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‘The awkward feeling of mindless improvisation’ – The iBookstore comes to Latin America
July 30, 2012 | 9:15 pm

Did you think that e-book vendors have a hard time with Apple here in the USA? Publishing Perspectives has a terrific (one might even say hilarious in some places) report on the frenetic activity engendered by Apple’s decision to launch its iBookstore in Latin America. Among other things, it asked Latin American publishers to redo their books’ metadata—and then changed its mind on how it wanted the metadata done three times over the course of several days. Apple’s preference for prices that end in .49 or .99 means trouble for the publishers who sell their books in their own...

Latest Ars Technica OS X review has bumpy road to e-book release
July 25, 2012 | 6:59 pm

96693105Last year we covered Ars Technica publishing John Siracusa’s 27,000-word comprehensive review of OS X 10.7 Lion as an e-book, and the very successful sales numbers for a review that could still be read free on-line. This year, with the release of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, Siracusa has done it again—but as the Nieman Journalism Lab reports, the process has not been without snafus. Since Mountain Lion was under NDA until the day it launched, that means that the e-book had to be submitted to Amazon at the same time the article was allowed to be published online...

DC Comics releases Batman graphic novel via iBooks
July 18, 2012 | 9:20 pm

Batman_Earth_One_iBooks_610x915Less than a month after finally coming to Barnes & Noble e-books, DC Comics has just placed its first graphic novel with Apple’s iBooks store. The recent graphic novel Batman: Earth One, a revised retelling of Batman’s origin story, will cost $24.95 in print but $12.99 agency pricing on the iBooks store. This will be the first DC book to show up on iBooks, but probably won’t be the last. DC already sells multiple books through Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and it would likely not be too hard to bring them to Apple as well. Certainly,...

Page-turning animation is popular for e-readers
May 13, 2012 | 8:17 pm

You wouldn’t think that you would find page-flipping on tablets. But many e-reading apps have it. iBooks has a page-turn animation, which it actually lifted (along with its wooden bookshelf display) from the iPhone e-reader “Classics”. Instapaper recently added page-flipping as an option instead of scrolling. Flipboard uses its own stylized page-flip, too (from which it takes the “Flip” part of its name, come to think of it). So why do developers use it so often? Because readers seem to like it. “Pagination is obviously an artificially bolted-on construct on the iPad and iPhone,...

Giving e-books as gifts is as as easy as clicking a link
May 5, 2012 | 8:21 pm

CNet’s Sharon Vaknin has a 3-minute video (embedded below) in which she covers some ways of giving e-books as gifts. While the process is pretty simple overall, it is interesting to see Vaknin present video of how it works. Giving e-books as gifts with the Kindle or Nook is as easy as clicking on “Give As Gift” on the Kindle or B&N listing for the book. Both sites offer a time-delay feature in which you can choose a calendar date to have the e-book delivered. iBooks doesn’t permit e-book gifting, however, so all you can really do is send...

Ars Technica reviews iBooks Author 1.1
April 29, 2012 | 5:15 pm

Interested in learning how iBooks Author works? On Ars Technica, Dave Girard has posted a 4-page-long review of the free e-book creator, with lots of screen shots. It goes into a lot of detail about what he learned in using it to create an iBooks version of his e-book 101 Autodesk Maya Tips. In short, Girard found that iBooks had some features he liked and a number of them he didn’t. A lot of the problems Girard had with the program stemmed from Apple limiting the options available to its users. There is no direct control over the...

Cartoonist Bill Amend releases $1.99 FoxTrot mini-collections on iBooks store, explains why
April 19, 2012 | 12:20 am

ScreenClip(38) Bill Amend of popular comic strip FoxTrot has recently begun offering a series of $1.99 100-strip mini-collections via the iBooks store. Created using Apple’s iBooks Author, the e-books are “short and curated primarily for an entertaining read on the go,” says Amend in an interview with TechCrunch. The collections came about, Amend says, after he had looked into e-book publishing but found most existing comic strip apps seemed too clunky and he didn’t have the wherewithal to roll his own. Then iBooks Author came along and allowed him to create his own e-books. The paper books will...

Apple rejects Seth Godin e-book over Amazon links
February 29, 2012 | 12:23 pm

On PaidContent (in a post republished from his Domino Project blog), Seth Godin reports that Apple’s iBooks has rejected one of his e-books because it includes Amazon links to purchase the books he lists in the bibliography. He writes: We’re heading to a world where there are just a handful of influential bookstores (Amazon, Apple, Nook…) and one by one, the principles of open access are disappearing. Apple, apparently, won’t carry an ebook that contains a link to buy a hardcover book from Amazon. That’s amazing to me. It must be a mistake,...

iBooks DRM reportedly cracked
February 23, 2012 | 2:15 pm

A MobileRead thread reports that the Requiem FairPlay DRM-cracking app now removes the DRM from Apple’s iBooks EPUB e-books, in addition to the music and video DRM-removal that it already did. Follow-up comments express skepticism that Apple will let it stand for long without changing their DRM to block it, or that it will make much difference where people buy their e-books since most people don’t care about DRM. For myself, it would make me a touch more tempted to buy e-books from Apple if I knew I could then render them platform-agnostic—except given that most nonexclusive e-books...

Apple clarifies iBooks Author EULA, only claims commercial rights over .ibooks format
February 3, 2012 | 9:37 pm

Fair’s fair. If we get upset over something Apple’s done, we should also mention when they fix it. So, remember the kerfuffle over Apple apparently claiming rights in the user agreement over commercial sale of any e-book created in iBooks Author? Well, Ars Technica reports that Apple has just released a patch to the app, and iBooks Author v1.01 includes a clarification in the EULA: it specifically covers only e-books generated in the interactive .ibooks format. (Emphasis mine.) If you want to charge a fee for a work that includes files in the .ibooks format generated...

Will Apple’s January event usher in new e-self-publishing program?
January 4, 2012 | 8:15 pm

Rumors have been flying about the Apple event announced for later this month. It seems pretty obvious that it’s about time for a new iPad to make the rounds, of course, but Good eReader thinks that Apple is going to announce a new self-publishing platform. “Sources close to the matter have told us that they intend on launching a new digital self-publishing platform to get peoples content into the iBookstore,” writes Michelle Kozlowski. She notes that it’s currently possible for independent authors to get on the iBookstore through Smashwords, but the Apple program will be designed to give authors...

Baen Webscriptions is now
January 4, 2012 | 7:36 pm

Baen has rebranded its Webscriptions program, changing the name of the site to, redesigning its look, and renaming the monthly e-book package program to “Monthly Baen Bundles”. All account information and previously purchased bundles will remain the same under the new site, though users who have set up their Kindles to receive e-books by e-mail will have to authorize a new email address. Sadly, with this change Baen is no longer providing OPDS catalog support for downloading e-books directly to Stanza. This is disappointing given that some people (such as me) don’t have iOS devices recent enough to...

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