Home » Apple, Self-Publishing » Dear Apple, Please Don’t Give Up on iBooks in iOS 11

Dear Apple, Please Don’t Give Up on iBooks in iOS 11

21 June 2017

From The Mac Observer:

Here are some ideas I have to improve iBooks in iOS 11, because I want to see it succeed. As an avid reader, I was disappointed that there was nary a mention of iBooks at WWDC 2017. I’m not just talking about the app, I’m referring to Apple’s eBook ecosystem as a whole. I think improvements can be made in both areas, and that Apple could give iBooks a bigger presence in physical Apple stores.

. . . .

When it comes to books—or any type of content—the two most important features for people are discovery and sharing. The App Store is getting a major redesign in iOS 11, one designed to make it easier to discover new apps and games. I’d love to see Apple bring the same attention to iBooks. A new UI could feature eBooks and audiobooks in new ways and make it easier for readers to figure out what to read next.

. . . .

Now, to the iBookstore ecosystem. Apple should make it easier to self-publish on iBooks. I’ve never personally used the iBooks Author app, but the consensus among many users is that it produces gorgeous books, but is difficult to use. Apple should also take a cue from Amazon and make iBooks the premier platform for self-publishing. While it’s possible to self-publish on iBooks today, the process is not as easy as it is on Amazon Kindle.

. . . .

Currently, iBooks has a “More Books You Might Like” section under the Featured tab, but the suggestions are awful and I almost never browse through them. Using machine learning, Apple could scan my iBooks purchases and recommend books based on genre, popularity or other factors. Apple may already be doing this—or something like it—but recommendations on iBooks needs to improve.

Link to the rest at The Mac Observer

Apple, Self-Publishing

14 Comments to “Dear Apple, Please Don’t Give Up on iBooks in iOS 11”

  1. No problem, if Amazon sees enough call for it there’ll be an app for that. 😉

  2. Why should Apple do all that?

    • Felix J. Torres

      Exactly.
      There’s not enough money in ibooks for them to invest heavily in what is effectively a failure. Not when their primary “partners” are actively discouraging the format.

      They’ll let it muddle on as is so the iPad/iPhone specsheet doesn’t lose a bullet but it’s not going to be worth the trouble. Not when the much more profitable Mac itself has been backburnered.

      • The Mac has hardly been backburnered. The newest iMacs have been much improved and the new iMac Pro that will be coming out in the fall is amazing (if you have 5K to blow). And the very public mea culpa by Phil Schiller over the Mac Pro trashcan, with the promise of an expandable Mac next year, indicates they haven’t given up on it.

        Why bother with iBooks? Because Apple wants to keep people locked into their ecosystem, and the last thing they want is for Amazon to get their foot in the door with cheap Kindles that Apple fans buy because they simply work better with Kindle books (not to mention Kindle Unlimited). Exactly the same reason Apple finally announced a talking speaker to compete with the Echo. They probably don’t see it as a huge market, but they can’t completely ignore it and give Amazon a way to get into Apple fans living rooms.

        The new iPads have even better screens for reading, and the iPhone screens get larger and better for reading all the time too. Why would Apple ignore that people might want to read on their iPhones? Why would they leave that money on the table?

        Why hasn’t Apple put more effort into the iBooks store? My thinking is they were pissed off by and pouting about the DOJ suit and settlement and pretty much said, fine, let Amazon have at it with the Big 5 for a few years. They’ll be easier to deal with after they’ve been pushed around more. At this point, the Big 5 have to be desperate for Apple to help them market ebooks somewhere other than Amazon.

        What has been disappointed is that Apple hasn’t much embraced self-publishing. But it won’t cost much money or effort for Apple to shift it’s resources to make iBooks a better self-publishing platform. I expect they eventually will. Hope so.

        History hasn’t been kind to people that assume that just because Apple hasn’t made a move in a particular tech segment, that they never will. Same goes for people who assume that because Apple screwed up something, they’ll never get it right.

  3. IMO . . .

    Jobs was a horrible human being, but he was a tech design and marketing genius. He was the heart of Apple.

    When Sculley booted Jobs, Apple lost its heart, and the company wandered in the wilderness during the Sculley years. I had an Apple laptop made during those years and the keyboard was CRAP. I had to jack in an external keyboard to use the damned thing. On a frelling laptop. Kinda defeats the purpose of buying a laptop.

    When Jobs returned, he brought heart back to Apple. When he died, Apple lost its heart.

    Cook is no Jobs.

    Apple has a lot of momentum. It’s gonna take years for others to see that it is dead inside, but it is. Remember: 200 years ago, the greatest corporation in the world was the East India Company. What is EIC trading at today?

    • Felix J. Torres

      Cook seems to be afraid of his board and he is simply focusing on the money. Just the money, though.
      Where the money is (iphone) is where they invest. Doesn’t leave much for Mac even though it is a multibillion dollar business.

      Even less for ibooks that has proven a legal embarrassment and merely a few hundred million a year. Rounding errors at Apple are bigger.

      No real incentive to make it better.

      It’s the same for Google Play ebooks.
      Too litte money to get passionate over.

      As for Jobs…
      Jobs was never just about the money.
      He was also about spite. 😀

      https://www.cnet.com/news/apple-iphone-ipad-former-ios-chief-scott-forstall/

      (He really, really, hated stylus interfaces.)

  4. I’m having a really bloody time uploading my ebooks to iBooks through Draft2Digital.

    First, I had to scrub any mention of Amazon from the ebooks. Okay, I can understand that. Then Apple (and ONLY Apple) complained that the cover picture was too large. They also take two to three days to review an ebook. In other words, they don’t care.

    Even B&N is faster and less fickle, and that says something.

    I hope my sales are worth the effort. But a part of me doubts it.

  5. In the romance mudpits where I hang out, Hannah, I haven’t heard a single author state that the Apple hassle was worth the sales numbers. There may be some, of course, but not apparent to me.

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