Too Many Don’t ‘Get’ iBooks Author

I’m stumped as to why smart people like this, this and this are surprised that Apple delivered a high level tool to support Apple and have a EULA that says as much?

Apple is not Adobe, a company making generic authoring tools. Apple did not announce “iBooks/Android/EPUB3 Author“. If a content creator or publisher wants to create and ship a generic EPUB book — and have it delivered on multiple platforms — there are plenty of other tools to enable them to accomplish it.

With respect to the bullshit about Apple’s “walled garden” and how iBooks Author “locks in” people, I also push back on that too:

  • Did these same people notice that iOS development tools (i.e., XCode) won’t compile Android apps? Gee…wouldn’t that be nice if their great mobile tools enabled a code-once, deliver-anywhere scenario for app developers?
  • Did they notice a decade ago that iTunes wasn’t created to manage music for all MP3 players on the market?

Apple’s tools support their hardware…just like Amazon’s “near-forking” of Android does to optimize and position the Kindle Fire as a front-end to Amazon’s store (and I don’t hear any cries from these same people that they can’t buy from the iBooks store on their Kindles or Kindle Fire).

So to suggest Apple is somehow “locking in” publishers or subverting EPUB3 standards is ludicrous. One can still opt to use generic EPUB tools and publish everywhere, including the iBooks store, or use this optimized-for-iPad tool and publish to the overwhelmingly dominant tablet on the market.

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  1. PXLated on January 20, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Like you, I just don’t understand the sniveling at all.
    (The restriction is only for textbooks you want to sell)

  2. emcomments on February 9, 2012 at 5:45 pm


    As I understood it the major complaint about iBooks Author was that it unnecessarily tried to limit what you did with the “books” you produced using it (your first link). The original EULA referred [yes I have read it] to “All Works” and thus covered pdfs which could only be sold through the Apple market (which wasn’t going to sell pdfs) and anyway it was entirely up to Apple if they let you into the market.

    The argument, made by some people, that “the software is free so shut up” was somewhat specious as you had to have a Mac to use the software. It just came across as an unpleasant “land grab” and the stupidity of it was shown by the rapid change to the EULA. The “walled garden” thesis is more debatable but is certainly supported by Apples rather smug “Education Event” to launch it.

    As to: “Did they notice a decade ago that iTunes wasn’t created to manage music for all MP3 players on the market?” Well actually Soundjam (iTunes before it was bought and renamed) was designed for Diamond Rio audio players and was a fairly generic mp3 player.

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Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.