Writer Shoo Rayner: Why iBooks Will Fail

Writer and artist Shoo Rayner was so enthusiastic about iBooks Author that not only was he one of the first to do a book for it, he also did a YouTube video about creating it, which I embedded in a prior post.

Now reality has set in and having been exposed to The Apple Method, he has lost his enthusiasm for publishing another iBook again:

Let me yet again remind everyone of my bottom-line position: All current eBookstores suck and all of them should be platforms that people can tie into via APIs to sell on their own. They basically become malls where each of us rent (via transactional fees) our own space via APIs and do not have to answer to anyone about what the hell we are selling.

Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all the rest of them are fighting the disintermediation of themselves. But that’s as inevitable as all of the disintermediation they have done to others. Time for you lot to wake the hell up. There’s money to be made. More than you’ve been making — even though you will have to give up that outrageous thirty-percent cut you’ve been extracting from everybody you deem “worthy” of being included right now.

Previously here:

iBooks Author: Creating A Children’s Book
The Hulu For Books That Never Was

1 Comment

Filed under Digital Overthrow, Video, Writer

One response to “Writer Shoo Rayner: Why iBooks Will Fail

  1. Interesting. Having used KDP, PubIt, and Smashwords, I can see where he is coming from. Of course, I used an excellent conversion house to convert my Word documents into Kindle,epub, and Smashwords-required formats, so all three books loaded in those stores without problems, but it is interesting to compare experiences. Both PubIt and KDP were completely automated. I loaded the book and the cover file,which took only a few minutes, and then in about 12-24 hours, the book showed up for sale. I don’t know much about B&N but from everything I have read, Amazon’s QA process consists of waiting for people to complain about problems and then making the author/publisher fix them or take the book down.

    Smashwords was actually faster to load the book for sale, but they have an interesting way of dealing with the QA step. You can sell the book on Smashwords itself from Day 1, but it can’t get pushed out to iBooks and other vendors until it has been reviewed and approved for the “Premium Catalog.” Of course, in the self-publishing world, the QA step isn’t an assessment of the writing but of the formatting. The Smashwords reviewers don’t read the books, they flip through the “pages” and make sure there aren’t run-together words, garbage characters and the other sorts of problems that plague ebooks when folks throw content up there without knowing what they’re doing,

    I consider that the value of Smashwords is that they deal with Apple and other retailers for me. Once the book is in the premium catalog,there are a half dozen retailers you can push it to. iBooks and Sony are the biggest right now (at least in terms of MY sales), but the Baker & Taylor deal could be interesting in the future if Blio ever takes off (or if libraries become customers). If Smashwords ever follows through on accepting epub files, it could become a major route into iBooks. The only drawback to it now is the books don’t look that wonderful– no formatting errors, but no glitzy layout either.

    Actually, it seems to me that what this guy is saying isn’t that iBooks, will fail as a retailer, but that iBooks Author will fail as a platform to get into iBooks ebookstore. But thanks for posting it! It reinforced my decision to stick with Smashwords for getting into iBooks. .

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