Rumors are swirling that Bookbaby and Lulu have lost their distribution deals with Apple's iBookstore.
A little birdie tells me--the same little birdie that alerted me to the Kobo deal some months back-that both Bookbaby and Lulu have lost their status as Approved Apple Content Aggregators. Now, no word on this, overtly, is forthcoming from Apple, of course; but a quick check of Apple's approved list of Aggregators shows that Lulu and Bookbaby are glaringly absent.
Sources say that Apple's sick of dealing with content upload problems, and is paring down their exposure to Aggregators to the companies consistently delivering quality content. Other sources state that while Apple claims that it wants to "own" the ebook space, it also has no desire to own Amazon's staffing requirements, put in place to deal with the Niagara of self-publishing authors. For the purposes of this post, we'll ignore the cognitive dissonance those two goals invoke. So for now, only a very few channels remain for self-publishers and indies to get their content on Apple--Ingram, InScribe Digital, InGrooves, and Smashwords...and there's heavy money being bet on Smashwords going the way of Bookbaby soon. The lesson here? Before deciding on distribution deals (in the biz, "distro"), make sure you've signed with a firm that can bring something to the table...and last through dinner.