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Introducing myself, and what I want to know

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  1. #1
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    Introducing myself, and what I want to know

    I've just joined this forum because I'm about to write a book. I want to make it available in various electronic formats, including Apple iBook. I wasted a lot of time and effort corresponding with publishers - so I intend to self-publish, or distribute via smashwords.com, lulu.com, or similar.

    This is my first time through the process. I have questions:-


    1. Any advice, (or informative web links) about obtaining copyright? Particularly, copyright for the US, when obtained outside of the US?


    2. I've seen that there is a new "exclusivity" clause with iBooks. ( Also, book price can't exceed $14.99 ) [This forum won't allow me to post a link corroborating that news - you'll have to Google it!]

    I guess that rules out publishing to multiple formats, unless anyone knows a loop-hole? Or does this ONLY apply to "textbooks"? Or all content authored in iBook 2?

    3. To get-around Apple's exclusivity clause, how different does the book have to be from similar books you publish on other marketplaces? A different ISBN, certainly. How about the content? If I change or add a couple of chapters or something - can I call it a different book?


    4. Under Apple's new business model, do you still need a US tax code?


    5. If I need it for self-publication, Is it possible for a non-US citizen ( not resident in the US ), to obtain a US tax code? (I actually have an offshore dollar account linked somehow to a "correspondent bank" in America - if this helps).


    6. If I go with smashwords.com or lulu.com - how do they get around Apple's exclusivity clause???


    7. It looks like if I go with smashwords.com or lulu.com, I can get around the US tax code anyway. How much profit do they actually skim off the top? Smashwords 85% NET is after Apple's 30%? yes? - so 59.5% of book price? So if my book is $14.99, I get $8.91 (.9). yes? With Lulu, I get $9.44.


    8. Can I charge per-chapter? Ideally, I want to allow readers to download the book for free, with a few free and unlocked chapters as an enticement. Either they buy chapters individually - or the entire book, unlocking all chapters. Does Apple's framework allow me to do this?


    9. Is it possible to attach custom coding to the book? Add interactive content that you write in Objective-C? This isn't necessarily essential - but it might be interesting if it was possible.


    If I can't get around Apple's limitations, I considering creating my own app wrapper for my book. (And selling it in the app store, not the iBookshelf). But I'd rather not endure this extra development effort, unless there's compelling reason to do so.
    Last edited by brutfood; 01-25-2012 at 02:59 AM.

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  3. #2
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    1) In the U.S. Copyright is automatic when you publish a work, even posting on the web can be considered published. Of course it's hard to protect stuff you post on the web. As I understand it you can register your work, for a fee, but it only helps to establish proof of publication, and does not expand your rights. Thats about all I know of the subject. Not being an author I've never gone into the details.

    2) The exclusivity clause affects the output of the iBooks Author app only, and only if you charge for the book. This is Apple's new textbook creation tool; though they point out that ti can be used for far more than textbook creation. If you give the book away for free, or use a different creation tool the clause does not apply.

    3) Though there is some debate on how comprehensive the clause is, it is generally agreed that Apple means their new .ibook format. The content of the book is yours, and you are free to format and distribute it in any other format you like. Some people argue that Apple's wording in the iBook Author's EULA can be interpreted to include the content, but I don't believe anyone actually believes this is Apple's intent. Nor do I believe that Apple could feasibly defend this interpretation with something as weak as a EULA. This is all my opinion, of course, but most of the sources I read (some of them authors) agree (or more accurately, I'm borrowing their opinion).

    4) Yes. For individuals I believe your SSN will work.

    5) I have no idea.

    6) It does not apply. See answer 2

    7) No idea

    8) Nothing in Apples system would allow this, unless you made each chapter it's own book. If you created the book as an app you could probably use the in app purchase model to do this, but you'll increase the cost and time to develop the book.

    9) The iBook Author app includes a widget that incorporates Apple's Dashcode tool. This tool uses javascript and HTML to create unique interactive widgets/tools. There are other widgets to include more common things like movies, slideshows, Keynote presentations, etc. They require not special coding skills. A book as an iOS app would, of course, be able to do anything that the developer could do in an app.

    Apple still fully supports the ePub 3 standard. You should be able to use almost any of the ePub 3 tools to create an iBooks compatible ebook without incurring the EULA restrictions that apply to iBooks Author.
    Last edited by twerppoet; 01-25-2012 at 09:45 PM.

  4. #3
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    Thanks. Your feedback was helpful. It's more likely now I'll write an app wrapper for my book, at least while I'm developing, releasing, and refining the chapters. I'll probably also release it as an iBook, and other formats, once it's set in concrete.

  5. #4
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    No problem. Have fun with the book.


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