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Apple Books Formatting Guidelines

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About Store Formatting Guidelines

Use this guide to create and format books, 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 signup process, preparing your content, using iTunes Connect, and submitting to Apple Books, see the Publisher User Guide.

Content Definitions

The terms below are used throughout this document, in iTunes Producer, and in other Apple Books documentation available in Resources and Help.

Term

Definition

Author

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

Book Asset

An interactive book in Multi-Touch book (.ibooks) format created with iBooks Author. Multi-Touch books can include interactive photo galleries, movies, Keynote presentations, 3D objects, and more.

Cover Art

The book jacket or marketing image presented in Apple Books and in Apple Books. This is not the optional cover image that can be included in the book asset.

Description

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

EPUB

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).

Enhanced

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.

Apple Books

Apple’s app for reading and purchasing books.

Metadata

The data submitted separately from the book (for example, title, description, author, and series name). Metadata is used by the Apple Books search feature.

Multi-Touch book

An interactive book in Apple Books (.ibooks) format created with iBooks Author. Multi-Touch books can include interactive photo galleries, movies, Keynote presentations, 3D objects, and more.

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.

Subtitle

The book subtitle as it appears on Apple Books.

Title

The book title as it appears on Apple Books.

Revision Date

Last modified May 4, 2016. To see what’s changed, see the Revision History.

1. General Guidelines

Getting your book into Apple Books customer’s hands is easy. One of the first things you should know is that the book file, art, and metadata you send us should match. Also, make sure your metadata accurately represents the book's actual text and genre, not some other genre in which you’d want it to appear. This helps market your book well on Apple Books, but it also provides the best experience possible for a reader trying to locate your book.

Common reasons for correction or rejection are:

  • 1.1. Use of Apple Inc. Copyrighted Terms. Books not produced by Apple Inc. must not use Apple trademarks (such as the Apple logo, “Apple Inc.,” “Apple Books,” “iBook,” “Apple Books Store,” “Book Store,” “iBooks Author,” or “Apple Books”) in the book asset, cover art, or metadata in a way that makes the content appear to be Apple-branded or created by Apple. The term “Apple Books” should be used to refer to the entire Apple Books ecosystem, including Apple Books for iOS, Apple Books for Mac, and the book store. Don’t use the word “iBook” to refer to a publication or to the general category of ebooks. To learn more, see Guidelines for Using Apple Trademarks and Copyrights.

  • 1.2. Accuracy. Metadata, cover art, and the book asset must match and accurately represent the book. For example, if the cover art and the book asset are for a book titled Paradiso, but the metadata is for Purgatorio, then the items don’t match.

  • 1.3. Language. The appropriate language must be designated in the metadata and must match the main language of the book’s text. The primary script (character set) and language a book is written in must match the metadata’s script and language. For example, if a book is written in Russian in the Cyrillic alphabet, then the metadata must also be in Russian and use the Cyrillic alphabet. Only one main language can be delivered in the metadata.

2. Authors

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. Primary authors are used when describing, organizing, and searching for the book on Apple Books. You can include authors who aren’t Primary, but they won’t be visible on Apple Books.

Common reasons for correction or rejection are:

  • 2.1. Primary Author Designation. The names of the authors that typically appear on the spine of a physical book need to be listed as Primary.

  • 2.2. Author Formatting. Format the author’s name correctly. It’s ok to use middle names, middle initials, organization names, nicknames, name suffixes (for example, “Jr.”), and academic titles (for example, “Ph.D.”).

    Standard author name spellings (full author name) and capitalization need to be used for all authors. Nonstandard capitalization (for example, all caps or all lowercase) should only be used when consistent with the author’s name as it appears in the printed version of the book and in publicity materials (for example, “e.e. cummings”).

    Use the First Last format (for example, “John Doe”) in the first Author field in iTunes Producer. Enter the same author name in Last, First format (for example “Doe, John”) in the following field, which is how we sort alphabetically on Apple Books.

    Author names written in Japanese (Kanji, Hiragana, Katakana) or Chinese (Simplified or Traditional) characters should be formatted as LastFirst, with no space or punctuation between the last and first names.

    The exceptions are first names and last names consisting of only one character each. Those names should include a half-width (single-byte) space between the first and last name.

    If the author is commonly referred to in Katakana format, or transliterated Chinese characters, insert a full-width black dot (点) “・” between the first name and the last names.

    English Name

    Traditional Chinese Translation

    Japanese Translation

    Suzanne Collins

    蘇珊‧柯林斯

    スザンヌ·コリンズ

  • 2.3. Phonetic Titles and Author Names. Phonetic titles and author names are needed for all books in Japanese and should be entered into the Phonetic Title and Phonetic Name fields in iTunes Producer. Japanese phonetic author names need to be formatted LastFirst, in either Hiragana or Katakana.

    Author Name

    Phonetic Name (Katakana)

    夏目漱⽯

    ナツメ ソウセキ

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

  • 2.4. Translated Author Names. Author names need to be submitted in the same language and script as the primary language of the book.

    For author names that need to be listed in more than one language, contact us with your request after you have submitted the translated author name.

  • 2.5. Author Name Spelling Consistency. Spell the author’s name consistently for all content types, like music, movies, TV, and books. So if an author already has content available on Apple Books or the iTunes Store, the author information you provide us on a new title must match our existing content information.

  • 2.6. Extra Information. Author names shouldn’t include any additional information beyond the name. Do not use roles (such as Illustrator), dates (such as birthdate), or any other information.

    Correct

    Incorrect

    Formatting Rule

    Henry Cole

    Henry Cole (Illustrator)

    Do not include role.

    Dan Brown

    Dan Brown (author of The Da Vinci Code)

    Do not include extra information.

    Leo Tolstoy

    Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)

    Do not include birth and death dates.

  • 2.7. Compound. Keep it to a single author per author field. Two or more authors in the same author field will result in a “compound author” error. If more than one author is credited on the cover art and in the book, list those authors individually and identify each one as Primary.

    Correct

    Incorrect

    Dante Alighieri (Primary)

    W.S. Merwin (Primary)

    Dante Alighieri (Primary) & W.S. Merwin (Primary)

    Dr. Wilhelmina Plec (Primary)

    Society for Creative Freedom (Primary)

    Dr. Wilhelmina Plec & Society for Creative Freedom (Primary)

  • 2.8. Using “Anonymous” or “Unknown” as the Author. Only authors that have published anonymously to remain unknown, or authors that are historically unidentified, can be designated as “Anonymous” or “Unknown” in the metadata. Otherwise, books without a credited author need to use the publisher’s name as the author in the metadata.

3. Series Name and Number

Certain books may be part of a series, like the Twilight series of books or The Lord of the Rings trilogy. To organize and present books in a series in the order the author intended, you’ll need to provide series information in the Details pane in iTunes Producer when you submit your book.

Common reasons for correction or rejection are:

  • 3.1. Accuracy. Series information needs to be accurate, spelled correctly, and match the cover art and book file.

  • 3.2. Series Name Required. If a book is part of a series (for example, The Wheel of Time, Chronicles of Narnia, or À la recherche du temps perdu), then the name of the series needs to be included in the Series section of the metadata.

  • 3.3. Consistency. The Series Name needs to be the same for all books in the series. Otherwise, you risk creating another series that will not be associated with the correct series.

  • 3.4. Duplicates. A series can’t contain duplicate book numbers. If your books are part of a sequential series, provide a unique value in the Number field in the Series section.

  • 3.5. Series Number. If a book is part of a sequential series, provide the book number in the Number field in the Series section. The number needs to be a numeric value (only use 0 to 9). Numbers can have up to two decimal places, such as 2.50. Negative numbers, numbers with more than two decimal places, and sequence-based numbers such as 1.2.1, aren’t supported.

    For example, for Within a Budding Grove, book two in Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time series, the value for the Number field in the Series section must be “2.”

  • 3.6. Casing and Capitalization. Series information needs to follow the same casing and capitalization guidelines as titles and subtitles. For more information, see the upcoming Titles and Subtitles section.

  • 3.7. Books Not in Series. Don’t include books that aren’t directly part of the series. For example, series shouldn’t contain collections, omnibuses, or enhanced versions.

  • 3.8. Incomplete. All series must be complete to date, with all books currently available in that series.

4. Titles and Subtitles

Your title and subtitle speak to potential buyers, so make sure they understand what’s being said. 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:

  • 4.1. Accuracy. The title and subtitle need to be spelled correctly and match the cover art and book asset file.

  • 4.2. Extra Information. Titles and subtitles can’t include additional information, such as search terms, keywords, or advertising, that isn’t necessary to identify the book.

  • 4.3. Subtitle Field. If a book has a subtitle, it can only be entered in the subtitle field and nowhere else. It shouldn’t be duplicated in the title field.

  • 4.4. Censoring Words. The title or subtitle must be written as the author intended. All words should be completely spelled out and no words should be censored. Apple Books automatically censors certain explicit words in titles (for example, f**k and s**t). Don’t insert the asterisks yourself unless they were included in the original title.

  • 4.5. Edition Information. Multiple editions or versions of a book from the same author should be differentiated in either the title or subtitle fields. Examples are: Enhanced Version, 2nd Edition, Third Edition, Revised Edition, Abridged Version, Deluxe Version, Bonus Version, English Version.

  • 4.6. Use of Exclusive. The word “Exclusive” must not be part of the title or subtitle when used as a claim, because the titles are a permanent part of the book, and the “Exclusive” claim may only apply for a limited time.

  • 4.7. Pricing. Titles and subtitles shouldn’t include any wording on pricing, such as “Reduced Price,” “Low Price,” “Available for $9.99,” or “For Promo Use.”

  • 4.8. References to Physical Content or Content Not Included. Titles and subtitles can’t include wording that refers to physical content or content that isn’t included, such as “CD,” “Poster,” or “Audiobook.”

  • 4.9. Competing Websites. Titles and subtitles shouldn’t include references to other booksellers to describe the book, such as “Amazon Version,” “Kindle Version,” or “Nook Version.”

  • 4.10. Nonstandard Capitalization. Don’t use titles or subtitles in all capitals, all lowercase, or a mixture of both, even if shown that way on the cover art.

    Incorrect

    Reason

    BRING UP THE BODIES

    Title is all uppercase.

    beautiful sacrifice

    Title is all lowercase.

    ThE ROad To graCE

    Title has random capitalization.

  • 4.11. English Title Casing. English titles and subtitles need to be in title case format and follow the casing conventions outlined in Appendix 2: Case Styles.

    For example:

    How to Talk to Famous People

    The War (A Brief History)

    To Be, or Not to Be

    The One and Only

    Some Kind of Trouble

    Michael Jackson: A Life In Music

  • 4.12. French, Italian, Swedish, Spanish, and Portuguese Casing. Titles and subtitles in these languages should use sentence case.

    For example:

    El coronel no tiene quien le escriba

    Cien años de soledad

    El amante liberal

    O homem sem nome

    L’amour dans la rue

    Il mondo che vorrei

    C’è chi dice no

    Hoppa upp!

    För sent för edelweiss

    Du côté de chez Swann

  • 4.13. German Casing. German titles and subtitles also need to use sentence case, and capitalize the first letter of every noun.

    For example:

    Die Leiden des jungen Werthers

    Aus meinem Leben

    Die Philosophie im tragischen Zeitalter der Griechen

5. Description

The description is one of your book's most powerful customer-facing marketing tools on Apple Books. People only spend a few seconds glancing at this information, so the better it is, the more eyes you’ll get on your work. The description is required and should accurately describe the book, be formatted correctly, and avoid unnecessary information, such as pricing or retailer references. The following description for Moby Dick is an excellent example that accurately describes the book and markets it well to customers:

"Call me Ishmael.”

Thus begins one of the most famous journeys in literature—the voyage of the whaling ship Pequod and its embattled, monomaniacal Captain Ahab. Ishmael quickly learns that the Pequod’s captain sails for revenge against the elusive Moby Dick, a sperm whale with a snow-white hump and mottled skin that destroyed Ahab’s former vessel and left him crippled. As the Pequod sails deeper through the nights and into the sea, the divisions between man and nature begin to blur—so do the lines between good and evil, as the fates of the ship’s crewmen become increasingly unclear...

Melville’s classic tale of obsession and the sea, one of the most important and enduring masterworks of nineteenth-century literature, Moby Dick is a riveting drama, exploring rage, hope, destiny, and the deepest questions of moral truth.

Common reasons for correction or rejection are:

  • 5.1. Accuracy. The description needs to be accurate and not for another book.

  • 5.2. Incomplete. The description should be complete. The description shouldn’t repeat information already provided in the metadata. For example, “Book by author” or “Action adventure book” are not complete descriptions.

  • 5.3. Formatting. The description needs to be formatted correctly. Use sentence case for descriptions with the correct use of line breaks. The description can’t be in all bold or underlined text.

  • 5.4. HTML Tags. When you enter a description in iTunes Producer, use Rich Text Format (RTF) to format your text instead of HTML tags. For example, use the Command-B keyboard shortcut to make highlighted text appear in bold. Or, copy and paste pre-formatted text into the description.

    When you update your book description in My Books on iTunes Connect, you can use HTML tags. But don’t use the following HTML tags, since these can cause issues on Apple Books:

    <font>

    <table>

    <div>

    <ol>

    Also, make sure you don’t have any “escaped” HTML tags. For example, the string &#60;B&#62; will appear as <B> in a description, instead of making the text bold.

  • 5.5. Misleading. The book’s description shouldn’t be misleading. For example, the description can’t include wording that refers to physical content or other content that isn’t included, like “CD,” “Disc,” or “Audiobook.”

  • 5.6. Upselling. The description can’t try to upsell to another, more complete version of the same product.

  • 5.7. Competing Websites. The description can’t promote competing websites that sell books or compete with Apple Books.

  • 5.8. Pricing. Don’t include pricing words in your description, such as “Reduced Price,” “Low Price,” or “Available for $9.99.”

  • 5.9. References to Future Versions or Updates. The description shouldn’t reference or promote content that isn’t included in the current version of the book. In other words, don’t reference or promote content that is coming in a future update.

  • 5.10. Unique Description. The description should be unique for each book, even those included in a series. No duplicate descriptions for multiple books.

  • 5.11. Advertising. The description can’t advertise or market other products or services.

  • 5.12. Additional Information. The description should be free from additional information—such as search terms or keywords beyond what’s necessary to describe the book.

  • 5.13. Other. The description needs to accurately represent the book’s content. If your description issues can or do lead to customer confusion and complaints, we’ll adjust the metadata or remove the book from Apple Books.

6. What’s New Text

Customers want to know what’s new with your latest book update. Enter What’s New text—this works for books in EPUB (.epub) or Multi-Touch book (.ibooks) format—as well as any changes made to the book for this update. Also, don’t forget to include new and higher version numbers if updating a book created with iBooks Author. Note that the What’s New text you enter will be visible to customers on Apple Books.

After you’ve included What’s New at least once, any future book updates will need to include What’s New text, too. The What’s New text is displayed on Apple Books, and is a great way to get users excited about your updates. For more information, see the Book Versioning section of the Apple Books Asset Guide.

Common reasons for correction or rejection are:

  • 6.1. What’s New Text Required. Updates to EPUB 3 books and books created with iBooks Author need to include What's New text to describe any changes made in the update.

  • 6.2. Accuracy. The What's New text should accurately describe the changes made to the updated version of your book.

  • 6.3. Formatting. What's New text needs to be formatted correctly, including line breaks and the needed sentence case.

  • 6.4. Extra Information. The What's New text can only describe the changes made to the updated version of your book. Don’t include any extra information, such as advertising. This text will be visible to customers on Apple Books.

  • 6.5. HTML Tags. Don’t include HTML tags in your What's New text.

7. Accents and Characters

To make sure accents and characters appear correctly for the authors, titles, subtitles, and descriptions in Apple Books, designate the appropriate language in the metadata.

When providing metadata in other languages, all appropriate accents and characters in the text should be used.

Common reasons for correction or rejection are:

  • 7.1. Accents and Characters Required. Supported languages need to always use the appropriate accents and characters. For example, French titles with appropriate accents should be included even on capital letters.

    For example:

    Hôtel d’Angleterre

    À la recherche du temps perdu.

    Révérence

    Kärlek är ett brev skickat tusen gånger

    Max Gazzè

    L’uomo più furbo

  • 7.2. German Characters. Don’t use digraphs instead of common German characters, such as Ä, ä, Ö, ö, Ü, ü, and ß.

    Correct

    Incorrect

    Ihre größten Erfolge

    Ihre groessten Erfolge

    1000 Träume weit

    1000 Traeume weit

  • 7.3. Zhuyin or Bopomofo (注音符號) Characters. The 36 Zhuyin or Bopomofo characters, such as ㄅ, ㄆ, ㄇ, or ㄈ won’t be supported, so don’t use them.

8. Subject Category

Customers expect a book to have a subject category on Apple Books, just as they would if they were browsing a physical bookstore. Provide them—and us—with at least one primary category, and if you’d like, a second supporting category to provide a little more subject focus. Don’t offer any greater than two categories for your book, however. This may confuse users and possibly be inaccurate.

The primary subject category is used for the charts and must best describe the book. Subject categories are automatically mapped to the most appropriate Apple Books category and localized for each Apple Books territory.

Common reasons for correction or rejection are:

  • 8.1. Accuracy. The subject category needs to best describe the book. Books must not be obviously misclassified (for example, a nonfiction history book submitted as “Sci-Fi & Fantasy”). See the Apple Subject Category Code List in the Apple Books Book Package Specification.

  • 8.2. Other. Other subject category issues that can lead to customer confusion and complaints mean we’ll either adjust your metadata or remove the book from Apple Books.

9. Publisher Name

We’ll need the customer-facing publisher name for display in Apple Books. Make sure the publisher name is consistent for all books from the same publisher.

Common reasons for correction or rejection are:

  • 9.1. Publisher Name Required. The publisher name wasn’t provided and needs to be included.

  • 9.2. Consistency. The publisher name has to be consistent for all books from the same publisher.

  • 9.3. Spelling. The publisher name should be spelled correctly and match the representation of the name on the publisher’s website and marketing materials. Don’t include spelling that makes the name unreadable, such as “A@y=œπo›{ˇΩ?o÷öû.”

10. Original Publication Date

We’ll need the original publication date when the book was first published. If the book existed first in print, the original publication date would be the date of its first physical publication. If it’s a digital-only book or the book was released in digital format before a first physical printing, then the digital publication date should be used.

Original publication dates may differ from release dates. These dates would match if it’s a digital only book. The release date is when a book will be available for purchase in a given Apple Books territory. If you want to change when the book is available for purchase, you will need to change the release date.

The publication date shows up in Apple Books and helps customers see books by a particular author in a chronological order—the order in which the books were written.

Common reasons for correction or rejection are:

  • 10.1. Accuracy. The original publication date needs to match the first release date of either the digital or physical product, whichever one occurs first, regardless of the publisher.

    Subsequent versions of the book should be given the publication date of the first version, and not the publication date (or “laydown date”) of that latest subsequent version.

    Include the edition information in the book’s title (for example, “(Second Edition),” or “(Abridged Edition)”) to differentiate multiple editions of a book and reduce customer confusion. Don’t include the original publication date in the title or subtitle field.

  • 10.2. Publication Dates in the Future. The original publication date should always be before or on the release date, never after.

11. Screenshots

Screenshots are one of the most powerful marketing tools available, especially for books with lots of visual content, such as Multi-Touch books. Screenshots are optional to include in your initial book submission, but are recommended to differentiate your book from others like it for sale on Apple Books. Just remember that a book sample, however, is always required.

If provided, screenshots—or any existing assets you have of the inside of your book—must be the correct size, file format, and accurately represent the book.

Common reasons for correction or rejection are:

  • 11.1. Screenshot Image Requirements. Screenshots must be 1024 x 768, 768 x 1024, 2048 x 1536, or 1536 x 2048 pixels, in the RGB color space, and in the JPG or PNG file format. Status bars can be removed from screenshots, in which case the resolution requirements are 1024 x 748, 768 x 1004, 2048 x 1496, or 1536 x 2008 pixels. Screenshots in other formats and sizes will be rejected. For information on taking screenshots, see the Take a Photo section of the iPad User Guide.

  • 11.2. Cover Art as Screenshot. Don’t use the book’s cover as a screenshot. Your customers want to see what’s inside the book, not just what’s outside.

  • 11.3. Accuracy. Screenshots should accurately represent the book, and can only include images that are actually in the book.

12. Cover Art

We need cover art for any book available on Apple Books. It’s also an important visual representation of your title: Customers flock to well-designed books.

Common reasons for correction or rejection are:

  • 12.1. Accuracy. The art should accurately represent the book. The information on the cover art image should be spelled correctly and match the information provided in the metadata and book.

  • 12.2. Size. The art needs to be at least 1400 pixels on the shortest side.

  • 12.3. Quality. The art can’t be blurry, pixelated, mismatched, misaligned, rotated, incorrect, or have other similar quality issues. The image should include only the front cover and not the back cover.

  • 12.4. Unique Cover. The art should be unique for each title. Don’t submit duplicate images for multiple books.

  • 12.5. Misleading. The art for the book can’t be misleading. For example, the art shouldn’t include wording that refers to physical content or other content that isn’t included, such as “CD,” “Disc,” or “Audiobook.”

  • 12.6. Upselling. The art can’t upsell to another, more complete version of the same product.

  • 12.7. Competing Websites. The art can’t promote competing websites that sell books or compete with Apple Books.

  • 12.8. Unnecessary Borders. Don’t include unnecessary borders in your art that are extraneous or weren’t part of the original cover design.

  • 12.9. Setup Shots. The art can’t be a setup shot, three-quarter image, or a 3D representation of the book. Don’t use photographs of the book’s physical cover as cover art.

  • 12.10. Pricing. Don’t include wording in the art that refers to pricing, such as “Reduced Price,” “Low Price,” “Available for $9.99,” or “For Promo Use.”

  • 12.11. Physical Retailers. The art shouldn’t refer to a physical retailer, such as “available at Barnes & Noble.”

  • 12.12. References to Physical Format. Don’t use any references to a book’s physical format, such as “Larger Text,” “Easy to Read,” “First time in print,” or something similar.

  • 12.13. Nazi Propaganda. The cover art of your book can’t depict Nazi symbolism as outlined in the Strafgesetzbuch section 86a if the content is cleared for sale in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, or any other country or region that restricts Nazi propaganda. If a cover art image violating Strafgesetzbuch section 86a (cleared for sale in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, or any other country or region that restricts Nazi propaganda) is submitted three times, your entire catalogue will be suspended in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and any other country or region that enforces this for up to six months.

  • 12.14. Advertising. The cover art can’t advertise or market any other products or services.

  • 12.15. Rights Infringement. The cover art can’t contain materials that infringe the rights of others (for example, copyright, right of publicity, trademark, and so on).

  • 12.16. Other. If your cover art contains issues that can lead to customer confusion and complaints, we’ll make adjustments to its metadata or remove the book from Apple Books.

13. 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:

  • 13.1. Accuracy. All books should be correct and contain the content that’s indicated by their cover art and metadata.

  • 13.2. Incomplete. All books need to have full and complete text and must not be missing chapters, referenced indices, footnotes, or other content. That being said, we will accept Apple Books Textbooks submitted in complete sets of individual chapters.

  • 13.3. Samples and Excerpts. Samples and excerpts are incomplete books and won’t be accepted. Apple Books typically gives customers the option to preview free samples—unless you ask us to suppress the sample during pre-order or we don’t have assets from you yet. Supplying separate samples or excerpts doesn’t take full advantage of this feature and creates a poor customer experience. For more information, see the Book Samples section in the Apple Books Asset Guide.

  • 13.4. Test Book File. Don’t submit any test versions of your book to us with placeholder or non-final images or text.

  • 13.5. Content Placement. All images, maps, charts, tables, media, and sections need to be correctly placed in the book. Content shouldn’t be misplaced, mismatched, out of order, or incorrect.

  • 13.6. Misleading. The book content can’t be misleading. For example, don’t include wording that refers to physical content or other content not included, such as “CD,” “Disc,” or “Audiobook.”

  • 13.7. Pricing. The book asset can’t refer to pricing.

  • 13.8. Competing Websites. Don’t use your book to promote competing websites that sell books or compete with Apple Books.

  • 13.9. Formatting. Make sure your book follows standard formatting conventions. Paragraph indents or line breaks after paragraphs are required. The book content can’t overlap or lack proper spacing.

  • 13.10. Text Quality. Font and font sizes need to be stylistically consistent throughout the book. Text that is part of the main body can’t be embedded in images.

    Common text quality issues are:

    • Text and Characters in Images. Text that is part of the main body of the book shouldn’t be submitted as scanned images. Characters can’t be submitted as images, either (for example, diacritical marks, ligature marks, and language characters).

    • Illegibility. Don’t submit illegible text or cut-off characters.

    • Incorrect Characters. The text can’t contain incorrect characters, encoding errors, or OCR (Optical Coding Recognition) errors that produce spelling that is incorrect or inconsistent with the original text.

  • 13.11. Spelling and Grammar. Spelling and grammar needs to reflect the author’s intent and style.

    Common spelling and grammar issues are:

    • Accents and Characters. Supported languages should always use the appropriate accents and characters.

    • Spaces and Punctuation. Spaces, hyphenation, and punctuation need to be grammatically correct.

  • 13.12. Image Quality. Don’t submit images, maps and charts that are blurry, pixelated, mismatched, misaligned, rotated, incorrect, or have any other similar quality issues. Images can’t be covered by misaligned text or be misplaced on the page.

    Common image quality issues are:

    • Images Broken Across Pages. Images in Flowing EPUBs can’t be too large to fit on one page or broken across multiple pages. If you intend to insert images that span multiple pages or display side by side, we recommend creating a Fixed Layout EPUB or using iBooks Author.

    • Alignment. Images that span across pages need to be correctly aligned. Images in Fixed Layout EPUB and Multi-Touch books that span the book gutter should connect seamlessly and without gaps.

    • Size. The image size can’t exceed 4 million pixels. To calculate the pixel size, multiply the height of your image by its width.

    • Quality. Don’t submit images that are blurry, pixelated, mismatched, misaligned, rotated, incorrect, or have other quality issues, except in the case of artistic, historical, or otherwise intentional purposes.

  • 13.13. Table Quality. Tables should display correctly with properly formatted rows and columns.

  • 13.14. Indices and Footnotes. Indices and footnotes need to be included if present in the original text. They need to link back to the originating text. Don’t use scanned images as indices or footnotes.

  • 13.15. Nonfunctioning Books. Your books need to open and function as expected in the latest version of Apple Books on all devices (for example, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch). We won’t accept books that perform poorly or crash in Apple Books.

  • 13.16. Links. All links should be functional and lead the user to the correct location.

  • 13.17. Placeholders. Books can’t contain placeholder text (such as “lorem ipsum” text) or placeholder images. Don’t include iBooks Author template art unless it’s related to the subject matter of the book.

  • 13.18. Functionality. Books should be a sufficient length or functionality.

  • 13.19. Advertising. Books can’t market or advertise anything else, except as part of a catalog. Your books can reference related products offered on the iTunes Store, App Store, Mac App Store, or Apple Books (for example, “Other books by this author…”).

  • 13.20. Rights Infringement. Books can’t contain materials that infringe the rights of others (for example, copyright, right of publicity, trademark, and so on).

  • 13.21. Nazi Propaganda. Your book can’t contain Nazi symbolism as outlined in the Strafgesetzbuch section 86a if the content is cleared for sale in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, or any other country or region that restricts Nazi propaganda. If a book violating Strafgesetzbuch section 86a (cleared for sale in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, or any other country or region that restricts Nazi propaganda) is submitted three times, your entire catalogue will be suspended in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and any other country or region that enforces this for up to six months.

  • 13.22. Local Laws and Regulations. Books need to comply with all legal requirements in any location where they’re made available to users. It’s your obligation to understand and conform to all local laws where your book is offered or sold.

  • 13.23. Data Collection. Books can’t transmit user data without clarifying to the user that data is being transmitted to a third party.

  • 13.24. References Future Versions or Updates. The book shouldn’t reference or promote content that isn’t included in the current version of the book or future updates.

  • 13.25. Upselling. Don’t use your book to upsell to another, more complete version of the same product.

  • 13.26. Embedded Page Numbers. Flowing EPUBs shouldn’t contain page numbers embedded in the body of the text. Use references to physical page numbers as defined via the EPUB page-list functionality. In flowing and Fixed Layout EPUBs, page-list can be used to define the page numbers that Apple Books assigns to each page. For more information about the page-list functionality, see the Apple Books Asset Guide.

    Embedded page numbers in Multi-Touch books and Fixed Layout EPUBs need to match the page numbers generated in Apple Books.

  • 13.27. JavaScript. Interactivity in Apple Books on a Mac requires mouse or trackpad input, while interactivity on iOS devices requires touch input. JavaScript interactivity needs to take into account both touch and mouse or trackpad events, and must work on Apple Books for iOS and Mac.

  • 13.28. Unsupported Features. The Apple Books app doesn’t have interactive features that enable writing on the actual page. Books that require the customer to write on the page and need to provide interactive writing or coloring features (for example, sudoku books, coloring books, or crossword puzzle books) may be rejected. Books that aren’t primarily workbooks but contain a small number of question-and-answer sections are acceptable.

    Templates that the customer must print, trace, or copy (such as clothing patterns, paper airplanes, forms, and so on) need to be provided in the PDF format.

  • 13.29. Custom Samples. A custom-created sample needs to be provided for Multi-Touch and Read Aloud books. iBooks Author creates a sample file for your Multi-Touch book automatically when you publish your book.

  • 13.30. Other. Other book asset issues that can lead to customer confusion and complaints may result in the removal of the book from Apple Books.

14. EPUB Files

Some of our guidelines apply only to EPUB files, including these below. If you created an EPUB with a program other than iBooks Author, you’ll need to create a table of contents in your EPUB using an NCX (EPUB 2) or Navigation Document (EPUB 3). Also, avoid including page numbers anywhere in the body of the book’s text. Finally, don’t include interactive features that Apple Books doesn’t support (such as writing on pages).

Get to know the Apple Books app more, and find out what it does and doesn’t support for EPUB files at Resources and Help, where we’ve stored the following tools for more help with EPUB creation:

Common reasons for correction or rejection are:

  • 14.1. Apple Books-Generated Table of Contents. All books need to contain a complete listing of all chapters or book sections.

    • EPUB 2. The NCX file contains the table of contents and is typically named “toc.ncx.” The navMap in the NCX file is used to create the table of contents in the Apple Books app and provides a direct navigational link to the appropriate sections of the book.

    • EPUB 3. The Navigation Document is typically named “toc.xhtml” and contains the toc nav element. The toc nav is used to create the table of contents and contains a list of links that lead to the appropriate sections of the book.

  • 14.2. Language Requires EPUB 3. Some languages require the book to be formatted according to the EPUB 3 specification. For more information, see Appendix 1: Languages and the IDPF EPUB 3 specification.

  • 14.3. Text Highlighting. The correct text needs to be highlighted as the words are spoken.

  • 14.4. Automatic Page Turning. The book should support Read Aloud automatic page turning in Apple Books. For more information on creating Read Aloud books, see the Read Aloud Books section in the Apple Books Asset Guide.

15. Books Created with iBooks Author

In iBooks Author, you can create a book in EPUB (.epub) format or a Multi-Touch book (.ibooks) format. A Multi-Touch book is an interactive book that can include interactive photo galleries, movies, Keynote presentations, 3D objects, and more.

Before you submit your Multi-Touch book to us, test all widgets you’ve included to see that they function correctly. Also, make sure you’re replacing any placeholder text and art that came from a template. When you’re ready to submit your Multi-Touch book, choose Publish from the File menu in iBooks Author. From there, you’ll finish submitting your book using iTunes Producer.

Common reasons for correction or rejection are:

  • 15.1. Widgets. Books can’t include incorrect, missing, or poorly functioning widgets.

  • 15.2. Template Art. Don’t include iBooks Author template art unless it’s related to the subject matter of the book.

16. 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:

  • 16.1. Quality. Your book’s media can’t have skips, static, corrupted files, pixelation, or other quality issues.

  • 16.2. Placement. The audio or video file can’t be placed in the wrong section of the book.

  • 16.3. Duplicates. Your book can’t contain duplicate audio or video files.

17. 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.

If you are submitting a different version of the same book, make sure you’re using the book’s previous package to submit that new version to us with iTunes Producer. If you are submitting a new version of an EPUB book, you can find the original book by using the Search iTunes Connect field in iTunes Producer. If you are submitting a new version of a Multi-Touch book, open iBooks Author, click Publish, and select “This is an update to a previously submitted book.”

Common reasons for correction or rejection are:

  • 17.1. Duplicates. We’ll probably reject books that are too similar or identical to those already available on Apple Books, such as books in the public domain.

    If you provide us with two books that are exact duplicates, one of them must be removed from Apple Books. However, if one of your books is enhanced to offer more content than the standard version of the book (such as video or audio content), or is an abridged version of a book, you must indicate the difference in the title of the book. See 4. Titles and Subtitles for a refresher on this.

  • 17.2 Spamming. Publishers spamming us with many versions of similar books may be blocked from distributing their books on Apple Books. This also includes books that share or use the same images, text, or other content.

    Books that primarily consist of content available for free elsewhere, including on the Internet, may be rejected. For example, we won’t accept books that repackage content from online sources such as free-access encyclopedias, Internet forums and tutorials, or question-and-answer websites.

18. Japanese Guidelines

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

  • 18.2. 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.

  • 18.3. 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

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

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

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

  • 18.7. 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.

  • 18.8. 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.

  • 18.9. 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.

  • 18.10. General Guidelines for Offers. When offering the additional services listed below, be sure to include details of the offer.

    • Invitations to free seminars

    • Downloadable audio file, movie clips, work sheets (for study guides and reference books)

    • Giveaways

    Upon offering additional services as listed above, be sure to state the following:

    • Are the additional services offered permanently? If not, be sure to include expiration dates to avoid confusion

    • Will it be subject to any fee? If not, will it stay free permanently?

  • 18.11. Use of the Word “Free” in Offers. Use the term “Free” only when customers can receive additional services by simply accessing designated websites.

    Do not use the term “Free” when customers are asked to provide their personal information (age, e-mail address, and so on), and/or participate in surveys.

  • 18.12. 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. Please also see section 18.10 for more details.

  • 18.13. Primary Genre. A primary genre selected to 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”

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

  • 18.15. 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:

Languages

Amharic

Arabic

Aramaic

Burmese

Farsi (Persian)

Hebrew

Khmer

Lao

Malay (Jawi/Arabic script)

Sinhala

Tamil

Urdu

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.

Language

Minimum EPUB Version

Brazilian Portuguese

2

British English

2

Catalan

2

Chinese (Simplified)

3

Chinese (Traditional)

3

Croatian

2

Czech

2

Danish

2

Dutch

2

English

2

Finnish

2

French

2

German

2

Greek

2

Hungarian

2

Indonesian

2

Italian

2

Japanese

3

Korean

2

Malay

3

Norwegian

2

Polish

2

Portuguese (Portugal)

2

Romanian

2

Russian

2

Slovakian

2

Spanish

2

Swedish

2

Thai

2

Turkish

2

Ukrainian

2

Vietnamese

2

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.

Revision History

The current version of this guide, last modified October 4, 2017, contains the following changes:

  • 1. General Guidelines. Clarification to let you know that only one language can be delivered in the metadata.

  • 13. Book File. Updating list of corrections and rejection reasons to no longer include audience as an issue.