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Apple Books Formatting and Content Guidelines

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About Store Formatting and Content Guidelines

Use this guide to create and format books, cover art, and metadata that is optimized for Apple Books. This guide can help you avoid common errors when publishing and can help to reduce the time required to get your book on Apple Books.

For instructions on completing the sign-up process, using iTunes Connect, and submitting to Apple Books, see Resources and Help.

Content Definitions



Apple Books

Apple’s app for reading and purchasing books.

Book Asset

Book files, also known as book assets, contain your work, including text, images, interactivity, and so forth.


An author, editor, illustrator, or other major contributor to the writing or the creation of the book’s content.

Cover Art

The book marketing image presented on the product page.


The book’s customer-facing description that is visible in Apple Books.


EPUB (.epub) is a format for a digital book. The EPUB format is a free, open ebook standard developed and maintained by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF).


A book asset with embedded audio and video files.

Fixed Layout

A type of EPUB file that uses fixed positioning to retain book design and formatting.


The data that describes the book (for example, title, description, author, and series name).

Read Aloud

A type of Fixed Layout EPUB file with spoken audio timed to the book's text. The book’s text is highlighted as the words are spoken.

Subject Category

The book's subject category or genre.


The book subtitle as it appears on Apple Books.


The book title as it appears on Apple Books.

1. General Guidelines

The book file, cover art, and metadata must match. Also, your metadata must accurately represent the book's text and genre. This helps market your book on Apple Books and provides the best possible customer experience.

Our editors curate book recommendations for customers across all genres and categories on Apple Books and focus on newly published books, high-quality, well-written content, and trending backlist titles that are popular in each storefront on Apple Books.

Apple may suspend or terminate your ability to distribute your content on Apple Books, or terminate your Paid and/or Free Books Agreement(s) in accordance with the terms thereto, if Apple reasonably believes that you are engaged in or encouraged others to engage in any misleading, fraudulent, improper, unlawful, or dishonest acts relating to the terms of any of these agreements.

Apple may cease marketing, offering, and/or allowing download by users of some or all of your content (including, without limitation, any artwork or metadata), or take other measures, including, without limitation, termination of your iTunes Connect account, in Apple’s sole discretion, if Apple reasonably believes, based on human and/or systematic review, and, including without limitation upon notice received under applicable laws, that the distribution and/or use of your content on Apple Books violates the terms of your Paid and/or Free Books Agreement(s), including without limitation these Books Formatting and Content Guidelines, and/or any applicable law in any region and/or country where such content is made available to users.

For publishers established in, and which offer goods or services to customers located in, the European Union, more information about redress options available to you in connection with action Apple took against you, for example, termination of your iTunes Connect account or removal of your content from Apple Books, is available on Redress Rights in Connection with the European Union Digital Services Act.

Common reasons for correction or rejection are:

2. Author Guidelines

If your book’s main authors appear on the work’s cover art, include them in the metadata, too. Any author you deem Primary will be visible on Apple Books.

Common reasons for correction or rejection are:

Author Name

Phonetic Name (Katakana)


ナツメ ソウセキ

Phonetic titles and author names are optional for books in Simplified and Traditional Chinese.

3. Titles and Subtitles

Make sure all title and subtitle information is accurate and spelled correctly before you submit your files so that your book is searchable on Apple Books. Don’t include unnecessary information that clutters up those fields, like pricing or retailer references. To take full advantage of the Apple Books search feature, make sure the titles and subtitles for related books (for example, books that are part of the same series) are uniformly formatted.

Common reasons for correction or rejection are:

4. Description

The description is required and should accurately describe the book, be formatted correctly, and avoid unnecessary information.

Common reasons for correction or rejection are:

5. Series Name and Number

Certain books may be part of a series. To organize and present books in a series in the intended order, you’ll need to provide series information when you submit your book.

Common reasons for correction or rejection are:

6. Subject Category

Provide at least one primary category. Don’t offer more than two categories. The primary subject category is used for the charts and must best describe the book.

Common reasons for correction or rejection are:

7. Cover Art

We need cover art for any book available on Apple Books. It’s an important visual representation of your title.

Common reasons for correction or rejection are:

8. Book File

These guidelines apply to all books on Apple Books. We want customers to be happy, so we expect books that deliver the best customer experience in terms of quality, functionality, and accuracy.

Common reasons for correction or rejection are:

9. Books with Audio or Video Files

If your book has audio or video files, make sure all its media is good quality and is placed correctly in the book.

Common reasons for correction or rejection are:

10. Duplicate Books and Book Updates

We consider a duplicate book one that contains the same title and author as another title on Apple Books — regardless of any differences in price, subtitle, page numbers, description, or cover art.

Common reasons for correction or rejection are:

11. Japanese Guidelines

  • 11.1 Space in Japanese Author Names. Japanese author names in Kanji should not include any space.

  • 11.2 Official Names. Use authors’ official names only. “Official name” is a name that appears on cover art, author’s website, and publisher’s website. Nicknames and abbreviated names should not be used.

  • 11.3 Katakana Names. Katakana names should be standardized by the following:

    • For Katakana names, add "・" between first and last names.

    • When there are several ways to write an author name in Katakana, refer to Wikipedia.

    • For initials, add a period after each letter.

    • Middle names are not necessary unless they are officially used.

  • 11.4 Alphabet Names. Add a space between first and last names, and first names always come first.

  • 11.5 Additional Information. Do not add additional information to author names, such as roles and company names.

  • 11.6 Authors with Multiple Pen Names. When an author uses multiple pen names, each name should be treated separately and not as a compound name.

  • 11.7 Fixed Layout - Texts in Images (Acceptable Books). Scanned texts embedded in images are prohibited, except for the following type of books:

    • Highly-designed/formatted books (e.g., children’s books that are not text-driven, comics, graphic novels, magazines or the like)

    • Comics, graphic novels

    • Magazines

    • Small sections of scanned text are allowed. Handwritten text is considered an image.

  • 11.8 Fixed Layout - Texts in Images (Unacceptable Books). Do not use scanned text embedded in images, as scanned texts prevent customers from using many Apple Books features, such as searching and highlighting. Books that contain text-only pages, such as textbooks and novels, should not contain scanned texts.

  • 11.9 Obi. We do not recommend Obi, or strips of paper wrapped around a physical book cover. Texts on Obi are generally very small, and customers cannot read them on Apple Books.

  • 11.10 Release Information of Adopted Versions. Original stories of movies, anime, and TV Series may include release information of adopted versions. However, we strongly encourage adding all details, including years of release dates, to avoid confusions.

    Upon offering prizes/sweepstakes, such as guest passes for previews, be sure to include details. See section 11.10 for details.

  • 11.11 Primary Genre. A primary genre selected for a book should be as close as possible to the content of book. For example:

    • For mysteries & thrillers, select “Mysteries & Thrillers” not “Fiction”

    • For religion books, select “Religion & Spirituality” not “Philosophy”

  • 11.12 Manga Genre. For Japanese comics, commonly known as “manga,” select “Comics & Graphic Novels > Manga.”

  • 11.13 Graphic Novels Genre. For non-Japanese comics, select “Comics & Graphic Novels > Graphic Novels.”

Appendix 1: Languages

Apple Books doesn’t fully support books written in the following languages or scripts:






Farsi (Persian)




Malay (Jawi/Arabic script)




The following languages are supported by Apple Books in both EPUB (.epub) and Multi-Touch (.ibooks) format. Languages that need advanced display features, such as vertical writing and Ruby, are only supported when using the EPUB version indicated below or later.


Minimum EPUB Version

Brazilian Portuguese


British English




Chinese (Simplified)


Chinese (Traditional)




































Portuguese (Portugal)




















Appendix 2: Case Styles

Title Case for Titles and Subtitles

  • Title case needs to be used for all English titles and subtitles.

Always Lowercase

  • a, an, and, as, but, for, from, nor, of, or, so, the, to, and yet.

  • Prepositions of four letters or fewer (at, by, for, from, in, into, of, off, on, onto, out, over, to, up, and with), except when the word is part of a verb phrase or is used as another part of speech (such as an adverb, adjective, noun, or verb).

Rules and Exceptions for Capitalization: First and Last Words in Titles

Always capitalize the first and last word in a title.

For example:

  • The Bride to Be

  • What We Fight For

Rules and Exceptions for Capitalization: Parenthesis

Capitalize the first and last word in parentheses.

For example:

  • Dancing (What Is It For?)

  • (Memoir of A) Wall Street Banker

Rules and Exceptions for Capitalization: Deliberately Misspelled Words

Capitalize the first and last word even if it’s purposely misspelled.

  • “In da House”

  • “Kill 'Em n' Grill 'Em”

  • “It's fo' Realz”

Exceptions for Words That Need Title Case

The following words need to be uppercased when using title case:

  • Are, If, Is, It, Than, That, This

For More General Rules on Style

  • For any other general cases not addressed in this guide, refer to The Chicago Manual of Style.