- Don't bother with Apple iBookstore unless you really, really want to because their market share is very small, albeit not insignificant. Instead, focus on Amazon, B&N
and maybe Google eBookstores.
- You could buy a secondhand Mac but that might be a bit much to invest in just to submit your eBook to Apple.
- Or, you could use an eBook distributor such as Lulu or Smashwords, who will upload and distribute your eBook 'for free', but at the cost
of a percentage of your profits, if you have any. There are also other
One thing to consider is whether or not you want to bother publishing your eBook with Apple in the first place.
Sources vary, but it is generally accepted that Apple has about 10-25% of the eBook market, which is a small but not insignificant share. (It should also be noted that the answer varies if you look at the number of books downloaded instead of the number of books sold. It appears that Apple may have as much as 22-24% of the eBooks market when we're talking about downloads but only about 10% when we're talking sales. Sources: 1, 2, 3)
Either way, Amazon and B&N are the giants of the eBook industry, with Google starting to slowly chug along. (Other eBook stores such as Kobo, Aldiko and Sony also exist but their percent of market share is essentially a rounding error.)
But let's say that despite all that you insist on self-publishing your eBook in Apple's iBookstore and you don't have a Mac. Now what?
As far as I see you have two choices:
1.) Buy a "cheap" second-hand Apple computer
If you don't have a limited budget, Craigslist and eBay have several second-hand Macs available. But in my area at least they seem to be hovering around the $500 mark. That's a pretty sizable chunk of change just to upload your book to Apple. But it is an option, even if it's a bad one.
2.) Use an eBook distributor
There exist for self-publishers a variety of eBook distributors, two of the most popular are Lulu and Smashwords. The basic gist is that they will, for a percentage of what you get after the eBookstore gets their cut, distribute your book to a variety of eBookstores (including Apple). (i.e. If you sell a book for $10, the eBookstore will get $3, the remainder will be $7, of which the distributor gets $0.70, leaving you with $6.30)
There is some debate to the cost/benefit of this process and to the ethical conduct of some eBook distributors, but I won't bother you with that. What I will say is that make sure you fully understand the services you are receiving and how they will be paid for before you enter into any agreements.