Independent publishers have welcomed the launch of Apple’s iBooks Author self-publishing app, saying they are considering using the technology to publish digital content themselves, and batting away suggestions it could threaten their business by encouraging authors to self-publish.
The free app, launched last week alongside the textbook platform [part of the iBooks 2 e-book store], enables users to create their own enhanced e-books for sale through the Apple iBookstore. Dorling Kindersley has already published four popular reference titles using the technology, calling it “a giant leap for how illustrated books will work in the digital world”.
Alma Books m.d. Alessandro Gallenzi said Alma has been considering launching a digital-only imprint, and now viewed the iBooks app as a pathway the company could use to develop it. He said the possibility that the content would only be available on the iBookstore was not a major concern. "Knowing Apple, they are probably going to have a very proprietorial approach, but aren’t they all doing that? They are keen to have a captive client base; I’m not particularly worried about that. The advantage would be that they would push the titles that they think have potential."
Aurum Books, Quadrille and Quercus all said they were looking into the technology, and Icon Books sales and marketing manager Andrew Furlow said: "We welcome all channels, as imaginative or innovative as possible. We haven’t looked at it in any great detail yet. Our first thought is for our Introducing series—thus far we have published them as apps, but they haven’t quite worked yet, because of their use of speech bubbles and images. We rather hope that this new technology from Apple will be the key to unlocking them."
Osprey Books m.d. Rebecca Smart said she was still considering the proposition: "We really welcome the tools, and we hope that other publishers will get involved, and we can get a better interpretation of the terms and conditions."