If you love Apple (whether you own an iPhone, iPad or MacBook), you should certainly publish your books on Apple to reach more readers.

Publishing your books on Apple is essential if you’re planning to go wide.

Here is the step-by-step guide on how to create an eBook on Apple.

[Self-Publishing Tips] [8-Step Guide] How To Publish Your eBook On Apple Books

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. I will earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you purchase through these links. Your support encourages me to continue blogging and help with the costs of hosting this site. Thank you!

1. Sign Up For Apple

According to Apple Books for Authors, you’ll need to create an iTunes Connect Account to publish with Apple directly. This requires an Apple ID which you should have if you own an Apple product.

Apple mentions that it has some benefits over Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, such as

  • 70% royalties on every book, regardless of price
  • No file delivery fees
  • No price matching

Apple Books Benefits

Similar to Amazon and Kobo, you’ll receive royalties in your bank account. But unlike Amazon and Kobo which have limited currencies, Apple offers more currencies. This is the reason I love Apple: I can receive royalties in my local bank account!

One of the biggest pet peeves I have about Apple Books is the interface. I feel that the interface isn’t as user-friendly as Amazon or KDP. Plus, I always have errors when publishing my book (will explain more later).

There are many ways to publish your book on Apple Books. This ultimately depends on your book format and the method that you’re comfortable with.

  • Pages
  • iTunes Producer (Mac)
  • Publishing Portal (PC)
  • Partners like Draft2Digital

Even though I have a MacBook Air, I rarely use it. Plus, I prefer writing my manuscripts in Microsoft Word. Hence, I publish my books via the Publishing Portal (PC). Here are the steps that I take.

2. Submit A New Book or Set Up A Pre-Order

After signing in to your account at the Publishing Portal, you’ll be offered 3 choices:

  • Submit A New Book
  • Update A Previously Submitted Book
  • Set Up A Pre-Order

You can choose the 1st or 3rd option, depending on whether you want to publish the book immediately or in the future.

Apple Books - New Book Pre-Order Update

3. Upload Your Book

Next, you upload your EPUB book file and sample file (optional). Check out my step-by-step guide on converting Microsoft Word Doc to EPUB with Calibre~

A book file is not required if you’re setting up a pre-order.

Also, do upload your cover image here.

Apple Books - Upload Book Files

4. Add Title & Description

This is where you fill up your book details.

  • Title
  • Subtitle
  • Series Name & Series Number
  • Author Name
  • Description

Note that you can use HTML to format your book description. Here are some basic formatting

  • <b>bold</b>
  • <i>italic</i>

PS. You can learn basic HTML from W3Schools.

Apple Books - Title Description

5. Set Category, Language & Other Information

There are more book details to fill up here

  • Subject Categories
  • Book Language
  • Explicit Content (eg. adult content, extreme violence): Yes or No

It’s recommended to choose all 3 categories. This way, your book will appear in more genres and relevant searches.

Apple Books - Category Language

6. Enter Publishing Details

Lastly, fill in the publisher name, ISBN and publication date.

ISBN is optional but I strongly recommend that you get one. ISBN is a unique international identifier that allows bookstores and libraries worldwide to easily track and order books.

Do research on how to get ISBNs in your country. For example, Bowker is the only official source of ISBNs in the United States. It costs about $125 for a single ISBN and gets cheaper if you purchase more than one at a time ($295 for 10 ISBNs, $575 for 100 ISBNs). In my country, ISBNs are free. We just need to apply and wait for a few days.

Apple Books - Publishing Details

When your book is successfully uploaded, you’ll see this notification.

And this is where I usually face an error (after doing all the steps too =.=). Apple will mention there’s some error so the book isn’t uploaded. I’ve checked with Apple Support before but they mentioned that it’s probably a caching problem and I just have to clear my cache. Hence, I always have to redo all the steps in different browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari as well as Incognito). If it still doesn’t work, you just have to wait a few hours.

Apple Books - Almost Done

7. Go To iTunes Connect

Now, you simply head over to iTunes Connect. Click on My Books and select the book you just uploaded.

iTunes Connect - My Books

8. Edit Rights & Pricing

Next, click on Rights and Pricing.

iTunes Connect - Book Details

Then, click on Add New Countries/Regions.

iTunes Connect - Rights Pricing

Set all the rights and pricing for your book

  • Whether to apply DRM
  • Pre-Order Start Date
  • Release Date
  • Base Currency
  • Release Type: Digital Only, New Release, Other
  • Physical List Price
  • Suggested Apple Books Price

DRM refers to Digital Rights Management. Applying DRM will protect your book from illegal copying. This works differently depending on your book’s file type:

  • EPUB files (.epub): DRM applies to images and book content. The book directory, file structure, audio, and video content are not included.
  • Multi-Touch Book files (.ibooks): DRM applies to all media and book content, but it’s not applied to the book structure, small thumbnails, and media content within an HTML widget.

I usually don’t enable DRM because pirates will always be able to go past this. Hence, it’s better to not frustrate real readers. Regardless, the decision to apply DRM is still up to you.

Also note that there are 3 choices for Release Type: Digital Only, New Release, Other. New Release and Other will require a physical list price.

After you’re done, remember to select the countries and regions in which you would like to make your book available.

iTunes Connect - Add New Countries Regions

And that’s it! You’re done publishing your book on Apple Books~! 😀

PS. You can check your book status by looking at the light under your book in iTunes Connect (please see Step 7 where my books are available on 51 stores)

  • Green light: Your book is available
  • Yellow light: Your book is ready & will be available on the scheduled release date
  • Red light: Your book is not available (click “See Details” for additional information)

Now It’s Your Turn

So how was your experience when publishing an eBook on Apple Books?

For more valuable resources, visit Apple Books for Authors.

If you need help formatting your eBook, you can check out Fiverr or even choose to hire from Fiverr Pro which consists of exceptional talent who are hand-vetted for stellar quality and service. There are also book cover design gigs, book blurb gigs and editing gigs on Fiverr.


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Nicole C. W. All Rights Reserved.

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