Memoir Book Marketing: Will Apple Make a Difference?

by Matilda Butler on January 20, 2012

Book Business PaperclipPost #86 – Women’s Memoirs, Book Business – Kendra Bonnett and Matilda Butler

Book Publishing and Marketing May Be Influenced by Apple

Apple changed the music industry. Might it have its sights on the publishing industry? In what ways will Apple facilitate authors who want to get digital versions of their books into the hands (well, onto the tablets) of readers?

As I am writing this post, Apple is getting ready for a major announcement at its Apple Education Event in New York City. By the time you read this post, the event will have already taken place. Be sure to check for what actually took place.

However, I thought this article on Apple and publishing will give you some background that may help you look at the bigger picture.

We all know that publishers are struggling to find the right mix in their business. In a future blog, we’ll look more closely at the changes in the publishing industry. For today, we just want to alert you to pay attention to Apple’s moves. It is likely that at first, Apple with align itself with the textbook industry. Almost from the start, Apple saw the importance of the education market. It looks like that was a smart move and one that will enable it to become a major player in ebook (ibook) publishing.

In the not too distant future, we can expect more tools as well as services. Right now going from a print book, especially one with graphics, to an ebook (e.g. for the Kindle) is not a “press the button” task. If it were easier to have text, images, audios, and even videos all integrated, we would see some exciting books. Even something that ought to be simple — images with text that wraps around — is currently difficult to do. And how about linkable tables of content? All the things that we want are hard to accomplish. Let’s hope that Apple has some good solutions up their sleeves.

storytelling, memoir, memoir writing, storytelling and leadership











{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Jamuna Advani January 20, 2012 at

Hi Kendra,
Thank you for posting this information. I am looking forward to it.

Kendra Bonnett January 21, 2012 at

Here’s a link to a video of the press event in New York City. It’s an hour long and, I believe, well worth watching: http://events.apple.com.edgesuite.net/1201oihbafvpihboijhpihbasdouhbasv/event/index.html

As usual, Apple dazzles. The iBooks 2 textbooks are stunning, interactive and include powerful study tools. While Apple already has several stellar partners from the world of education and textbook publishing, I don’t think this will kill the textbook overnight. There’s just too much invested in the traditional textbook–both by publishers and schools/educators. For one thing, the cost of an iBook is around $14. I expect this will ultimately have an effect on the textbook industry similar to Amazon’s decision to make $9.99 a standard in ebook pricing. It changes the model.

As I watched the video (link above), I kept saying to myself over and over, “Game changer.” As impressive as iBooks 2 and the revamped iTune U are, it was iBooks Author that captured my attention. For anyone who has ventured into the world ebooks and tried to turn her print book into a Kindle version, you know that it’s not as simple as converting a doc file into a PDF. And that’s assuming you want to restrict your books to straight text without a lot of graphics, sidebars and boxes. Well iBooks Author appears to be about as easy as using Word or Adobe Creative Suite. If this tool works as well as Apple claims (and based on experience I expect it will–even if the first version has a few bugs and problems) then we have our first-ever WYSIWYG ebooks publishing tool.

Apple is making this iBooks Author available at no charge. Now there is one caveat, and it has a lot of people carping. If you use iBooks Author, you are restricted to publishing your book (textbook or otherwise) through Apple’s iTunes. It’s a master stroke on their part, and I’m okay with that. They have just resolved a major hurdle for ebook authors, and I think they deserve to reap the benefits. I also expect that Amazon will soon have something similar…no grass under their feet. And that’s a win-win for us all.

Matilda Butler January 21, 2012 at

Kendra:

Thanks for the comment and for adding the link. I hope all of our readers watch the video. I watched it yesterday — it’s about an hour. As the iBook textbook was demonstrated, I kept thinking: “Well sure you could create that. You have a huge staff and almost unlimited resources.” Then Apple unveiled and demonstrated iBooks Author. Suddenly, I knew that I could finally create eBooks that I’d be proud to market.

Kendra, I agree. This is definitely a game changer.

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