I use Linux, and I'd like to format a book for the iBookstore. When I go to signup to iTunes Connect to upload my books, it says:

3. Download iTunes Producer

Download our delivery application, iTunes Producer (requires OS X v10.6 or later).

4. Deliver

Using iTunes Producer, provide your book’s basic information and click Deliver.

(Emphasis mine.)

How do I submit my e-book to iBookstore without having a Mac? Is that even possible?

  • Look closely at step 3 before jumping to step 4. Commented Apr 19, 2013 at 10:54
  • 1
    I read that as Mac only too. If that's true that's gonna cost me 10% of ebooks market share when I go to publish. Hmm. I wonder if I can get a cheap iMac off craigslist/ebay? -OR- maybe I can just use that cash to focus on the other 90% of the market that DON'T force me to use a specific machine to upload my stuff to them. A move like that makes sense for developing apps when you're the 600-lb gorilla. Dumb when you're the roaring mouse. Focus on Amazon/B&N/Google/Kobo instead. Don't bother working with those who don't want your business if you don't use their stuff.
    – Jed Oliver
    Commented Apr 19, 2013 at 15:10
  • 1
    Questions here have to be about writing, or they will be closed. This is your second question about computers; these can be posted on SuperUser or the Ask Different site (for Apple-specific questions). Commented Apr 19, 2013 at 15:36
  • Hi @porton. I have edited this question to better fit our guidelines - Questions in writers.SE are expected to be about writing, after all. Please feel free to rollback or change these edits if you don't agree with them.
    – Jed Oliver
    Commented Apr 19, 2013 at 16:56
  • 1
    I use Linux also and I think this is a relevant question since it deals with publishing procedures. Commented Jun 19, 2013 at 14:27

4 Answers 4



  • Don't bother with Apple iBookstore unless you really, really want to because their market share is very small, albeit not insignificant. Instead, focus on Amazon, B&N and maybe Google eBookstores.
  • You could buy a secondhand Mac but that might be a bit much to invest in just to submit your eBook to Apple.
  • Or, you could use an eBook distributor such as Lulu or Smashwords, who will upload and distribute your eBook 'for free', but at the cost of a percentage of your profits, if you have any. There are also other caveats.

One thing to consider is whether or not you want to bother publishing your eBook with Apple in the first place.

Sources vary, but it is generally accepted that Apple has about 10-25% of the eBook market, which is a small but not insignificant share. (It should also be noted that the answer varies if you look at the number of books downloaded instead of the number of books sold. It appears that Apple may have as much as 22-24% of the eBooks market when we're talking about downloads but only about 10% when we're talking sales. Sources: 1, 2, 3)

Either way, Amazon and B&N are the giants of the eBook industry, with Google starting to slowly chug along. (Other eBook stores such as Kobo, Aldiko and Sony also exist but their percent of market share is essentially a rounding error.)

But let's say that despite all that you insist on self-publishing your eBook in Apple's iBookstore and you don't have a Mac. Now what?

As far as I see you have two choices:

1.) Buy a "cheap" second-hand Apple computer

If you don't have a limited budget, Craigslist and eBay have several second-hand Macs available. But in my area at least they seem to be hovering around the $500 mark. That's a pretty sizable chunk of change just to upload your book to Apple. But it is an option, even if it's a bad one.

2.) Use an eBook distributor There exist for self-publishers a variety of eBook distributors, two of the most popular are Lulu and Smashwords. The basic gist is that they will, for a percentage of what you get after the eBookstore gets their cut, distribute your book to a variety of eBookstores (including Apple). (i.e. If you sell a book for $10, the eBookstore will get $3, the remainder will be $7, of which the distributor gets $0.70, leaving you with $6.30)

There is some debate to the cost/benefit of this process and to the ethical conduct of some eBook distributors, but I won't bother you with that. What I will say is that make sure you fully understand the services you are receiving and how they will be paid for before you enter into any agreements.


You can rent a Mac in the "Cloud" using MacInCloud. They have several pricing plans including pay-per-go (which unfortunately has a minimum charge and automatic recharge). The cost may be prohibitive if you don't expect many (or any) sales.

An alternative is to upload your book using Smashwords, which is an Apple-approved aggregator. They'll take a cut of the profits, but you need to give your book an honest assessment and consider if you'll have any profits to worry about. Follow the link for a page specifically describing how to upload to iBookstore. They require your book to be in Microsoft Word format for irony's sake.

A third option is to install OS X on a VM, though I can't speak for the legality of such a maneuver and therefore will leave it at that.


It's better to use D2D as they won't charge you anything, so in case you just want to distribute your books and/or won't to upload them for free - D2D it's much, much better than Smashwords.

  • 1
    Please improve your answer by explaining in what ways is Draft2Digital is better than Smashwords. (And in what ways D2D falls short of Smashwords.) Commented Aug 16, 2015 at 0:31

I agree with Antara man. In the past I used Lulu for putting EPUB files onto the iBook store. But Lulu's gone kind of crazy with their file checking...even if my epub has (a) been accepted by Kindle (b) been accepted by Nook and (c) has passed epubcheck, Lulu throws twenty or thirty errors, and if you try and edit the OPF file to placate them, the errors only increase.

I looked for an alternate "aggregator" but many of them want to take over your whole project and charge you a lot.

And then I found D2D. Within ten minutes I'd signed on, and had placed my epub in the iBook store. They'll take 15% of my royalties that I get from that market, but whatever. It's just a fix for now. Also they got me into some library lending programs. And I can still do Kindle and Nook on my own, as in the past.

One of these days I'll get a Mac laptop and do iBooks on my own. But right now I don't want to bother. So D2D is cool.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.