Tuesday, October 24, 2017

iBooks Author Conference Highlights Ecosystem Worries

Josh Centers:

Authors who choose iBooks Author do so because it’s free and it’s flexible, but the other reason I heard repeatedly was that it’s the “best in class.” iBooks Author can do things that no other publishing tool can do, making it easy to create multi-touch, multimedia-intensive experiences. Metrock said he is asked once a week about a Windows equivalent of iBooks Author. “It doesn’t exist,” he says.


That might sound like a ticket to publishing fortune, but it’s sadly not the case. iBooks Author users aren’t in it for the money. Denise Clifton of Tandemvines Publishing, who worked on the investigative reporting book “An Air That Still Kills,” said that the iBooks Author version was the best and most advanced, but sold fewer copies than any other.


It’s no secret that Apple doesn’t pay much attention to iBooks Author. All you have to do is look at Apple’s own page for it, which brags that it “has been beautifully redesigned for OS X Yosemite.” Welcome to 2014! iBooks and the iBooks Store haven’t fared any better.

So iBooks Author falls into a strange hole where it’s a powerful, unique tool, but its creator seems to have no interest in its survival. How did we get here, and why hasn’t Apple just pulled the plug?

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At first glance (and particularly the penultimate sentence in your excerpt), this reminds me a bit of things I used to read a decade or so ago about Adobe’s FrameMaker….

"How did we get here, and why hasn’t Apple just pulled the plug?"

It's partially answered in the article: the antitrust trial.

There's also the fact that as far as I know, Apple lost its bet with iPad in Education. iBooks Author was introduced as the tool to revolutionize school books and iPad was the medium.

I don't remember Tim Cook patting himself on the back regarding this matter.

From the last report I've read, Apple was still losing market shares in K-12 and enriched digital school books are not a thing.

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