: I was able to create a new iTunes account, but iTunes Connect required a different email address than the one assigned to my developer account to allow me into the iBooks publisher system. I filled out the iBooks Publisher application, providing it with two ISBNs for two active books, along with my company's tax ID -- this was accepted in the form.

Apple instantly sent me a notice that my application was accepted. Given my previous experience in this area, the instant response almost knocked me off my chair. Next, I'm about to agree to the terms of service for iBooks -- and after that, I'm prohibited from talking more about the account creation or iTunes Connect aspect of things.

Stay tuned, though. I'll let you know what happens when trying to prepare and upload a book into the system.

By the way, sorry about the shameless book plug, but it's a free download, so consider it a gift.

Topics: Mobility, Apple, Hardware, Software, Software Development

About

In addition to hosting the ZDNet Government and ZDNet DIY-IT blogs, CBS Interactive's Distinguished Lecturer David Gewirtz is an author, U.S. policy advisor and computer scientist. He is featured in The History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets, is one of America's foremost cyber-security experts, and is a top expert on savi... Full Bio

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