A little bit easier..


Mrs. Technocrat is a writer. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this. But she is.

And a damn good one at that.

To date, she’s had 12 books published by a major New York publisher. So she’s legit.

And, I’m damn proud of her.

Recently she has decided that going the route of “traditional” publishing is for the birds and has decided to go independent or “indie” as the industry calls it.

Basically this means that she will continue to write books and such, but now, she will self publish them digitally. Her self. No Publisher (with a capital P).

This means a lot of things. More control of her books. More say is what she writes. More say in how and where things are published.

And, more of the royalties. Lots more. But that’s another blog and a WHOLE other discussion. I’m not here to bash on the publishing industry. As much as I like to do that.

She has completed two short stories to “test the waters” recently and we’ve gone through the process of publishing them to the four big outlets. Amazon, Nook, Kobo and Apple.

As her official Techno-geek in residence, I was voluntold that I would be handling the technical end of converting her prose into digital formats for these sites.

Cool! I like a challenge and she and I tend to view all things as a partnership in our lives. So I jumped on the task.

Getting to the point where I’m now at, that being comfortable formatting and publishing a work to these sites took a bit of learning. Here’s what I’ve learned to date…summarized.

Amazon = easy, simple and painless. They have it down cold. This I’d expect from them.

Kobo = not as easy, but still pretty painless. I was surprised here. I’d expected problems.

Nook = picky as HELL about the formatting, but once you have that figured out, pretty easy. Only mildly surprised. The only problem is that they’ve recently reworked their whole “process” and there are still some bugs.

Apple = Pain in the Fucking ASS!!!! Yup. Just as I expected.

/sad_face = on

Apple is picky as hell about the formatting, makes you jump through about a billion hoops and makes you use about three different tools just to get your book submitted to them. THEN you have to deal with iTunes Connect and the PITA that is that site.

So I have the books up on Apple’s site. Finally.

Now…we wait. And wait. And wait.

You see Apple is notorious for taking FOREVER to approve anything. More likely than not they’ll kick it back with come cryptic error and leave the user to try and figure it out.

Want support or help? Sure. Just email them and pray they actually get back to you. If they do, it will be most likely 3-5 business days. And you hope it’s not just another cryptic message that really doesn’t tell you anything.

So here’s my deal.

I’ve been critical of Apple in the past for losing it’s innovative edge. I stand by those comments.

However, they are also so overly protective of their precious “ecosystem” that they are hurting themselves.

When it becomes so f’ing difficult to sell your product on their marketplace that people don’t want to deal with it, you have a problem. And right now, Apple has a problem baby!

However, Apple has enough market intertia built up that people will continue to work with them.

But I wonder for how long?

Apple, a company that seems to pride itself on customer service (I love the people at the Apple stores) needs to seriously take a page or two out of Amazon’s playbook.

There is a reason Amazon is the 800-pound gorilla in the publishing world. They make it easy and simple to get your books up on their site. It’s painless.

Apple on the other hand is nothing but pain.

Authors are realizing that they are entering a time of unprecedented freedom and control for their careers. They are anxious to take advantage of that freedom.

However, if Apple continues to throw up roadblocks to authors, they are going to find themselves marginalized rather quickly.

When spouses of authors, who are very technically savvy, have issues getting Apple’s process to “work”, it stands to reason that authors who are not overly technically savvy are going to find the process madding and defeating.

Eventually, they will walk away.

So, please Apple. Get your shit together! Fix the process to get a book published on iBooks.

Otherwise, your whole “book” market is going to go the way of Borders. Another company that missed the boat. We all know what happened to them.

I don’t think the same thing will happen to Apple. Again, that whole inertia thing. But Apple is not opposed to shuttering business ventures that don’t work.

I’d hate to see this one shut down because there are too wrapped up in themselves to see the fundamental problem. And that problem is…

They are just a Pain in the Ass to deal with.

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