While many were dreaming of the new Kindle Fire and its implications, Apple overnight added 26 New Territories to a list of countries where iBook titles are sold. Significantly, all the added countries are European; meaning texts can be sold via the iBookstore in all EU member states.
Prior to this, booksellers were limited to a choice of only the US, UK, France, Germany, Australia and Canada, however the move has opened it up to many nations where the service has been long overdue, including amongst others, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Denmark, Switzerland and the Netherlands (The full list of countries can be found here). To sell in these new countries, publishers must login to iTunes connect, select a title, click ‘Add new territory’ and select from the list of names.
Apple’s decision to do this has so far barely made a ripple in the world of technology news. The first sign that this had happened appeared to have come from a computer book author who stumbled on the new options on the iTunes connect drop down bar – not quite the typical Apple launch.
Despite its relatively low-key launch, the move is a significant one from Apple that increases its reach by millions upon millions of people. It will undoubtedly spark a massive influx of book buying and publishing in the languages of these newly added countries.
Perhaps equally as significantly, the iBookstore is now open to more territories than all other major mobile eBook stores in the world. It seems Apple is backing the international appeal of its iPad and in particular its iBookstore service.
Could this have been prompted by the Amazon Fire announcement?
Amazon are no doubt currently leading the way in terms of eBook sales, and with their new device, they are further enhancing their eBook selling capabilities. While Apple’s timing might be coincidental, could this be a conscious attempt to sure up its footing ahead of a major competitors release?
Whatever the motivation, the market for EPUB and fixed layout EPUB has just grown quite considerably.