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Apple provides a GUI tool called "iTunes Producer" for assembling packages to send to the iBookstore. It's basically an XML editor that moves a few files into a directory, and then an uploader that returns messages from the server.

It works well enough, but it's tedious for one book-- it has 30+ territories that you have to assign rights and prices for, without any ability to group or mass fill in prices or information. It lets you generate multiple metadata files with a tab-delimited text file input, but you still have to somehow hand assign all the rights and prices in that file. Both methods are prone to errors-- by my second one, I was pricing things at 249 EUR that should have been 2.49 (if you use the "." for euros instead of "," it ignores it. And does the opposite for USD). And you still have to add the epubs and cover images. Lots of fun.

This was almost a program to generate the input tab-delimited file, when I realized Apple was probably generating an XML file, and I could link the external files, too. A few clicks later and yes, they are. And it's easy enough to copy and checksum the ePub and image files, so why not do it all in one throw? Especially since I have ~140 uploads to do.

This is the code so far-- it's a little brittle, and doesn't handle things like multiple authors yet, but it works and will zip through a lot of files fast. It pulls from a database file that I have with the metadata. After each itmsp file is generated, you still have to open it with iTunes Producer to send to Apple and get feedback, but it drastically reduces the time involved and the likelihood of crazy typos. It took about as much time as putting in a half-dozen books (with lots of typos)

Partway into it I realized I might have been able to do it by an automated dump to XML using my database columns+XSLT, but there's enough extra to do that I don't think that would have saved much time. And I haven't really used XSLT much, so it would have been extra learning time.

The code is below the readmore tag.
#!/usr/bin/perl # # (C) 2012 Chris Lindensmith # licensed under Perl5 license ( # pulls book metadata from the books database and generates an itmsp p +ackage. # main value of this is in doing bulk uploads of books to the ibooksto +re. # the secondary value is in avoiding having to enter all the rights da +ta country by # country for 30+ countries. Uses crude but reasonably effective rule +s for price conversion: # - base price is USD, finds price tier by rounding up. # - physical price is USD, and there's a hash for entering the pric +e conversions # which is not necessarily the same as straight currency convers +ions. # # requires the user to put in a bunch of globals: # $imprint, $publisher, $producer (get this looking in one of your it +msp files) # plus the database login information. # %dbmap is for mapping your database columns to the itmsp tag names # # looks in the "$book_source_files" directory and below for the book f +ile and the cover # looks for the isbn in the filename to find the content file and cove +r. # copies the book file and cover into a new directory (named for the $ +isbn.".itmsp") # computes an md5 hash of each of the two files to put in the xml file # MacOS takes care of identifying it as a package. # # the user can then open the itmsp file with iTunesProducer and all th +e metadata will be there # simply check that the metadata are correct, make any adjustments, an +d then send to apple. # if you have to make changes to the content or cover file, replace th +em in iTunes Producer # and resave the itmsp file from producer. # all file uploading occurs from iTunes Producer. # # An itmsp package is just a directory with 3 files in it: # the xml metadata (metadata.xml), the book content file (an epub), an +d the cover image # the metadata file does care about whitespace in the values. use strict; use warnings; use DBI; use Data::Dumper; use XML::LibXML; use XML::LibXML::PrettyPrint; use DateTime; use Cwd; use File::Find; use File::Copy; use File::Path; use Digest::MD5 qw(md5_hex); # debug=1 mode turns prettyprint on for xml output. # the prettyprint mode used should load correctly into iTunes Producer +, but if there are problems, # set debug=0 and it will spew straight linear text. my $debug=1; # database access information for dbi my $dbuser='username'; my $dbpassword='password'; my $dbname='databasename'; # imprint and publisher (these could be moved to the db, but in my cas +e they're not) my $imprint='Your Imprint Here'; my $publisher='Publisher Name here'; my $provider='ProviderName'; # get this from an itmsp file you made w +ith Producer. my $book_source_files="/full/path/to/the/directory/that/contains/your/ +books/and/images"; my $global_isbn; #used for passing isbn to File::Find my $global_coverfname; #to return from File::Find my $global_contentname; #to return from File::Find my $dest_dir=getcwd; # mapping of itunes names (key) to database column names (value). # edit the values to match your db. my %dbmap=('isbn'=>'e_isbn13', 'title'=>'title', 'printisbn'=>'print_isbn', 'bisac_codes'=>'BISAC_subs', 'description'=>'description', 'year'=>'copyright', 'eprice'=>'amazon_price', 'author_sort_name'=>'author', 'print_price'=>'print_price' ); my $cleared_for_sale='true'; my $drmfree='true'; my %country_currency=('AU'=>'AUD', 'AT'=>'EUR', 'BE'=>'EUR', 'BG'=>'EUR', 'CA'=>'CAD', 'CY'=>'EUR', 'CZ'=>'EUR', 'DK'=>'DKK', 'EE'=>'EUR', 'FI'=>'EUR', 'FR'=>'EUR', 'DE'=>'EUR', 'GR'=>'EUR', 'HU'=>'EUR', 'IE'=>'EUR', 'IT'=>'EUR', 'LV'=>'EUR', 'LT'=>'EUR', 'LU'=>'EUR', 'MT'=>'EUR', 'NL'=>'EUR', 'NO'=>'NOK', 'PL'=>'EUR', 'PT'=>'EUR', 'RO'=>'EUR', 'SK'=>'EUR', 'SI'=>'EUR', 'ES'=>'EUR', 'SE'=>'SEK', 'CH'=>'CHF', 'GB'=>'GBP', 'US'=>'USD' ); # the conversion rate is for the price of the print version and should + be # based on print pricing in the country, which may not correspond dire +ctly to # currency conversions. my %conversion_rate=('AUD'=>1.1, 'EUR'=>0.8, 'CAD'=>1.0, 'DKK'=>6.0, 'NOK'=>6.0, 'SEK'=>6.6, 'CHF'=>1.0, 'GBP'=>0.7, 'USD'=>1.0 ); # set up the database connection and slurp the rows my $dbh = DBI->connect("DBI:mysql:$dbname", $dbuser, $dbpassword ) || die "Could not connect to database: $DBI::errstr"; my $sth=$dbh->prepare("Select * from metadata where e_ISBN13>0"); $sth->execute; #iterate through the resulting rows while (my $result= $sth->fetchrow_hashref()){ #print STDERR Dumper($result); create_itmsp($result); } # this is where most of the action happens # generate the metadata.XML # find the content file and copy it to a new directory # find the cover image and copy it to a new directory # compute md5 hashes of the two asset files # write the metadata file to the new directory # rename the directory sub create_itmsp{ my $hashref=shift; my %datahash=%$hashref; my $isbn=$datahash{$dbmap{'isbn'}}; my $newdoc=XML::LibXML::Document->new('1.0', "UTF-8"); $newdoc->setStandalone(0); # set standalone "no" # set up the package my $newroot=XML::LibXML::Element->new("package"); $newroot->setAttribute("xmlns"," +blication"); $newroot->setAttribute("version","publication4.3"); #set up the provider (fixed as always us) $newdoc->setDocumentElement($newroot); $newroot->appendTextChild("provider",$provider); #create the book node my $booknode=XML::LibXML::Element->new("book"); $booknode->appendTextChild("vendor_id",$isbn); #insert the book in the package node: $newroot->addChild($booknode); # add the metadata $booknode->addChild(build_metadata($hashref)); mkdir $dest_dir."/".$isbn.".itmsp" || die "Can't make directory $is +bn: $!\n"; #find the cover and the content and copy them $global_isbn=$isbn; # some books aren't available in epub, clearing the filename so we +can tell $global_contentname=undef; $global_coverfname=undef; find(\&find_assets,$book_source_files); if($global_contentname && $global_coverfname){ #if we found a cover and an epub, make the nodes with the files +. $booknode->addChild(build_assets($isbn)); if($debug==1){ my $pp = XML::LibXML::PrettyPrint->new(indent_string => " + ", element =>{ compact => [qw/vendor_id publication_type identi +fier title primary name sort_name role language subject imprint publi +sher preorder_previews publication_date provider number_of_pages territor +y cleared_for_sale price_tier release_type preorder_sales_start_date sales_start_date physical_list_price drm_free file +_name size checksum/] } + ); $pp->pretty_print($newdoc); # modified in-place } print $newdoc->toFile($dest_dir."/".$isbn.".itmsp/metadata.xml" +); } else{ # if there's no epub, delete the itmsp directory rmtree $dest_dir."/".$isbn.".itmsp"; } } sub build_assets{ my $isbn=shift; my $assets_node=XML::LibXML::Element->new("assets"); #build the artwork node $assets_node->addChild(add_asset($isbn,"artwork",$global_coverfnam +e)); $assets_node->addChild(add_asset($isbn,"full",$global_contentname) +); return $assets_node; } sub add_asset{ my $isbn=shift; my $type=shift; my $fname=shift; my $asset_node=XML::LibXML::Element->new("asset"); $asset_node->setAttribute("type",$type); my $file_node=XML::LibXML::Element->new("data_file"); $asset_node->addChild($file_node); $file_node->appendTextChild("file_name",$fname); my $size= -s "$dest_dir/$isbn.itmsp/$fname"; $file_node->appendTextChild("size",$size); $file_node->addChild(add_checksum("$dest_dir/$isbn.itmsp/$fname")) +; return $asset_node; } sub add_checksum{ my $file = shift; my $checksum_node=XML::LibXML::Element->new("checksum"); $checksum_node->setAttribute("type","md5"); open(FILE, $file) or die "Can't open '$file': $!"; binmode(FILE); $checksum_node->appendText(Digest::MD5->new->addfile(*FILE)->hexd +igest); return $checksum_node; } sub find_assets{ if ($_ =~ /($global_isbn.*?\.(jpg|png|gif|jpeg))\b/i){ $global_coverfname=$1; $global_coverfname=~s/\s+/_/g; #itunes doesn't like spa +ces in filenames copy($File::Find::name,$dest_dir."/".$global_isbn.".itmsp/$glo +bal_coverfname"); } if ($_ =~ /($global_isbn.*?\.(epub))\b/i){ $global_contentname=$1; $global_contentname=~s/\s+/_/g; copy($File::Find::name,$dest_dir."/".$global_isbn.".itmsp/$glo +bal_contentname"); } } sub build_metadata{ my $hashref=shift; my %metadata=%$hashref; my $isbn=$metadata{$dbmap{'isbn'}}; my $title=$metadata{$dbmap{'title'}}; my $metadata_node=XML::LibXML::Element->new("metadata"); $metadata_node->appendTextChild("publication_type", "book"); $metadata_node->addChild(build_identifiers("isbn13",$isbn)); #is there a print version? if(my $print_isbn=$metadata{$dbmap{'printisbn'}}){ $metadata_node->addChild(add_related($print_isbn)); } $metadata_node->appendTextChild("title",$title); #add the author (if any) if(my $author=$metadata{$dbmap{'author_sort_name'}}){ $metadata_node->addChild(add_contributors($author)); } #add languages: $metadata_node->addChild(add_languages()); #skip page count #add bisac codes. unfortunately they're all smushed together if (my $bisac_codes=$metadata{$dbmap{'bisac_codes'}}){ $metadata_node->addChild(add_subjects($bisac_codes)); } #add the description $metadata_node->addChild(add_description($isbn)); #add the publisher information: $metadata_node->appendTextChild("imprint",$imprint); $metadata_node->appendTextChild("publisher", $publisher); $metadata_node->appendTextChild("preorder_previews","true"); $metadata_node->appendTextChild("publication_date", text_year($metadata{$dbmap{'ye +ar'}})); #build the territories and prices list $metadata_node->addChild(add_products($cleared_for_sale, $metadata{$dbmap{'eprice'}}, $metadata{$dbmap{'print_price'}}, $drmfree ) ); return $metadata_node; } #generate the products node sub add_products{ my $cleared_for_sale=shift; my $eprice=shift; my $print_price=shift; my $drm_free=shift; my $dt = DateTime->today(time_zone=>'local'); my $todaystring=$dt->ymd('-'); my $products_node=XML::LibXML::Element->new("products"); foreach my $key (keys %country_currency){ my $product_node=XML::LibXML::Element->new("product"); $products_node->addChild($product_node); $product_node->appendTextChild("territory",$key); $product_node->appendTextChild("cleared_for_sale",$cleared_for +_sale); $product_node->appendTextChild("price_tier",get_price_tier($ke +y,$eprice)); $product_node->appendTextChild("release_type","digital-only"); $product_node->appendTextChild("sales_start_date",$todaystring +); #preorder_sales and sales_start would go here if ($print_price){ my $phys_price_node=XML::LibXML::Element->new("physical_li +st_price"); $phys_price_node->setAttribute("currency", $country_curren +cy{$key}); $phys_price_node->appendText($conversion_rate{$country_cur +rency{$key}}*$print_price); $product_node->addChild($phys_price_node); } $product_node->appendTextChild("drm_free",$drm_free); } return $products_node; } #gets the price tier for USD by rounding. #get the price tier for other currencies by adding 2 to the US price t +ier #based on approximate exchange rates 10/18/12 sub get_price_tier{ my $key=shift; my $eprice=shift; my $tier=int($eprice+0.5); # the USD tier if ($key ne 'US'){ $tier=$tier+2;} return $tier; } #generate the year node in appropriate format sub text_year{ my $year=shift; my $release_date="$year-01-01"; } # pull the description from the existing itunes data because it will m +eet the length lim. sub add_description{ my $isbn=shift; my $sth=$dbh->prepare("select description from itunes_data where i +sbn13=?"); $sth->execute($isbn); my @desc=$sth->fetchrow_array(); my $desc_node=XML::LibXML::Element->new("description"); $desc_node->setAttribute("format","html"); $desc_node->appendText($desc[0]); return $desc_node; } # my BISAC codes are all combined in one cell, along with their text d +escription # they need to be split, and just the codes pulled out. sub add_subjects{ my $bisac_codes=shift; my @codelist=split /;/,$bisac_codes; my $subjects=XML::LibXML::Element->new("subjects"); my $count=0; foreach (@codelist){ my $subject=XML::LibXML::Element->new("subject"); $subject->setAttribute("scheme","bisac"); if ($count++==0){ $subject->setAttribute("primary","true");} if (/(\w{3}\d{6})/i){$subject->appendText($1);} $subjects->addChild($subject); } return $subjects; } sub add_languages{ my $languages=XML::LibXML::Element->new("languages"); my $language=XML::LibXML::Element->new("language"); $language->setAttribute("type","main"); $language->appendText("eng"); $languages->addChild($language); return $languages; } #only handles single contributor right now #need to make it sort out multiples. sub add_contributors{ my $author_sort_name=shift; my $author_name=''; if ($author_sort_name=~/Ph\.D\./){ $author_sort_name=~ /(\w+),\s*(.+)\s+Ph\.D\./; $author_name="$2 $1, Ph.D."; } else { $author_sort_name=~ /(\w+),\s(.+)/; $author_name="$2 $1"; } if ($3){$author_name="$author_name, Ph.D.";} my $contribs_node=XML::LibXML::Element->new("contributors"); my $contrib_node=XML::LibXML::Element->new("contributor"); $contribs_node->addChild($contrib_node); $contrib_node->appendTextChild("primary","true"); $contrib_node->appendTextChild("name",$author_name); $contrib_node->appendTextChild("sort_name",$author_sort_name); my $roles_node=XML::LibXML::Element->new("roles"); $roles_node->appendTextChild("role","author"); $contrib_node->addChild($roles_node); return $contribs_node; } # if there's a print isbn, put together the related node sub add_related{ my $print_isbn=shift; my $related_node=XML::LibXML::Element->new("related_content"); my $related_item=XML::LibXML::Element->new("related_item"); $related_item->setAttribute("type","print-equivalent"); my $identifier=XML::LibXML::Element->new("identifier"); $identifier->setAttribute("scheme","isbn13"); $identifier->appendText($print_isbn); #build the node: $related_item->addChild($identifier); $related_node->addChild($related_item); return $related_node; } sub build_identifiers{ my $idscheme=$_[0]; my $idvalue=$_[1]; my $identifiers=XML::LibXML::Element->new("identifiers"); my $identifier=XML::LibXML::Element->new("identifier"); $identifier->setAttribute("scheme",$idscheme); $identifier->appendText($idvalue); $identifiers->addChild($identifier); return $identifiers; }

In reply to itmsp generator for itunes bookstore by bitingduck

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    [LanX]: imagine the stock market if the choice for the second round would have been those two ...
    [robby_dobby]: LanX: Not me. No YAPC in my country and the only one in Asia is so far off in Japan
    [LanX]: Oh I thought "Misery" meant Missoury
    [LanX]: where do you live?
    [LanX]: YAPC Asia was renamed and you'd need to speak Japanese to be able to follow
    [robby_dobby]: LanX: Misery :P
    [robby_dobby]: Or India
    LanX which means I can finally organize YAPC Asia in Sharm el Sheikh ;-)
    [robby_dobby]: I attended a couple conferences (both in India). Left me with a renewed enthusiasm to do more, only to see it disappear in a few days!
    [LanX]: Then come to YAPC EU in Amsterdam ...

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