100 Million Books Downloaded to iPad, Random House Adds 17,000 Titles to iBookstore

In Tech Digest by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka

If you’re like half of the gadget loving digerati around the globe you’ve probably bene glued to your computer for the last hour watching real-time updates from the launch of iPad 2 — thinner, faster, Applier. One salient piece of news coming from the event was the claim that 100 million books have been downloaded to the iPad. That’s a big number: when you consider that some 15 million iPads have been sold, that would average out to roughly 6.5 books per user. Granted, it’s likely that a high percentage — a very high percentage — of those are free books. The real question is how many books did Apple sell through it’s iBookstore, which is — anecdotally — said to be lagging well behind competitors Amazon and B&N. That said, the iBookstore has gotten a wee bit more appealing with the news that Random House is adding an additional 17,000 of its titles to the store today (all this following the news earlier this week that the company was transitioning to the agency model). As Random’s own press release noted, it’s not just plain-Jane text e-books too: “iBookstore customers can choose from a wide selection of illustrated and video-enhanced books that look incredible on iPad, including Jay-Z’s memoir Decoded and Bing West’s The Wrong War; bestselling children’s series such as Magic Tree House and Junie B. Jones; and cookbooks by Martha Stewart, Rachael Ray, and the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten.”

The next few months should be interesting in the e-book wars. If Apple does go ahead and impose its will and decides to take 30% of all in-app purchases, as promised last month, how will Amazon, B&N, Kobo, et al. respond? Could they go so far as to withdraw their apps from the store?

(Image, data via Engadget)

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.