The news of Apple rebranding the iBooks Store to Apple Books, and preparing a fresh new entry in the digital publishing landscape, is welcome, says Bradley Metrock, CEO of Score Publishing.
“Apple's bookstore, much like many other parts of the company these days, has suffered from neglect,” he writes. “The store, as it is currently, evokes a vision of tumbleweed blowing through an empty desert: nobody's home, nobody cares, and it's quite clear there is no larger strategy present.”
Metrock says Apple’s digital book store needs to be re-engineered from the ground up. He recommends that:
- Deploy iBooks Author anew. iBooks Author lets you create iBooks textbooks (as well as other types of books) for the iPad and Mac.
- Leverage the success of Apple podcasts by intelligently detecting podcasts in which the author makes an appearance, and automatically provide links to those episodes. And the reverse should be true: Apple Podcasts featuring authors whose works are available in the Apple Books Store should provide links, intelligently and with no extra effort required by publishers, to purchase books from those authors right there within the Podcast app.
- The Apple Books Store needs to be as searchable as Amazon. Historically, the search function within the iBooks Store has been flat-out broken.
- The Apple Books Store should be a-political and needs to be cross-platform.
- Apple needs to align itself with a print partner so you can buy a book on Apple Books, and print a physical copy for a low price at a participating retailer. Books-A-Million has the Espresso Book Machine, which would be a perfect technology for something like this.