I’ve just finished the first solid draft of “Practical Technology for Music Education” in the new iBooks format. I’ve had a chance to view the book on iBooks with iBooks Author’s preview feature, and it looks good. I still need to do some more reviewing, as the expanded first edition for iBooks has a number of new chapters.
So, I went to create an iTunes Connect account so I could upload the book for sale. I discovered that an ISBN number is required to publish your book for sale. A single ISBN costs $125, ten cost $250, and the price goes down from there. You pretty much need to buy the pack of ten, in the event that you write a second edition of a book, or publish it in a different format that needs an ISBN number. In other words, it is a required piece of publishing that is certainly detrimental to the individual who publishes their own book–and it certainly favors the big publishing houses that can buy 1,000,000 ISBN numbers at a time.
And that also doesn’t include the $30 you need to copyright your work.
And finally, there’s no guarantee that Apple will choose your book to publish, either.
So you have a potential investment of $155 (1 ISBN) or $380 (10 ISBNs) to possibly have your iBook rejected. And if you do sell your iBook, perhaps at $4.99 each, meaning that you need to sell 45 books before you break even at the $155 (109 books at the $380 investment). What if you write on a somewhat limited topic, like practical technology in music education?
I need to think this through…you don’t want to throw away money!