BiblioCore: The Second-Biggest eBook News Of 2010

The first big eBook news of 2010 being the iPad, of course.

I’d been awaiting today’s announcement for quite some time, hoping it would come, and now it has.

TuneCore, a service that independent musicians have used for years to sell through the iTunes Store, will now offer a similar service for ePub eBooks to be called BiblioCore.

This is huge. Major huge!

Here’s why:

1) TuneCore has had a multi-year relationship with Apple. No one moving into the iBookstore can claim likewise.

2) TuneCore will not put its logo on your brand. They remain invisible to everybody.

3) How can you beat 100% royalties (minus Apple’s 30%, of course)? No one else can do this. With everyone else, you get a slice of the 70% that’s left over.

4) Aside from that, it’s your own ISBN. Not shared with anyone else, which can cause problems down the road.

Right now, BiblioCore is not announcing the fee for any of this. But if the rates for music is any indication — and it should be, because you really can’t milk writers (well, not much from professional writers; non-writers who think they should be writing get taken to the cleaners every day!) — then this would be the way for every serious writer to go.

One reason why I suspect BiblioCore is mum on pricing is because they want to attract the many small publishers out there too. Not simply single writers, but companies that have an inventory of titles they want to place in the iBookstore. Due to the deep discounts I’d expect them to offer such publishers, it’s wise of them to shut up right now.

While there are other services out there announcing they’ll get books in the iBookstore, BiblioCore is the first one I’d personally consider. This is based on their record, however, not personal experience, so keep that in mind. But it’s impressed me over the years that whenever I asked a band or musician how they managed to sell their work in the iTunes Store, every one of them replied, “TuneCore.”

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8 responses to “BiblioCore: The Second-Biggest eBook News Of 2010

  1. Okay, basic stupid questions: how does one produce an ePub file that meets the requirements and get an ISBN number?

  2. Oyyyyyyy. Really, there are many sites around that can tell you how do that sort of thing. Right now, that’s outside the scope of this blog.

  3. Yes, I know. :-) That comment is really a criticism of this post, which makes it sound as if Bibliocore supplies you with an ISBN, which they don’t. So one has to have all one’s ducks in a row before working with Bibliocore.

    But I haven’t yet found anyone who’s compared the different kinds of ISBNs and explained the differences: should one buy one’s own, let Lulu.com or Smashword provide one, or just not bother doing this with Kindle, etc. etc. The primary ISBN sites are no help on this, either.

    There are so many approaches to this game now, what with everyone trying to get on the iPad. I’m just looking for the slickest way forward.

    BTW, I personally know two people who are returning their iPads (“it’s cool, but not for me,” etc.). First time I ever heard anything like that about an Apple product release. I don’t really want one myself, but will probably buy one to proof my ebooks.

  4. If you’re on Twitter, Follow @ljndawson She is all about book identifiers and the ISBN. She holds weekly Friday talks about them at noon ET. Search Twitter (via Google, for more than recent) with the hashtag term #ISBNHour to see her past conferences.

    Owning your ISBN means there will be less confusion in the marketplace. You won’t have other bookstores slapping their own ISBN on your work and confusing people, like here:
    http://ipadtest.wordpress.com/2010/04/02/metadata-can-make-you-rip-out-your-hair/
    You can tell bookstores they must use your ISBN.

    Edited to add: Yes, BiblioCore is nothing more than access to the iBookstore. If you want something where less expertise is needed, then that’s Smashwords.

  5. Cool, thanks! I thought having my own ISBNs made more sense for the long run. I’ll follow @ljndawson right away…

  6. I will have a post about ISBN later today.

  7. It’s absolutely a compelling offer.

    We are in the same business and most authors, we work with, are pretty thin on the amount they plan to spend on content re-purposing. ePub checks are expensive as most of the time somebody is opening the codebase.

    In any case this is a great option for many independent authors.

  8. Pingback: Self-Publishing Review | Blog | Get it Together, Lulu