This has been in the works since the iPad was announced. It just makes sense because Smashwords is the only ebook distributor that freely helps authors to converts documents into every e-reading format, including epub which has become an industry standard and is what the iPad uses.
There are a few basics for interested authors to qualify:
- Their ebook must be accepted into the Premium Catalog by March 31. More on that at http://smashwords.com/distribution.
- Must be available in the EPUB format. Why any author wouldn’t include this as an option is beyond me and could only be attributed to a gross oversight after several Long Island Ice-Teas.
- Cover images must have a minimum height of 600 pixels. You can simply check this with a right click and Properties check. Most images are fine, especially ones that are taller than they are wide, like a common book cover.
- Authors must “opt-in” to the Apple channel by clicking “opt-in” on their Dashboard. (This should be available in the next day or two.)
- Ebooks must have a unique ISBN assigned to it. Smashwords has recently created an ISBN Manager - http://www.smashwords.com/dashboard/ISBNManager. Authors can either have a free one assigned to them, which makes Smashwords the publisher, or they can go out and purchase their own, or for $9.95 they can buy one from Smashwords which allows the author to be the publisher (that’s the choice I made.)
- All ebooks in the Apple iBookstore have prices that end in .99, like $.99, $1.99, $9.99, etc. So either change the price or Smashwords will for you. Your ebook must also be priced lower than any print counterpart.