UPDATE June 2020: Now possible without Apple computer via web browser upload – see updated info here
The simple answer is yes, you need a Macintosh (Apple) computer to publish directly to Apple Books. You can easily create an account with Apple Books but can only upload to their bookstore using Apple software (iTunes Producer; free), which only works on Apple computers. You cannot use an iPad or iPhone and you cannot use a Windows PC or Chromebook.
Should one get a Mac computer – is this worthwhile for an author? It depends… If you only publish one book and are a Windows PC user, then maybe not.
However, if you are planning to switch to Apple computers anyway, then yes, go ahead as this has numerous advantages:
- You can publish directly to Apple Books
- You can also create your own ePub files with Apple’s Pages software (free; Apple’s equivalent to MS Word) if you want to do it all yourself and know how to create a proper formatted ebook. Epub files are used with Apple Books, kobo, Barnes & Noble and Google. You can’t create ePub files with MS Word.
Alternatively, for those who do not want to cross over to Apple computers, one would need to use an aggregator/distributor to get listed on Apple Books. I strongly prefer having my own accounts with ALL major retailers, but some authors who are less serious with publishing will find it convenient to go through a distributor (for a fee and/or profit sharing or a combination of both).
👉 This was a question from an author. Send me a question, and I’ll answer it!