Chris A. Baird | March 8, 2023
Apple Self Publishing

Are you an Apple user and at the same time publishing your books? Here’s why you should try Apple Self Publishing. 

When you get started with self-publishing, there are a lot of choices you can make. One of them is which platform you should be publishing your books on. That's one of the reasons we're looking at Apple Self Publishing today.

So, a couple of questions come right up off the bat and one of them would be, do I need a Mac to publish with Apple Books? This is a sticking point for a lot of authors. Because we know on some of the platforms, it doesn't matter what type of machine you're using.

You're going to be able to take your files and you're going to be able to put them onto the platform. But when it comes to Apple Books, you're going to need to have either a Mac and iPhone or an iPad to publish your book. It is a downside for those of us who typically use PCs.

I have Apple devices but I'm not going to do my publishing from an iPhone or an iPad because they're just a little bit too small. So, I would not recommend doing that but doing it from a Mac definitely can work. In other words, using Apple Books can be an option that's worth considering. 

Why Publish with Apple Books?

You use their Pages app to go about publishing. But a big question is why should you publish in the first place with Apple Books. There are several good reasons to do it, one of them is the wide distribution.

You have to keep in mind that Apple Books is available in 50 different countries and has millions of users worldwide. So, by using this exact platform, you're able to reach those users. In addition, they're using Apple products, they're a little bit higher and more expensive.

They're more likely to purchase. This is also true when it comes to even buying apps in general. More money is made off of the Apple Store than Google Android Store. Even though more people own Androids than iPhones.

So, the other reason to do it is because of the high royalties. With Apple Books, you have complete and very competitive royalty rates at as much as 70% for ebooks and audiobooks. This is compared to Amazon which also does 70% but then they have tighter control on the price range that you're allowed to sell the books.

You have no control when it comes to audible audiobooks. It is a little bit of a downside when it comes to that front. The other is the control over pricing, as I was just mentioning this ability, you decide which pricing model works for you as opposed to if you're publishing with Kindle, they're pretty much deciding most of it.

The other is they have a whole series of marketing tools. Apple Books provide a range of marketing tools such as pre-orders, free samples, promotion codes, and a lot of these other things. Also, you can get off of some of the things that Amazon offers but not quite as detailed in an extensive way.

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As we see when it comes to Apple Books, there's a high-quality user experience. Apple's known for its high-quality experience. So, the app itself flows, and it's very easy to use. I use mostly just the Kindle app and apps that are associated with Amazon.

But I have used the Apple programs to read and listen to several books. I can say it was a positive experience that I had. The other thing is the integration with Apple devices and maybe that is the key issue.

The big advantage here is that Apple Books are integrated with other products like the iPhone, the iPad, the Mac, and even the Apple watch. Because you can purchase them right from your devices, you can listen to and read them right on your devices. 

How to publish your book on Apple Books

So, you can see there are a lot of advantages but how exactly do we go about doing it, to publish your book on Apple Books? What do we need to do if we're going to put our books over there? Well, there are several steps, and there are 6 key steps you're going to want to remember.  

Step 1: Create your iTunes Connect Account

The first step is that you should create your iTunes Connect Account. This is the starting point for everything. 

Step 2: Enter your banking and tax information

Step two, you're going to enter your banking and tax information. So, they have everything they need. So, when you earn those royalties, you're going to know exactly how to do it.

Step 3: Upload your book

You're going to upload your book as step three. 

Step 4: Enter your metadata

For step four, you're going to enter your metadata into the book so they know exactly what this book is about. You are going to enter the description, the title, the author, the publisher all of these things. 

Step 5: Choose your categories

That moves us into step five. We're going to choose your categories, trying to find categories. One key thing here is you want to make sure you stick with relevant categories.

You can get in trouble on all of these platforms by choosing categories that are not relevant to your book. So, just make sure you follow the rules and things will go just fine. 

Step 6: Set up your territorial pricing

The sixth one is you can set up your territorial pricing. And as we already mentioned, there are major advantages when it comes to pricing on Apple. You may choose for some reasons to hold a lower price based upon the population of that area which makes it more accessible.

Or you may just choose to let it do automatic pricing. Where you choose like in the United States and then it cascades down over the other regions. 

Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing on Apple Books

So, a couple of big ones, pros, and cons of self-publishing on Apple Books. The pros are you have a really wide reach with over 50 countries that we’re reaching from Apple Books. This gives you a global audience, there are high royalty rates that's a huge one.

But then the cons were limited to the tools of customization. In other words, we're limited to the formatting tools that they have for their specific devices and you're having to use a Mac to do the entire process or an iPhone or an iPad.

But if you're going to do it this route, you're limited to the devices that they are saying, okay only these devices will be able to produce and publish our books. So, if that's going to be a challenge, then you might not.

Now, for me, that's a challenge. I prefer Amazon and the fact that I can use almost any tool to go about producing those books. But it's something that you as a self-publisher, and an author is going to need to decide if it's right for you. 

Check out this related article: Success Stories: The Power of Self-Publishing

Apple Books Review: Can it Top Major Competitors?

So, a couple of other things, Apple Books Review: Can It Top Major Competitors? This is a big one that a lot of people want to know about. 

Apple Books vs. Amazon Kindle Unlimited

Like Apple Books versus Amazon Kindle Unlimited. Kindle has just a bigger audience and that's really where that thing hits. The other thing is if you do happen to have Apple devices, well then, it gives you a better experience.

You don't need these additional apps and things to get the books onto your device. So, I would say that perhaps Apple Books may be the right choice for you.

I like the size of the audience on Amazon as my starting point. But if you're doing it through sites like Draft2Digital and these other sites, you can get your books onto Apple Books as well. So, this is a way to sort of get your book on that one. 

Apple Books vs. Barnes & Noble

Then we can go through it, we can publish widely by using some of the other platforms. To ensure that we're going to reach as many of our audience as possible. The next one is Apple Books versus Barnes and Noble.

Well, the problem I have with Barnes and Noble is that the price is high. We've even seen them kill some of the platforms they had for audiobooks. Because of the sales, they were just not managing to compete.

But on the other side of things, they both force their platform. So, you're going to have the DRM (Digital Rights Management) in place. Both of these platforms are not going to let you transfer your books around.

Taking a look at a book in one of the other ones. No, you're going to be stuck to these specific platforms that they have. 

Apple Books vs. Audible

But what about Apple Books versus Audible? Well, Apple Books has one huge advantage which is that you have the e-reader and you have the audiobooks all in the same app. Whereas if you're doing Audible, you have to keep in mind you're going to have the Kindle app on your phone.

In addition, you are going to have the Audible reader app on your iPhone or your Android device to get the same experience. If we want to buy new books, well obviously, Apple's going to be the winner.

Oh, I get the audiobook and it comes right down to the same app that's playing both the audiobook and your e-reader book. It is a huge advantage when it comes to Apple on that front. 

Apple Books vs. Kobo

But what about Apple Books versus Kobo? Well, Kobo has one thing that I haven't mentioned here which is that it has an awful lot of coupons. That will give you the ability to market your books in ways that you may not be able to do on Apple.

In addition, Kobo itself will change your prices. On the other hand, Apple gives you flexibility on the prices. But Kobo has been known to change prices and that can be a bit of a challenge for many self-publishers who want to have that control over exactly the pricing on their books.

As they go to the place that gives you the least control over pricing is going to be Audible ACX. Putting your books on there, you have almost no control. You have zero control over the pricing. You can only control whether or not you pay to have the books narrated which gives you 40% royalties off of all sales of your audiobooks. 

Marketing tips to sell more on Apple Books

Let's hit a couple more things, marketing tips to sell more on Apple Books. Here are a couple of ways if you've decided you're going to go the Apple Books direction. 

Try higher prices

One of them is to try higher prices so often. We think that lowering the prices, that's going to draw people in. But the reality is we're going to need money to pay for the ads that we're running against the books.

How are you supposed to do that unless you're earning enough per book to compensate for the ads? A lot of people have this idea that when somebody's going to get a book, they're going to get that book based on whether or not the price is low.

Check out this related article: Self-Publishing: The Best Option for You?

But in reality, that is not why people buy books. We buy books to be entertained, to solve our problems, and for all sorts of different reasons. Price is number seven on the list. So, you really should not be paying attention. You can raise the price quite a bit and you'd be surprised to see that your sales continue to keep coming in.

Leverage “free first-in-series”

The next one is that you can leverage the “free first-in-series” book. This is something you're not able to do on Amazon. Where you can make that first book free and once they've read it, then they want to continue.

But they're going to pay for those additional books. They're going to be too much of a risk associated with jumping on the first book if you have to pay for it. But if it's free, it can tempt you to start reading it.

If you like it, then get the other books in the series. This can be done easily without any special tricks. Like we have to do on Amazon to trick it into letting us set a book for free, especially the “free first-in-series”. 

Publish exclusive mega box sets

The next marketing tip is to publish exclusive Mega Box Sets which are really powerful ones. Where you have these large sets, you're able to put all of the books together. So, that's a huge one. 

Leverage pre-orders

Another is leveraging pre-orders. Now, you can do this on Amazon but there are some advantages to doing it on Apple Books as well.

So that we're able to get those sales coming in which is telling Apple they should be pumping and pushing your book out to your target readers in advance. 

Sign up for the Apple Books affiliate program

Another one is to sign up for Apple Books’ affiliate program. Amazon has its affiliate program but Apple Books is a fantastic way. So that not only do you get paid if they click on a link and purchase your book.

But also, you get paid for anything else they're purchasing on the Apple site. It is a really powerful thing especially when we're talking about people who already are using just the Apple device.

So, it's going to follow them around a bit as they're clicking and playing, as they're buying different items from the Apple Store. It’s worth considering. 

Send traffic through ads

The final one in this area is to send traffic through ads. This is something I think was only like 10% to 20% of people on Amazon, even the authors there are using ads. If you want to ramp up your self-publishing business, you are going to need to run ads.

It seems painful in the beginning but that's one of the reasons why many people join my Group Coaching or my 1-On-1 Program specifically so we can talk through how easy it is to set these up. Because in reality, self-publishing doesn't have to be hard. 

Everything becomes easy if we break it down into simple steps. Focusing on the most important things first. Giving ourselves a long runway, don't think about “I'm going to put out 50 books”.

No, we're not thinking about that. Rather, we're focusing on one step at a time as we're slowly moving through the process of learning this whole self-publishing thing. 


I have a question for you. Have you tried Apple Self Publishing? If you have tried it, let me know below in the comments with “Yes”. If you haven't, write me “No” and let me know what exactly would cause you to choose to publish on Apple Books as opposed to some of these other sites. Check out my other blogs and videos for more answers to your self-publishing questions.

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