Apple announces iBooks 2, tackles textbooks and the education marketApple has sent out a letter via its iTunes Connect portal to all of its registered iBookstore content publishers advising them of some much needed improvements. The iBookstore will now allow publishers to submit screenshots of their books but even more importantly, they can now generate and issue promotional codes for any content sold in the iBookstore.

Publishers can now issue up to fifty promo codes which can be given to book reviewers to enable them to receive an iBooks version of a book for free. This works in a very similar way to app developer who already have the ability to give away promo codes for apps.

iBookstore publishers also now have the option of submitting screenshots of their books. This could prove extremely useful for books that include rich multi-media content which can be produced using Apple’s iBooks Author tools. Screenshots have to follow some strict guidelines with regard to size of the screen shots as well as the file types used.

The final change is in the way the iBookstore will handle any pre-order books. From now on, publishers can place books up for pre-order without the need to submit any cover artwork or other information. This information must be in place at least two weeks prior to the book actually being made available for sale.