But Apple's iBookstore has gotten even more difficult lately. The restrictions are tighter and sometimes it requires a customized master file, just to make sure I don't accidentally mention the Kindle edition. There is also the problem of setting prices internationally. As Apple expands its marketplaces, there is more opportunity to find English readers across the world, but it also means I have to set the price for each and every one of those countries.
So, for each title, I have to fill out this screen for each of the (currently) 32 different countries. And, since these markets have been added over time, I have to go back to each of my previous books, and add the markets that have come on-line since I released that book.
It's a chore, but it's an opportunity as well. I've got writer buddies who are more popular in other countries than the US. It could happen. So I decided to work through the stack of books and add all those markets. I learned a few things as well. I found a website http://www.exchangerate.com/ where I could find the exchange rates for all the countries I needed. I made a spreadsheet where my paper-edition price and likely ebook prices were calculated, so I could have an idea just how much Euros, and Swiss francs, and the various kronas were worth. Then it was just a matter of watching a TV show (old Lois and Clark episodes) while filling in the forms.
I was a little worried the first time I submitted the updated package for an older book, fearing the multi-day delay that is common before a book actually comes on-line in the Apple system. I was very pleased to see that a simple meta-data change like this only takes about an hour before everything was live. At the same time, my newest book hasn't been approved in nearly a week now.
The same sort of task was waiting for me at Google Editions. This time, there are nine countries to deal with, and Google lets you download a spreadsheet, where you can change all the prices in one operation.
In another couple of days, I'll have all my books available for sale in far flung places, as long as the reader is looking for English language books. Maybe it'll be worth it, maybe not. Time will tell.
UPDATE: 7/26/12 : I just received an email from Apple stating that 'based on your feedback', they had made changes in the software to allow quick population of all the international markets based on exchange rates. The next time I add a book, I'll try that out. Hmm. I wonder if they read my blog or if that 'based on your feedback' thing is boilerplate for all users. I suspect they got quite a few official feedback messages.