Add Apple to the list of backlogged e-booksellers. I just learned that a couple of our earlier e-books were rejected by Apple. (There's always something, when you're dealing with Apple.) I wouldn't be as annoyed if I hadn't uploaded these to Omnilit (which we use as our iBookstore gateway) MONTHS ago. The official reply from our contact at Omnilit is that it takes them "a couple of weeks" (translate: upwards of a month, and sometimes longer) to inspect new e-books and distribute them to Apple, and that Apple may take several more months to inspect the books before putting them on sale. But we're talking about at least one book I uploaded back in February or March.
I already knew that Kobo, Google Editions, and Books on Board were backlogged. Kobo has been giving us the runaround for almost as long as we've been dealing with them, constantly attributing our technical issues to our lack of FTP experience, which would be credible if FTPing were actually difficult. I mean, come on: you enter the FTP address and account login info, you drag and drop the files you need to send, and you click. This is 2011, not 1991. Books on Board's people can't seem to reply to an e-mail without repeated prompting over a period of months. Which leads me to believe they're drowning, as well. And although I did a huge upload to Google a couple of months ago, the last time I checked, a whopping one new book had shown up in our list.
We're committed to making our e-books as widely available as possible, while serving as an alternative to troublesome, overpriced aggregators. We'll continue to do our best with that. At the same time, what I see happening is probably a stampede to get into this supposedly lucrative market. This mad ramp-up, if it's what I think it is, and I'm usually right about things like this, will probably continue until later in the year, if not beyond. In the meantime, here is how we will deal with this:
Kobo: on hold until they sort themselves out
Apple: we will continue uploading the books via Omnilit, but the issue of setting up a direct relationship just leapt toward the top of the to-do list
Google: they make batch uploading easy, so I'll do it in groups of 20+
Books on Board: one day, they'll send us FTP info… *cue soundtrack music*