Buried among the numbers at yesterday's iPad and Mac event, Tim Cook announced a new version of iBooks with a few new features. From the beginning I'd heard the iPad mini was about removing weight and cost as barriers of entry to iPad sales, and about taking the ebook fight to Amazon and, as Ryan Block of GDGT aptly terms them, their Kindle line of consumer content appliances. Yet the event came and went without Apple matching the Kindle on pricing, or challenging Amazon on ebooks. Why?
Under the traditional book-selling model, retailers like B&N, Amazon, and others could get 50% or more of the revenue from the sale of a book. Under Apple's "agency model", they get 30%. The traditional model is retailer-centric. Apple's model is publisher-centric.
This upsets the US Justice Department. Under the old model, the retailer set the price and so could sell the book at any price they wanted, even at a loss. Under Apple's model, the publisher sets the price, so there's no retailer discount.
Every week the editors at iMore carefully select some of our favorite, most useful, most extraordinary apps, accessories, gadgets, and websites. This weeks selections include apps for photo blogging, social gaming, podcasts, an interesting accessory, and a fun children's book.
Apple 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.
Shortly after Apple released iBooks Author for Mac, word started to circulate that content made within the app could only be sold in Apple’s iBookstore. Under their license agreement, confusion arose about whether authors could freely distribute their work elsewhere and if they'd be allowed to sell anything created in iBooks Author outside of the iBookstore.
Apple has now updated their EULA for iBooks Author to clarify this concern, specifically pointing out this only applies to .iBook formatted eBooks, and doesn't effect the content itself.
According to Global Equities Research, Apple's foray into the digital textbook market has been met with initial success, selling through upwards of 350,000 textbooks within the first 3 days. AllThingsD reports.
One of the big announcements at Apple's Education event was iBooks Author, a Mac application for creating books and textbooks for iBooks. I could that say I spent a better part of the day experimenting and learning how to use iBooks Author, but that'd be a lie. I spent more time typing out content then I did learning how to use the app.
After creating your book, it is incredibly easy to see how it looks on your iPad. Simply plug in your iPad, open iBooks, then click Preview in iBooks Author. The app immediately starts exporting your book and, boom, appears on your iPad. When you close everything down and unplug your iPad, your book will still be accessible in iBooks so that you can take a closer look at it from the comfort of your couch.
I never imagined that creating this type of content would be so easy - and free.