By Edward Nawotka
Several years ago, shortly after the introduction of the iPad, I wrote in a piece entitled “Apple is Up to Something Publishers May Not Like“:
Apple is, if anything, the master of keeping it simple and, very often, attractive. And this is, I believe, one of the reasons that the launch of iBooks should give pause to many publishers. Now that Apple is in the “book space” with its own branded retailer, it’s only a short leap before they become publishers themselves. Just look at what Amazon has done since the launch of its Kindle, with the company launching a variety of publishing and self-publishing initiatives under their umbrella.
And so it has finally come to pass. It’s taken the company two years and now they are finally here with a point-and-click product that will make multimedia self-publishing accessible to even more multitudes. While on the face of it, Amazon has a strong head start, Apple has just leapt ahead by offering users the ability to embed multimedia elements into their books. While traditional publishers have struggled with their ability to produce “enhanced e-books” that reflect their professional values, indie and self-published authors are less married to tradition and prone to experiment wildly. Will it spark innovation? Or a glut of poorly-produced proprietary iBook files?
If there’s one thing that can be said, iBooks Author is going to sell more of those high-priced iPads that come will bigger flash drives as people realize just how big those multimedia book files will be.