I started the final phase of publishing my first book. Originally I wanted to do this on the Kindle but when iBooks Author came out I figured I can combine my interest in Apple products and first publish to the iBooks store.
But first things first – there are several prerequisites you need to fulfill if you want to publish to the iBooks store. Fortunately iBooks Author takes you through these steps (however, this is not the usual smooth Apple experience).
To publish you need to have an iTunes Store Account with a credit card, an ISBN number for your book (though this is not checked in the first step of the process, which is basically creating your account) and an American tax number.
I assume you have an iTunes Account so I won’t go into detail about this. You can use the same account for the iTunes Bookstore publishing.
The American tax number can be requested by anyone (not just US citizen) – however it can take several weeks for the request to be processed, so if you are not an US citizen or you do not already have an US tax number better start on the application right away. Apple gives you all the necessary information once you press the Publish button in iBooks Author.
The ISBN number is another formality and depending on the country where you are located there are national agencies handing these out. Surprisingly, in some countries you get these for free (e.g. New Zealand) in other countries you have several agencies (the US) and in some countries the agency has no web presence so you actually need to call people or figure out there email address (Germany).
Here is a good link to find the agency in your country:
When you are done collecting all this information you can create your “publishing” account. Apple will take up to four days to work on your request.