Being a devout windows user, the realization that I’d have to get a Mac in order to upload iBooks was aslap in the face. (Okay, I exaggerate. It was more like a semi-hard tap, but still…)
The first struggle was getting a Mac. I’m cheap. Macs are not. Luckily, my awesome sister-in-law had one sitting around. It took us about a week to get it updated and ready, but who am I to complain – free is free. Of course after it was up and ready, uploading my books would be a breeze… or not. So for all the non-mac users out there, here is a step by step of what I did to upload my books.
Convert to Epub
There are several ways to convert .docx to .epub. The method I choose was a free downloadable program called Calibre. (http://calibre-ebook.com/) Key word here is FREE! It took me a little while to figure out, but eventually I did. (I’ll post a Calibre specific blog next time.) I had all my books in epub. (I should say that I do the formatting for the eBooks in word.)
Upload to retailers
Next step is to upload books to the various retailers. I did the big four: Amazon, Kobo, Nook, and Apple. The first three went up without a hitch. (Check your books using the viewers for each reader. Not all epubs are created equal.) Apple was more of a challenge. IBooks uses an epub validator. What I didn’t know is that E-pub converters, such as Calibre, sometimes fail the validator. Every time I tried to upload my manuscripts, it failed.
Bang Head Against Wall
The next step took me about a week. (My head still hurts.) Luckily, if you are reading this blog, you can skip to the next step.
Debugging Your Epub
So as it turns out, Calibre has a great little tool called a debugger. It took me a week to figure that out. This miraculous little tool fixes the validation errors! One press of a button and no more failed uploads. (If you’re using a different program check for something similar.)
Re-upload your manuscripts with the fixed epub and cry happy tears as your book passes the validation and is uploaded to iBooks.