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

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


David Gewirtz, Distinguished Lecturer at CBS Interactive, is an author, U.S. policy advisor, and computer scientist. He is featured in the History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets and is a member of the National Press Club.

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  • Never a break for Apple at Microsoft ZDNet

    Never a break for Apple at Microsoft ZDNet. Some rotten Microsoft shilling creep will always find a way to dump on it.
    • Wow...

      He was writing about what happened TO HIM. And yet you consider someone writing about their real-world experiences to bea "shilling creep".<br><br>You. Are. An. Idiot.
      Hallowed are the Ori
    • Where have you been?. It's Apple-ZDNet, NOT MS ZDNet

      [i][b]EVERYBODY[/b][/i] knows that :)
      John Zern
      • Apple ZDNet? HA.

        @John Zern

        Yes, that's why all of their posts about phones trash iPhone. Seriously - yes, iPhone isn't the best, there are better, but ZDNet is insistent about comparing some new Android device to iPhone. Why? Because while iPhone isn't the best, it's got the biggest user base, and therefor a threat to any other phone. ZDNet, for the most part, is against Apple, and look favorably at the open source/MS side of things. Where have YOU been?
      • Capt. Trekkie just proved his point

        The second post of this blog, no less.

        Didn't waste any time, huh...

        lol... :D
        ubiquitous one
    • Yeah, you really are an idiot.


      You're coming off very paranoid. You need to go through Apple deprogramming to get you away from their cult.

      Are you sending a large percentage of your salary to Steve Jobs? Have you renounced your religion in favor of Appleosophy?
      • And speaking of idiots...

        One can easily see he was posting that based on past experience here.

        And he was right, too... ;)
        ubiquitous one
    • Put down your IPAD....NOW...SLOWLY!!!

      @zato_3@... or your MAC gets it!!! Noone wants this to come to a sudden and tragic end. Just keep taking those deep, cleansing breaths!
    • RE: iTunes won't let you publish books if you write software

      @zato_3@... If, in fact, needs jumping on. I don't think they do it just because they hate Apple. That is more than I can say about a plurality respondents here.
    • RE: iTunes won't let you publish books if you write software

      @zato_3@... Seriously? Dude, grow up and stop being so paranoid... Gewirtz was writing about HIS personal experience not parroting some ant-apple article...
  • wow, just wow ...

    you needed a new account? unbelievable!!! i really feel for you. i hate apple for their unfair, arrogant, uncompetitive behavior. a new account! they are so evil.
    banned from zdnet
    • I for one . . .

      @banned from zdnet:

      would like to know 'Why'? It doesn't make any sense. This has nothing to do with Apple's rights, etc., but you'd think from an accounting standpoint, that it'd be easier dealing with one account rather than two.

      Apple's just making their bookkeeping dept working harder than they should have to . . . .
      • RE: iTunes won't let you publish books if you write software

        @JLHenry - I thought about that - it MIGHT be easier for the accountants if software uploads are through Account A and books are through Account B.
    • RE: iTunes won't let you publish books if you write software

      @banned from zdnet It seems kind of pushy, but maybe having to have a different account for your every function makes sense to some... Separate email addresses required, but not different user names or credit cards? I don't think they are so evil. Maybe they are just routinized bureaucrats. :o)
    • RE: iTunes won't let you publish books if you write software

      @banned from zdnet
      I really hope that was sarcasm...
    • RE: iTunes won't let you publish books if you write software

      @banned from zdnet
      Just another shining example of Jobs' fascist control-freak regime. Arbitrary rules that make no sense.
  • Wrong article title

    It should be "iTunes won't let you publish books if you use a developer account" or something like that.
    • RE: iTunes won't let you publish books if you write software

      @neochuck It probably started out as "Apple kicked my dog and spit on my mother", but the editors decided to tone it down. :)
  • Makes sense to me

    Apple probably just needs to pretend that you're two different people so that they don't have to worry about keeping the book and developer licenses and agreements in sync. This way they can keep them entirely separate and there's no blurring of the lines between agreements. I would guess that you'd have the same issue if you tried to publish in another region's iTunes store.

    Not evil. Just the usual corporate CYA.
    • Plus they can count him as "two developers"

      makes the "number of developers" appear higher. :)
      John Zern