Apple Books Is Not Competing On Ebooks With Amazon Kindle

Apple Books Is Not Serious About Ebooks

Where is Apple’s marketing for Apple Books?

It’s awfully hard to find.

How many emails do you receive from Amazon reminding you of the Kindle ebooks you have viewed? Lots?

Like me, I’m sure you get emails from Goodreads too.

The silent Apple

But where’s Apple?

When have you ever received anything that is promoting Apple Books?

I am an Apple fan and read ebooks on my iPad or iPhone using the Apple Books or Kindle app.

Apple has my email address and knows that I buy ebooks.

But does it bother using the data it has to try to sell books to other readers or me using its online bookstore? No.

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

But they are negligible compared to my ebook sales on Amazon.

Kobo sales are sometimes better.

It’s not a surprise, though.

Apple simply doesn’t seem interested in books.


Apple is not serious about ebooks

I am not sure if it is because Apple fought the Department of Justice for so long that it gave ebooks short shrift.

Perhaps it 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—zip, zero, nil.

Worse, in fact, is that the Books Store books app is a monster to navigate, search, and buy.

It is for Apple users only.

But it is also awfully slow and frightfully unhelpful. Well, maybe it’s a little faster if you have the latest iPhone.

But on my Mac and iPad, the iTunes and app store is a frustrating experience.

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

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.

Okay, it’s only a bug, but in true caring Apple style, it’s been a bug for a long time.


The Kindle app on an Apple

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

But when I use the Kindle app on my iPad, Apple has another 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, Apple blocks the links to other ebooks on Kindle by the same author and up comes this message.

Apple Are Not Serious About Ebooks 2

The reason is that Amazon refuses to pay Apple’s fee for purchases using its platform.

But this sort of negative marketing never won a fair lady, Apple.

But I have the feeling that Apple is not sorry at all.



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

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

If one company 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.


Related Reading: How You Can Promote Your Ebook On The Apple iBooks Store

8 thoughts on “Apple Books Is Not Competing On Ebooks With Amazon Kindle”

  1. Avatar for Jennifer Johnson
    Jennifer Johnson

    I have published in the past with iBooks but I make almost no sales there. I do make sales on Smashwords and Kindle. I recently tried to publish with iBooks and I was told that my ePub file contained competitor links (Amazon) and could not be published without revision. You are no longer even allowed to mention Amazon in your book unless you list all other bookstores. So I can’t say, check out my Amazon Author page or most of my books are available on Amazon. Apple won’t accept my ebook upload because of this.

    Guess what I did? Nothing. I just decided to not publish there because I should be able to publish whatever links I want to my own work in my own book. They are shooting themselves in the foot, in my opinion. If I get 3 sales for every 50 sales on Amazon, I don’t care about those 3 sales enough to re-edit and re-format just for iBooks. I’ll just stick with Amazon.

    I also have an iPhone and get pissed off every time I have to close my phone and get on a computer to purchase Kindle Books. I’m such an avid reader that I think I will soon be switching to a non-iPhone so I can buy books in peace. I think all of this bull is Apple’s last-ditch effort to save iBooks, but I think it’s too little, too late because it’s too limiting to customers and self-publishing authors. They are definitely going in the wrong direction if they want to attract more self-publishers, which would save them. If people stop publishing to your platform, no one will ever go there. You can’t force people to use your app if it sucks. You also can’t bully people into purchasing content and using your app by disallowing purchases on competitor apps. Once a company starts telling me what apps I can purchase from and which I can’t, I’m out.

  2. I have a question rather than a comment:
    Quid authors rights and royalties Amazon vs Apple? I’d like to know which one treats (and pays) authors the best.
    This would go a good way to my choice making in buying a book from on or the other (if both stock them).
    I have found one article about the comparative paying rates but it dates back to 2010 and I’m pretty sure things will have changes since (here’s the link);
    Thanks for any recent information.

    1. The terms and royalty rates are similar for Amazon KDP and Apple. Both offer 70% royalties, but there is no exclusivity option with Apple, unlike KDP Select.
      If you use an aggregator to publish on Apple, the royalty is 60% to allow a cut for the aggregator.

  3. – 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

  4. Avatar for Victor R. Volkman
    Victor R. Volkman

    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.

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

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