Sell Your Book in the iBookstore and Apple Won't Let You Sell It Anywhere Else

By Roberto Baldwin on at

Selling a book with Apple's iBook Author program is now a one-way ticket to Apple being the only place you can sell the book. Maybe selling your book on iBooks isn't such a great deal after all.

Dan Wineman of Venomous Porridge went to publish his first book from within the iBooks Author application when he was met with a curious notice. Once a book is made available for sale in the iBookstore, it can only be sold through that venue.

A quick look at the iBooks Author EULA reconfirms the dialog box's diabolical message:

(ii) if your Work is provided for a fee (including as part of any subscription-based product or service), you may only distribute the Work through Apple and such distribution is subject to the following limitations and conditions: (a) you will be required to enter into a separate written agreement with Apple (or an Apple affiliate or subsidiary) before any commercial distribution of your Work may take place; and (b) Apple may determine for any reason and in its sole discretion not to select your Work for distribution.

Ugh, the worst part is that you never agree to anything when you install the application. The EULA never appears when you install. Apparently, you implicitly agree to the EULA simply by using the software. If you've worked for weeks on a book only to discover you can't sell it anywhere else once you publish it to the iBookstore, you're gonna be pissed.

Apple is jumping into the world of publishing here. If you had a deal with Random House to sell your book, you wouldn't be able to have Penguin Publishing also sell it. These deals, however, are transparent. The restrictions don't just appear as you prepare to submit your manuscript. Apple is assuming rights over your content in the worst possible way. [Venomous Porridge]