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Apple's January media event in NYC to reportedly focus on iBooks, publishing

post #1 of 32
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As reports have emerged of an Apple media event in New York City later this month, one insider has claimed that the event will feature industry-related announcements for publishers about the iBookstore platform.

TechCrunch reported on Monday that a source had independently confirmed plans for the end-of-January event, which was first noted by All Things D.

"According to the source the event will not involve any hardware at all and instead will focus on publishing and eBooks (sold through Apples iBooks platform) rather than iAds," report author Alexia Tsotsis wrote, adding that attendance would be "more publishing industry-oriented than consumer-focused."

The tipster also said Apple would take the wraps off of new improvements to its iBooks platform at the event, though the source described the announcement as not "major."

Given that the original report had claimed that Apple Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue will play a part in the event, speculation had arisen that the event would be related to either advertising or publishing.

Apple made minor improvements to the iBooks app last month with the release of version 1.5. The updated software added a night reading theme, full-screen mode and new fonts.



The Cupertino, Calif., company has faced an uphill climb against Amazon's Kindle platform, which got an early head start on ebook sales. Amazon revealed late last month that it sold "well over 1 million" Kindle devices each week throughout December. In addition, Christmas Day represented the biggest day ever for Kindle book downloads.

Last November, Amazon branched out from its e-ink-based e-readers to tackle Apple's iPad in the tablet market with the 7-inch Kindle Fire. Initial sales of the Fire will likely have propelled the device to take second place among tablets in the fourth quarter, behind only the iPad. However, Apple executives have said they are not worried about the Kindle Fire, as they believe it will actually drive customers to iOS in the long term.
post #2 of 32
Yawn.

Leave that to Amazon.com.
post #3 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Yawn. Leave that to Amazon.com.

The only thing that would make this worthy of an "event" is if Apple announced support from all publishers for DRM free ePubs in the iBooks store.

Otherwise I agree, Amazon.com remains the best place to purchase eBooks.
post #4 of 32
It's the inaugural public presentation of newly knighted Sir Jonathan Ive.

Would have been fun to watch Steve gently mock him about the new title.
post #5 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Yawn.

Leave that to Amazon.com.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

The only thing that would make this worthy of an "event" is if Apple announced support from all publishers for DRM free ePubs in the iBooks store.

Otherwise I agree, Amazon.com remains the best place to purchase eBooks.

Yeah, lets not sell content.

The real trick here would be to reduce the commission, the % taken per book. That could destroy Amazon. They also need more books.
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post #6 of 32
I'd love to see movies, short subjects, music, e-books and e-magazines go the route of apps, where anyone can become a content creator and seller directly through a next-gen iTunes (maybe it's time to rename it "iChannel" or something more akin to a market?).

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post #7 of 32
I've been working on an iBook, which leaves me wondering why there are so few titles that use all that it can do? Apple released Yellow Submarine (free), which shows its use as a children's book. Yet, it's amazing how rich you can make a textbook.

It's much more of a Safari web page archive than an ePub. There's access to Javascript, CSS animation, audio/video, read-along highlighting, document embedding, hyperlinks both to other pages and to resources on the web, fixed and dynamic formatting, font embedding.

Yet, nearly every title goes for the least common denominator.

The Kindle apps are downright ugly. It's "the text, nothing but the text." I prefer iBooks because the layout generally looks better and I keep hoping the publisher will take advantage of the platform.

Here's hoping the announcement is that Apple is adding even more features to iBooks and that publishers are committing to using said features.
post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twelve View Post

I've been working on an iBook, which leaves me wondering why there are so few titles that use all that it can do? Apple released Yellow Submarine (free), which shows its use as a children's book. Yet, it's amazing how rich you can make a textbook.

It's much more of a Safari web page archive than an ePub. There's access to Javascript, CSS animation, audio/video, read-along highlighting, document embedding, hyperlinks both to other pages and to resources on the web, fixed and dynamic formatting, font embedding.

Yet, nearly every title goes for the least common denominator.

The Kindle apps are downright ugly. It's "the text, nothing but the text." I prefer iBooks because the layout generally looks better and I keep hoping the publisher will take advantage of the platform.

Here's hoping the announcement is that Apple is adding even more features to iBooks and that publishers are committing to using said features.

I'm reading A New Kind of Science by Stephen Wolfram currently. This is sold as an application rather than ePub, no doubt due to the formatting control required by the publisher and perhaps its size of 1200 pages. However, one misses out on the reading modes provided by iBooks and other features. There is room therefore it seems, for great improvements that no doubt will come.

I have a short story on the iBookstore - good fun.

All the best (happy new year).
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post #9 of 32
I'll be thrilled if it means full ePub 3.0 support implemented. The HTML5/CSS3 support will make books far more interesting.
post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twelve View Post

I've been working on an iBook, which leaves me wondering why there are so few titles that use all that it can do? Apple released Yellow Submarine (free), which shows its use as a children's book. Yet, it's amazing how rich you can make a textbook.

It's much more of a Safari web page archive than an ePub. There's access to Javascript, CSS animation, audio/video, read-along highlighting, document embedding, hyperlinks both to other pages and to resources on the web, fixed and dynamic formatting, font embedding.

Yet, nearly every title goes for the least common denominator.

The Kindle apps are downright ugly. It's "the text, nothing but the text." I prefer iBooks because the layout generally looks better and I keep hoping the publisher will take advantage of the platform.

Here's hoping the announcement is that Apple is adding even more features to iBooks and that publishers are committing to using said features.

Publishers are just stripping out their proprietary tags, adding minimal ePub 2.x requirements and the quickly publishing their books to the iBookStore. As you note, to do it with real focus requires more time and perhaps they don't see the need for it.

They will, especially when it comes to Technical Books for the Hard Sciences, Mathematics, etc.

Not to mention advanced abilities for creative Endnotes, Footnotes, sidenotes, etc., with the use of javascript can make the experience more enriching, but only time will tell.

http://www.niso.org/home/

PDF explanation of ePub 3.0 for Publishing: http://www.niso.org/publications/isq..._isqv23no2.pdf
post #11 of 32
I would like them to increase their range of fiction books.
post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Publishers are just stripping out their proprietary tags, adding minimal ePub 2.x requirements and the quickly publishing their books to the iBookStore. As you note, to do it with real focus requires more time and perhaps they don't see the need for it.

They will, especially when it comes to Technical Books for the Hard Sciences, Mathematics, etc.

Not to mention advanced abilities for creative Endnotes, Footnotes, sidenotes, etc., with the use of javascript can make the experience more enriching, but only time will tell.

http://www.niso.org/home/

PDF explanation of ePub 3.0 for Publishing: http://www.niso.org/publications/isq..._isqv23no2.pdf

Thanks for the information and links.

All the best.
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post #13 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I'd love to see movies, short subjects, music, e-books and e-magazines go the route of apps, where anyone can become a content creator and seller directly through a next-gen iTunes (maybe it's time to rename it "iChannel" or something more akin to a market?).

^ This. This would be extraordinary. Apple could provide a platform for developers of creative content to share and sell their works. GREAT idea.
post #14 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I'd love to see movies, short subjects, music, e-books and e-magazines go the route of apps, where anyone can become a content creator and seller directly through a next-gen iTunes (maybe it's time to rename it "iChannel" or something more akin to a market?).

Quote:
Originally Posted by jakevin. View Post

^ This. This would be extraordinary. Apple could provide a platform for developers of creative content to share and sell their works. GREAT idea.

Hear hear!

Surely technical documents that currently require a distinct application present a significant opportunity (to which others have alluded).
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post #15 of 32
Any word yet on a date for the 2012 shareholders meeting?
post #16 of 32
Or perhaps just a reader app for OS X/Win...
post #17 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakevin. View Post

^ This. This would be extraordinary. Apple could provide a platform for developers of creative content to share and sell their works. GREAT idea.

Self publish that is. In fact I remember reading a news paper article recently about the success authors are having with self published works. As far as I know there are no obsticals in place to prevent creators from selling on iBook store.
post #18 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrtotes View Post

Or perhaps just a reader app for OS X/Win...

This is one big advantage amazon / kindle has over iBooks at the moment - desktop readers so you have far more choice about when / where you consume your books. This is especially true with their recent web based "cloud reader" which means you can log into your amazon account on pretty much any pc/mac/tablet anywhere in the world and pick up on your reading without even installing anything...

I've never understood why Apple let you download the books through iTunes on your Mac / PC but there is no way of then actually reading them without syncing to an iDevice...
post #19 of 32
Is it possible Apple could launch a low end iPad too? I doubt it personally but the sure fire way to compete at the low end would be just that, to compete at the low end.
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post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maecvs View Post

Any word yet on a date for the 2012 shareholders meeting?

I have it in my iCal for the 17th. But entered it along time ago...
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post #21 of 32
Awesome. I'm a fan of iBook. The more update the better.
post #22 of 32
Self-publishing would be great for many authors. It becomes difficult for consumers, though. How do they wade through the crappy content to find the good stuff?

As for obstacles in the way, the major one would be the publishing houses themselves. They don't look too kindly on self-publishing. They could pull their support of iBooks, or more likely start dragging heels and making things more difficult for Apple in their deal-making.

An interesting "one more thing", while usually hardware related, would be iBooks for the Mac.
post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveMcM76 View Post

This is one big advantage amazon / kindle has over iBooks at the moment - desktop readers so you have far more choice about when / where you consume your books. This is especially true with their recent web based "cloud reader" which means you can log into your amazon account on pretty much any pc/mac/tablet anywhere in the world and pick up on your reading without even installing anything...

Does anyone actually do that? It might be useful in the odd case when the Kindle/iPad runs out of juice; though I suspect the majority would wait until it had recharged.

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post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twelve View Post

I've been working on an iBook, which leaves me wondering why there are so few titles that use all that it can do?

1) More people buy print (still) than ebooks. That will change, but it hasn't yet.

2) Big publishers (with the resources to produce more-interactive ebooks) not yet fully on board re ebooks. (This will change as well.)

Meanwhile, there's an opportunity for the aggressive entrepreneur in this space.

Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

Yeah, lets not sell content.

Don't you think that ship has sailed? In fact, it's been to the moon and back. Where have you been?
post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

Yeah, lets not sell content.

The real trick here would be to reduce the commission, the % taken per book. That could destroy Amazon. They also need more books.

Yep. "We're going to reduce our commission from 30% to 20%" would do more to harm Amazon than anything that Apple could do with their iPad. Suddenly, Amazon would be unable to sell the Fire for $199 because media sales wouldn't be sufficient to subsidize it.

The loss in revenues would be too small to have much impact on Apple. And with the new data center in NC, their costs have probably dropped (since they're doing it themselves rather than paying someone), so it might not hurt Apple at all.
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Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #26 of 32
I'll be surprised if Apple attempts any changes to the "agency model" they arranged with the publishers. They're currently being investigated in both the US and Europe for uncompetitive practices/collusion regarding eBooks pricing.

I'd expect new features rather than pricing changes. Just another opinion of course, without anything to back it up.


EDIT: . . . unless they're abandoning agency pricing altogether.
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post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Yep. "We're going to reduce our commission from 30% to 20%" would do more to harm Amazon than anything that Apple could do with their iPad. Suddenly, Amazon would be unable to sell the Fire for $199 because media sales wouldn't be sufficient to subsidize it.

The loss in revenues would be too small to have much impact on Apple. And with the new data center in NC, their costs have probably dropped (since they're doing it themselves rather than paying someone), so it might not hurt Apple at all.

+1

Apple's margins are close to 40%. Amazon's margins are at 2-3%. Amazon subsidises a hardware device to sell content. Apple could subsidise content sales to sell hardware - at least for now.

As far as I can make out 2-3% of that profit is from the iTunes store/App store. About 1% or less is from eBooks, therefore. Why not run that at a loss?
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post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

+1

Apple's margins are close to 40%. Amazon's margins are at 2-3%. Amazon subsidises a hardware device to sell content. Apple could subsidise content sales to sell hardware - at least for now.

As far as I can make out 2-3% of that profit is from the iTunes store/App store. About 1% or less is from eBooks, therefore. Why not run that at a loss?

They can't really run it at a loss - that creates legal problems. They could, however, run it at break-even.
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post #29 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twelve View Post

I've been working on an iBook, which leaves me wondering why there are so few titles that use all that it can do? Apple released Yellow Submarine (free), which shows its use as a children's book. Yet, it's amazing how rich you can make a textbook.

It's much more of a Safari web page archive than an ePub. There's access to Javascript, CSS animation, audio/video, read-along highlighting, document embedding, hyperlinks both to other pages and to resources on the web, fixed and dynamic formatting, font embedding.

What authoring application are you using to create the enhanced iBook ePubs?

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post #30 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twelve View Post

It's much more of a Safari web page archive than an ePub. There's access to Javascript, CSS animation, audio/video, read-along highlighting, document embedding, hyperlinks both to other pages and to resources on the web, fixed and dynamic formatting, font embedding.

EPUB is actually just a collection of HTML pages with EPUB 3 being based on HTML5. In fact EPUB 3 could really be a great marketing tool for HTML5 when people can see how truly versatile the format is. :-)
post #31 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrtotes View Post

Or perhaps just a reader app for OS X/Win...

This put me off iBooks right away and now I use the Kindle apps which do a simple job well.

Apple seems only intermittently aware that they have an ecosystem. Every time they make an unnecessary distinction between OSX and iOS (and even iCloud), they break that. I often find myself thinking that I would give up ten fancy features in exchange for consistent access to my data.

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post #32 of 32
I have not been purchasing book on the store yet, mainly because I believe it not that much a thrill to really read more than a couple of pages on the iPhone, but I am interested what apple is going to present if they actually have a media event on this kind of stuff.
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