Finally…after months of attempting to put it on-line, THE GREAT BELLYBUTTON COVER-UP is now a read-along/read-aloud (depending on which term you choose) picturebook on ITunes. Here are some helpful hints which will hopefully save you months of aggravation.
I had already done THE GREAT BELLYBUTTON COVER-UP in printed format so that took care of the text and illustrations. Not realizing how much more complicated I was making things, I decided to do a read-along book instead of a regular e-book. I did the audio portion in a recording studio owned privately (much less expensive). I narrated it myself since, naturally, I’m the only one who knows exactly how it’s meant to be read.
Please note that you need a different ISBN for each book format (paperback, hardcover, e-book, read-aloud book all require different ISBNs).
Apparently, and unknown to me at the time, the only format capable of handling this type of book is Apple’s ITunes on the IPad. Kobo is not currently designed for fixed layout ePubs or PDFs. There is also a maximum file size limit of 10MB. They hope to expand their repertoire but don’t know when this will be done.
I had Reader’s Favorite (firstname.lastname@example.org) do the formatting for me. I wasn’t even going to try to tackle that by myself.
I had to upload all the metadata. Metadata is all the details of the book: content description, pricing, etc. Sounds easy? I don’t think so. Readers Favorite ended up uploading the book to Apple for me since I never figured out how to do this. This was done AFTER the metadata was input.
There were several reasons it took me ages to figure out how to get my book on ITunes.
Reason 1: I couldn’t figure out how to get into the proper site which is, da! da! iTunes Connect .
Reason 2: I did not realize I had to download programs to do the process. If I hadn’t had to take my computer in to Apple because of its failure to turn on (which never happened again-very weird by the way) I’d still be trying to upload my book. My one-to-0ne class tutor helped me with the process. When on this site you must download ITunes Producer. It’s free. Depending on what you are doing you may need to download other programs as well.
Reason 3: You need to fill in tax information. If you are not a U.S. resident this part makes you want to blow your brains out. Here is the article that saved the day. I owe this person a debt of gratitude: Non-US Self-Publisher? Tax Issues Don’t Need to be Taxing « Catherine, Caffeinated. Make sure you read this carefully.
Reason 4: You need to know your banking information. In Canada you need the transit number preceded by the institution number. If your institution number does not have four numbers stick a “0″ in front of it. And how was anyone supposed to know the number required was a combination of numbers and you needed to have that extra zero? It took me hours to figure that stuff out.
Make sure you read the PDF manual on ITunes Connect carefully as well. It helps to have two windows open so you can follow the instructions while working on the metadata. Every time you fill in information you have to make sure you save it.
This was an extremely complicated and frustrating process and I haven’t covered everything but hopefully I’ve made the process easier for the next person. I’m praying it will be easier for me the next time. I’m not sure whether to do a read-aloud book again because it’s so limiting, although I like the concept because parents get sick of reading the same story a million times and hopefully my book falls into that category. Let me know what you think. http://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/great-bellybutton-cover-up/id567651890?mt=11