In a move that broadens its competition with both Amazon.com and Google, Apple is opening its iBookstore to self-published authors.
Launched in conjunction with Apple's iPad, iBookstore is the e-commerce component of the company's free iBooks e-reading app.
Earlier this month, Apple said that it had sold over 1.5 million e-books through its iBookstore in the 28 days following the launch of its iPad.
Previously, authors had to rely on publishing companies or online self-publishing services to sell their books through the iBookstore.
But Apple has confirmed to MacLife that individuals can apply to sell their books directly through iTunes Connect, Apple's online sales and marketing management tool set for content creators, publishers, and developers.
To do so, you need an Intel-based Mac with sufficient memory and broadband connectivity, as well as an ISBN-13 number for each title to be sold. You must also be able to provide the books in EPUB format, passing EpubCheck 1.0.5.
A valid U.S. tax ID number and iTunes Store account are required, too.
An Apple spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request to confirm the revenue split for authors.
Developers who sell apps for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad get 70% of the sale price, with 30% going to Apple.
A recent survey of over 400 developers in North America by Evans Data found that about 80% of them believe they should receive a greater share of the revenue from the sale of their work.
Google is preparing to launch its online book selling project, Google Editions, later this summer.