Essential does iPad books
Apple’s sleek new iPad could change the way we consume media forever, and while the press has focused much of its attention on the device’s implications for newspapers and magazines, book publishers have also been chomping at the bit for a piece of the Apple action. Once dismissive of electronic books, the California company’s new iBooks store might just be the answer to the prayers of publishers everywhere.
As of a couple of weeks ago, anyone can upload books to iBookstore – which is good news for small publishers. Here at Essential, we’ve already added our first books to the system.
There are, of course, already plenty of places you can buy electronic books online, and a good selection of electronic readers on which to enjoy them – notably Amazon’s Kindle. Yet none of Apple’s competitors can quite match the glamour and hype that surrounds products like the iPhone and iPad, and the it’s the promise of simplifying the current rather confusing process of buying and using eBooks that makes Apple’s offering so interesting. As for actually producing e-books, Apple’s embracing of the ePub standard championed by the International Digital Publishing Forum is a welcome development. As we’ve been finding out, (60 eBooks and counting for start-up publisher White Crow) turning printed books into electronic books can be a pretty fraught process at the best of times, and the prevailing multitude of different file formats serves neither publishers nor readers effectively.
So it was with a sense of real excitement that we uploaded our first two books onto the iBooks store. They are The Mini: Celebrating 50 Years of a Modern Motoring Icon by Brian Laban (foreword by Jeremy Clarkson) and Dog Breeds: An essential eBook guide to choosing your perfect canine companion. If you’re lucky enough to have an iPad to hand (or, now, an iPhone running the new iOS4 software), you’ll find them in iBooks now – click here for the Dog Breeds, and here for the Mini.
We’ll be adding more new titles over the coming weeks, and we’re also exploring the possibilities of the iPad as a platform for illustrated eBooks. Watch this space!