Why do we need a valid credit card in order to publish books?

I'm 15, and I don't have a credit card, yet I want to publish a book for free (of course) onto iBooks from iBooks Author and so I tried to create a free account, and it says I can't do it because I don't have a valid credit card. There's no way my parents would put a credit card onto my account permanently, because they're afraid of their data getting stolen... Since I'm just going to publish books for free, I just don't see why I need a credit card.

Apple have a set of requirements and in your situation... you cannot meet their banking and credit card requirements.   At 15 you  should be aware that where  money is concerned those who have it and want more... protect the methods of control!
The next thing you need to  deal with is that,  basically   the  CC requirement as nothing whatever to do with a free iBooks account.
The credit card is more about making  purchases from the various Apple online  stores such as iBooks,  iTunes (download music) apps and in app purchases and local high street stores for devices and accessories.
Apple  do not  have any options which do not include  banking details and credit cards and care little about the problems of youth and lack of credit cards.   Its a case of our club - our rules.. comply or go away!
So lets look at other options, you can distribute any eBooks  created using iBA software, however you wish - providing no payments in cash or kind are recieved. You can of course take a chance  and replace Samsung as Apples litigation target! 
The easy way is upload an iBooks file  into Dropbox and  email links to  fans, friends and family. 
OR
Your parents could open an account and allow you to act as publisher for them! Ditto a friend with a CC.
But if your own parents would not trust you with their credit cards the above will not be  suitable.
If its a book which is school or peer reralated, maybe your school have a server  and would allow you to use it to allow other students to  download your books.... extend that thought to  approaching other schools locally or statewide....

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