Saturday, October 1, 2011

Apple needs to improve iTunes Connect URGENTLY!

Update: Apple still needs to improve iTunes Connect, but at least now there's a workaround.

I am really excited about the fact that Apple launched 26 new iBookstores in Europe this week. As I explained yesterday, I think they have a good shot at a very large market. They have iPads and iPhones on the ground all over Europe and the potential to sell a lot of books. They use the open and standard EPUB format which most European publishers are already using to convert their books. The Kindle and Amazon have not yet made it past the big five (UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain).
But adding the new markets to an iTunes Connect account is ridiculously slow and time consuming. I'm just an independent publisher, so I don't know if they're facilitating the process for the big guys, but if they want to attract the smaller publishers in all those new countries, they're going to have to do a lot better.

Watch, if you can stand it, this video that documents how long it takes to add a single country to a single book. Note that I have a 5Mbps connection (tested with this morning).

That was almost 4 minutes. Now imagine if you want to add a single book to all 32 markets: that's over 2 hours. Now imagine if you have 10 books, or 20, or 200.

Apple, you must do better. (And when you do, I promise to document it here. Come on, we're waiting.)


  1. I started adding the countries via iTunes Connect, but got frustrated with how slow it was. I then switched to iTunes Producer (which meant I had to resubmit my iBook again). But there's no lag... just have to add each country manually. Took a couple of minutes. But it would be MUCH easier if there was a "select all" button.

    What happens if I want to put our iBook on sale for a few days? I have to go through this process again. In the app store, I can do that with one setting (change all to a different tier). Here it has to be 1 by 1.

  2. I have been dissatisfied with Apples iTunes Connect for a long time. For a company that has created such wonderful, easy-to-use products, the backend sure is embarrassingly bad.


  3. Thanks, David. I tried using iTunes Producer to add new territories, and like you say, the interface is very similar, but there's no lag, so the whole process is MUCH faster. I was a little worried that uploading the book again would make Apple have to re-approve my book, but the changes were immediate. Great tip.

  4. The whole thing is really half-ass backwards. I am also a small publisher and almost ruined my right hand with all the mouse clicks need to enter my 17 books into 8 countries apiece. As a consumer, I would be furious and go elsewhere. You mean I can only buy from an iTunes store where I reside? And if I reside in Bulgaria and want to buy a certain book in German but the German publisher's mouse clicking hand wore out before he got to entering the book in the Bulgarian iTunes store it means I can't buy the book through iTunes? How stupid is that??? Amazon, by contrast, doesn't have any problem letting you go to any of their stores in any of their countries. And as a publisher it's a lot easier to post a kindle book. You don't need a Mac and you don't need to download special software.


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