Online publisher Lulu will have some of its book titles available on the iPad, which goes on sale Saturday.
The distribution deal with Apple comes as the Raleigh-based company is preparing to go public in Canada as early as next month. The agreement to get books on the iPad could boost Lulu's standing among potential investors, especially if the device is a hit with consumers.
Lulu will automatically convert books from its own format into the ePub format at no cost unless an author declines the service. The conversion does not guarantee that a book will be accepted into Apple's iBookstore.
Authors will receive 80 percent of the profit after deducting Apple's share, according to an e-mail Lulu sent to its authors. Pricing for the iBook store is to be announced Friday.
The 112-employee Lulu is best-known for helping authors self-publish books. It collects fees for the books it sells and also provides services to authors. In addition, it sells e-books, including some well-known titles from other publishers.