asking for trouble

Fun with the iBookstore

kawaii japan cover

My Kawaii Japan book has finally been accepted by Apple’s iBookstore, after 3 rejections. My Tokyo Shopping Guide was accepted everywhere first time so I was unprepared for this and had enormous fun (not really) figuring out what changes to make. I have a big epublishing post to finish later but I thought it might be helpful to post about this separately.


This is the most annoying rejection as it comes with the helpful explanation of  ‘the title or author does not match the cover image’. Being pretty sure I’d spelled my own name correctly, I could only assume they wanted me to add the subtitle, which is dumb but whatever.


Turns out I guessed the title issue correctly but I wasn’t conforming to Apple’s personal capitalisation wishes.

“The first letter of all words in the title, subtitle and author name should be capitalized, except for the following words: a, an, and, for, from, of, or, the, to. The first and last word of the title and subtitle should always be capitalized.”

Okay, fine.

ibookstore cover


Who wants to play Spot The Difference? At the top of the post is my print book cover and above is my new iBookstore-only cover. My cover was basically rejected for being square as it must fit their exact dimensions. Everywhere else is happy for me to have a square cover but not Apple. They horrifyingly suggested I just stretch the image. What the actual hell? They’d rather have a horrible stretched image than the actual proportioned cover of the book?! Please don’t do this. If you get this rejection and have no designer and are clueless about Photoshop, please email me and I will resize your cover for free.

While resizing my cover, I realised I was being set up for another rejection, as the capitalisation on my cover image wouldn’t match the Apple-ised new title. So, I basically designed a whole new cover. Something to consider next time I design a book/zine cover I might potentially sell as an ebook.

And then it got accepted, woo! You can download a free sample from your iPhone or iPad through the app and you can view my iBookstore page here (it’ll take a few days to appear for all countries).

I hope I actually sell some copies now, after all that. And I hope this helps someone else. I always thought Amazon would be the picky ones but they were no trouble at all. More on that whole process another time.


Hello! I’m Marceline Smith, the designer and owner of Asking For Trouble. I create illustrated stationery, accessories and gifts using my cute characters inspired by Japanese kawaii. This is my business and personal blog where I write about my creative doings, inspirations, travels, Japan trips and daily life. Read more »

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All text, photos and illustrations are © Marceline Smith 2007-2024 unless credited otherwise. You may repost my images with full credit and link. However, do not reproduce full posts without my permission or use my images or writing for commercial purposes. Thank you!


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