Apple Is Not Serious About Selling Ebooks

Apple Is Not Serious About Ebooks

So, where is Apple’s marketing for ebooks? It’s awfully hard to find.

How many emails have you received from Amazon, reminding you of the ebooks you have viewed? Lots?

Have you added Kobo’s emails to your junk mail because it sends so many? Or perhaps, you enjoy reading Mark Coker’s blog on Smashwords.

But Apple? When have you ever received anything that is promoting their ebooks?

I am an Apple fanboy and ebook reader, so Apple has my email address and knows that I buy ebooks. But does it bother using my data it holds to try to sell iBooks to me? No.

As an author, I had all of my ebooks for sale on Apple iBooks for years, and yes, I got some sales.

But they were infinitesimal compared to my ebook sales on Amazon. In fact, my direct sales on Smashwords were better. Kobo sales were poor, but even they beat Apple iBooks.

Why? Because Apple is not serious about ebooks.

I am not sure if it is because Apple has been fighting the Department of Justice for so long that they have given ebooks the short shrift, or whether Apple believes that their Apple faithful will buy ebooks come what may because they are faithfully locked into Apple’s wall garden.

But one thing is for sure. Apple does nothing to promote ebooks on their Apple iBooks Store. Yip, zero, nil.

Worse, in fact, is that the iBooks Store is a monster to navigate, search and/or buy. It is for Apple users only, well duh.

But it is also awfully slow and frightfully unhelpful. Well, unless you have the latest iPhone, I suppose. On my Mac and iPad, it is a frustrating experience.

Even worse, is that if I do buy an ebook from Apple, its iBooks reading app is, well, to be blunt, crippled.

Every time I use it on my iPad or Mac, it changes my view settings after a few pages.

From a nice clear black text on a sepia background to horrid white text on a black background. Restart, reset and try again, and I’m back to my view settings. But only for ten pages.

Then I’m back in white on black. Ok, it’s only a bug, but in true Apple caring style, it’s been a bug for months.

Sorry Apple, um, I’m off to read on my Kindle app, because, well, like you said, ‘it just works’.

But! When I use my Kindle app on my iPad, Apple has an unpleasant surprise in store.

Apple does not allow in-app purchases for anything other than Apple (money making) products. So, when I finish an ebook on my Kindle app, the links to other ebooks on Kindle by the same author are blocked, and up comes this message.

Apple Are Not Serious About Ebooks 2

Negative marketing never won a fair lady, Apple!

It pains me to say this because I am a fully paid up Apple fanboy, but when it comes to ebooks, Apple is not serious about them at all.

For the ebook publishing industry as a whole, Apple has long disappointed.

If there is one company that had the clout to challenge Amazon’s ebook monopoly, it was Apple.

Apple could have and should have been an active competitor to Amazon Kindle, but clearly, Apple did not want to and still does not want to be a serious ebook competitor.

No wonder it is, ebook game, set and match to Amazon Kindle.

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Derek Haines

Derek Haines is an Australian author, living in Switzerland.

4 thoughts on “Apple Is Not Serious About Selling Ebooks

  • I wondered why those links were inactive! Thanks for that. I enjoy reading your blog. Very informative.

  • My iBook sales have declined almost every month in the past two years. It’s a pity because at one point they were 10% of my overall eBook sales and now probably 3 to 4% of eBook sales. Apple knows all the big money comes from movie and music sales so that’s all they care about. Currently, only Google Play Bookstore is even remotely competitive to Amazon Kindle.

  • – If you don’t know the exact link, readers will never find a book on Apple iBooks just by searching the title, author or ISBN

    – Uploading books to Apple won’t work if you have a link to other retailers in your ebook. Apple will refuse to have your book on their shelves.

    It looks like eBooks are “peanuts” for them… SAD


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