Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Apple's iBook Not So Useful After All

Apple is now the world's most profitable company, with a net worth that makes it more valuable than the country of Greece, but that doesn't seem to be enough for them. They want more.

Apple was once known as the underdog; a computer company the 'average joe' could use to thwart the designs of mega-corporations who wanted to bend the will of every person alive to their own evil ends.
Only now Apple is a mega-corporation, trying to bend everyone to their will, which means buying their hardware to run their software and selling anything you might create with either of those things only to them.

Apple makes cool looking computers and nifty devices, but no more nifty than the devices made by other companies. Apple products are also more expensive, by far, than alternative devices which do much the same thing. And, since Apple has become the King of Everything Proprietary, after you buy their overpriced hardware you are stuck buying their overpriced software and digital media as well.

So when Apple announced last week they were rolling out a new iPad tool for creating digital books, called iBooks, I immediately started looking at how they planned to trap users into buying and selling and dealing only with them.

I didn't have to look too hard.

With iBooks, if you create an eBook on your iPad be prepared to upload it to the Apple iBooks store. Only. It is not compatible with Amazon or Barnes and Noble or any of the dozens of other eBook publishers out there.

This is great news for Apple which is obviously trying to corner the market on publishing eBooks, but it's terrible news for people who want to maximize exposure for their eBook.

Sure, the iBook software lets you add lots of bells and whistles to your eBook, but what good is all that if the marketplace is limited? And if you created the eBook, why can't you take it and sell it wherever you wish without some sort of software work-around that lets you do so?

I am a fan of writers because I am one. I recommend that before anyone go out and buy the iBook publishing software, they finish their book on a cheap-o desktop, save the file as a PDF and upload it to Amazon. You are no more or less likely to sell more books there than any place else, and at least this way you won't be hamstrung by a mega-corporation seemingly hell-bent on owning or at least controlling everything their customers create with their tools.

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