Learning from Santa


Seth Godin has written to complain that Apple doesn’t allow links to Amazon from books sold on iBookstore.

Actually, Apple’s explanation is more clear than Godin’s. Apple explains in their terse explanation that they don’t allow linking to any website that sells electronic publications.

I know this because I got the same error message on one of my books last Friday.

I had just re-uploaded my book so that I could make my Kiwi book available in more markets. Within ten minutes I got a note from Apple telling me that my book was rejected because of links to Amazon.

Like Godin, I was initially a bit put off. The books I was linking to were (1) not available as pubs and (2) not available from iBookstore. In other words, I hadn’t seen any conflict.

On the other hand, I’ve learned that I’m not going to convince Apple so I removed the links and uploaded the fixed files within five minutes of receiving the note from Apple.

It’s been five days and Apple still hasn’t rerun my files to verify the problem isn’t there. My books are still pulled from the iBookstore. I hit the “Contact” button as instructed and was told that if it takes more than ten business days I should contact them again.

Two weeks. They found the issue in ten minutes, I replied five minutes later and it’s going to take them up to two weeks to run that same ten minute check to put me back on the store.

I actually have more issues with the length it times to respond than to their rule about links to Amazon.

They could fix the Amazon rule. They could decide that they will allow links but Apple gets listed as the affiliate so that Apple at least benefits from the link. I don’t have a problem with that. They could allow links to books not available on iBookstore. Probably difficult to enforce but I don’t mind that. I don’t even mind them pulling my book if the linked book becomes available on iBookstore. They could just decide they don’t care where links go – if the deals are better for the reader then it’s better for iBookstore. This is the lesson from Santa in Miracle on 4th street.

I don’t know how they can fix the long wait time to get my book back on the store. I don’t remember Santa having an answer for that one.