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I buy quite a few ePub e-books from sources other than the iBooks Store.

I used to use iTunes to sync these to my iPad and iPhone. However, I’m trying to set up my iPad and iPhone to purely sync through iCloud, as syncing with both iCloud and iTunes gets a bit confusing.

Can I get non-iBooks Store ePub files into my iCloud iBooks library, so that they live there? (i.e. so that if I do a restore on my iPad or iPhone, I’ll be able to download them from iCloud again.) If so, how?

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Ah — my question may be a duplicate of this one: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/611/… –  Paul D. Waite Oct 25 '12 at 15:46
Please close the question if it is a duplicate. –  duci9y Oct 25 '12 at 15:51
Clarified question so that it’s actually asking what I’m interested in, and isn’t a duplicate. –  Paul D. Waite Oct 25 '12 at 16:00
Excellent: I can't sync non-apple books to my Mac Book Pro, and I can't sync them to iCloud, so I can't sync them, nu? (except buying software from some unknown 3rd party in China?) –  user57800 Sep 22 '13 at 16:22
Yep - so use another reader program - iBooks is the most walled off one. –  Mark Sep 22 '13 at 16:40

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

You can email yourself the files, then from Mail, open the files in iBooks.

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Good stuff. Will that get them into iCloud? i.e. if I open the mailed ePub file in iBooks on my iPad, will it show up in iBooks in my iPhone? –  Paul D. Waite Oct 25 '12 at 15:44
Nope, that is only for purchased content. –  duci9y Oct 25 '12 at 15:50

No, that doesn't work: there is no iCloud sync of the entire ebook file. The only thing that is possible with non-iBooks store ebooks is to sync the reading location and notes.

So, if you load an ePub file into iTunes/iBooks on a Mac and then sync it via iTunes to your iOS device(s), and if you have the sync option activated in all of them, the reading position and notes/highlights/bookmarks will be synchronized across them.

Note that in fact that's what happens with the purchased iBooks: it's not that Apple is saving your books on iCloud, just the record of your purchase.

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"it's not that Apple is saving your books on iCloud, just the record of your purchase" - sure, although they also have the book file saved, just not saved once for every user who buys it. –  Paul D. Waite Nov 6 '13 at 17:57
How do you get it to sync the Metadata? Is this automatic? Do you know how it does the match? An MD5 of the book bundle? File name? –  Rich Homolka Jun 30 '14 at 2:46

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