Advice on Going Direct on Apple Using a PC

It’s that time when people make New Year’s resolutions and I’m sure someone is like I was a few years back and decided that this was the year they’d upload their books direct to Apple. You know, save that 10% they pay to D2D right now.

I actually went direct with them a few years back and then pulled most of my books back to D2D after I did a price promo and couldn’t get my prices to go back to their normal price. But I had a writer friend who said she’s made an extra $20K with them by being direct, so I figured I’d put these latest books up direct even though my amount to make extra with them is more like $100 a year.

It was not easy.

A few years back, Apple made it possible to upload your books via a PC instead of a Mac. (Starting here: https://authors.apple.com/epub-upload).

Yay.

But it’s this weird two-step process. And, as I learned this week, their Rights and Pricing page is a hot mess of dysfunction.

Theoretically, you provide a base currency price, $2.99 USD, and then they convert that price to each of the other currencies they support. If you don’t agree with the conversion, you can go in and use dropdown menus to adjust the pricing tier for any specific country.

But, at least on a PC, that currency conversion is broken. So regardless of what price I put for USD, Apple wants to price that book at $20.99 AUD and 10.99 Euros.

And, to make it more fun, if you try to change more than two or three of those dropdown pricing tiers at once it crashes and says you timed out and need to log back in and try again. You lose all your work.

It makes D2D look very appealing.

But, if you are stubborn like me and still want to go direct with them (they have the worst publishing process of all of the major players at this point AND don’t offer any special promo opportunities for being direct, so they’re the last one I’d personally recommend doing of all of the biggies), here is my workaround for the pricing mess:

Get your prices from one of your other stores (like Kobo or D2D) for USD, GBP, EUR, JPY, BRL, CAD, MXN, NZD, and AUD.

Choose Euros as your base currency and set that price and then click the boxes for Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain.

All of those countries use Euros as their base currency so you don’t need to adjust the pricing tier on the next page and can just click Done.

Next, choose to add more territories and this time choose USD as your base currency and set that price. Click the boxes for Argentina, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, United States, and Venezuela.

All of those countries use USD as their base so can also just be submitted without adjusting price tiers.

And then for me I had to do the rest two at a time for the United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Brazil, and Canada. I could set the price for one and use the dropdown for the other and not have the system crash on me. Mexico, Japan, and Brazil tend to have weird pricing tiers and Mexico’s is not sorted.

I did not do about 13 countries that have their own currency base and that aren’t included on other sales platforms so that I could easily see what the correct price should be.

But doing it this way gave me 38 countries without too much pain.

(Oh, and when I wrote to tell them about this issue they told me the currencies weren’t converting because of my outdated user agreement which I then fixed and it was still an issue. But, hey, well played getting me to sign an updated agreement.)

Anyway. Hope that helps.

If there is a reader who buys on Apple but my latest books aren’t in your country because you were one of the unlucky 13 countries I didn’t include, just write me if that’s the case and I can get your country added. (Or try Google which I think does cover all of those countries, too.)