iBooks should increase its content

Discussion in 'iPad' started by holyjohn, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. holyjohn macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #1
    I was shocked (yes shocked!) to see that books differ by different countries' account. Currently I reside in Canada and have both US and Canadian account. Just found that I cannot buy a US iBook store book because I do not have a US credit card. Is it because of the copyright or publishing policy? Is there any ways I can buy a US iBook store book? :confused:
     
  2. 3lionsbecks Suspended

    3lionsbecks

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2010
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #2
    I totally agree. iBooks for canada is very poor. plus the books they do have are generally $2 or $3 cheaper on amazon for the Kindle app. iBooks has a nicer user-interface than the kindle app but i've bought 4 books already from amazon and 0 from ibooks.

    I hope this changes very soon.
     
  3. poloponies macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    #3
    Apple would love to get every last penny out of your pocket so you can be sure that they aren't the bottleneck. Blame the publishers. And, yes, publishing rights are location-specific.
     
  4. aimee25 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2010
    #4
    You think that's bad? The australian store has been up for months now and still we only have free books. It's useless.:(
     
  5. holyjohn thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #5
    Sorry to hear that :(

    I hope all major publishers would find iBooks as a golden market and put more books there regardless of countries...! This is not as splendid as what Steve Jobs boasted about iBooks!!
     
  6. ginguar macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #6
    if you have itunes credit can you buy books with that? i'm guessing thats how kids get round the credit card thing, if so i'll get some prepay itunes cards next time i'm in the US to get books not currently avaliable in the UK.
     
  7. JulianL macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    London, UK
    #7
    Yes, it's because publishers might only have rights to a given title in specific countries so Apple might have a deal with <Publisher-X> in the US and that publisher has the rights to <Book-Y> in the US so you get <Book-Y> on the US iBook store but in Canada the rights for <Book-Y> have been sold to another publisher (<Publisher-Z>) so unless Apple negotiate a deal with <Publisher-Z> in Canada then you won't get <Book-Y> on the Canadian iBook store. That's also why Apple try really hard to stop you buying <Book-Y> from the US iBook store because, by <Publisher-X> delivering the book to a Canadian customer, they have breached their agreement with the author of <Book-Y> who only licensed them the rights to sell the book for delivery in the US.

    It really does suck. I've been reading ebooks for 11 years and, because I started on Palm devices, I've bought most of my content from Fictionwise (now part of Barnes & Noble). The situation there has got worse and worse with more and more of their titles being US only so I've jumped ship. I could have gone to Kindle because that definitely has the biggest range of books in the UK right now but I've taken a leap of faith and decided to run with Apple for a while. I'm really hoping that Apple are a big enough company, with enough of their revenue from non-US markets, that they will take the international view and make the effort to sign up non-US rights holders whereas someone like Barnes & Noble just don't seem to be bothered.

    Apple's huge resources and their existing experience with iTunes must put them in a good position since populating the iTunes store is all about signing up with the rights holders for copyrighted material on an international basis and they've shown themselves to be pretty good at that when the source material is music so I'm hoping that they can transfer their expertise to eBooks.

    Right now the end result is poor, the iBooks store in the UK has pretty limited content compared to Kindle, but it's only been live for just over 2 months in the UK and only about 3.5 months in the US whereas Kindle is almost 3 years old in the US and 9 months old in the UK (I think) so I'm willing to give Apple a bit more time to sign up content. I'll start judging them seriously at the end of this year.

    - Julian
     
  8. holyjohn thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #8
    That's a good idea. I totally forgot to buy iTunes card when I was in US a month ago :(
     
  9. holyjohn thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #9
    Thanks for your story...! Now I understand why books are not published universally between countries. Unless Apple steps in to make more efforts in iBooks, it's going to stay this way!
     
  10. sapporobaby macrumors 68000

    sapporobaby

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    Location:
    3 earth minutes from your location....
    #10
    An even easier way is to simply create a gmail or hotmail or whatever-mail account with a US zip code. If you have some friends in the US, they can gift content, games, songs, movies, tv shows, etc... to you and you in turn simply have to pay your friends. I've been doing this for my friends with iPads that live outside of the US. It is much easier than getting gift cards I think.
     
  11. Crosbie macrumors 6502a

    Crosbie

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Location:
    Brighton, UK
    #11
    Yes, the UK store is going quite badly. Books are overpriced and fragmented in availability.

    The upshot is that the top ten is a handful of books under £5 - which should be a hint to publishers about their pricing policies - and increasingly dominated by very cheap (£1 or £2) erotica. With lurid covers. Hmmm, not quite what Steve had in mind...

    Much as I prefer iBooks as an app, the only books I've chosen because I want to read them per se, rather than seeking digital content to try out, have been on Amazon's Kindle app.

    Perhaps that's a result of seeing them whilst looking on Amazon for hard copies anyway. But I've got them because they're cheaper than getting an Amazon paperback delivered: as all ebooks should be.
     
  12. nwcs macrumors 65816

    nwcs

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2009
    Location:
    Tennessee
    #12
    The store here in the US is meagre but my biggest complaint about the ibookstore is that it's very hard to find what I'm looking for. They really need to allow for more categorization and easier ways to find it. There are a lot of things that can only be found by searching and knowing what you're looking for.
     
  13. JulianL macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    London, UK
    #13
    You (and Crosbie who posted before you) are so right. Apple are going to need to up their game. Amazon have got the buying experience very finely tuned (I speak mostly of my visits to the regular Amazon store, I haven't browsed The Kindle store that much).

    Apple's limitations vs. Kindle start even before you get into the store. That's the point, you can't get into the Apple store without owning an iDevice whereas anyone can browse the Kindle store. It's crazy; it's like having two competing department stores where one has boarded up it's windows and charges a fee for getting in whereas the other has enticing window displays.

    Once you do get in then I agree, the browsing experience is horrible; there's no access to things like "people buying this also bought" or "most highly rated" or pretty much any decent browsing apart from ploughing through pages and pages of books.

    The trouble is that I really do like the iBooks app. I've converted quite a few unread books over from my old Fictionwise library and I do try to throw in a classic (hence available from Guttenberg) about every third book I read so I think I have content for the rest of this year but if the truth be known I am quite uncertain as to whether Apple will turn the corner.

    Of course when you get to the iTunes level of coverage then just searching for stuff tends to be fine, browsing isn't really that much of an issue. The default assumption is that what you want will be there so you just search for it and then buy it. You can also use the mirriad other sites and apps to find related music that you might like. It's exactly when the range on offer is small that good browsing tools are a must in order to find something that might be interesting rather than a specific title.

    - Julian
     
  14. 3lionsbecks Suspended

    3lionsbecks

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2010
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #14

    I get the issue with publisher agreements in different countries that makes sense. My issue is with Apple and why they don't have the agreements set up already. I doubt that it is too difficult for Apple to get agreements set up in Canada if they could do it in the USA.

    obviously it isn't impossible since Amazon has already done it and they have a great selection of books available to both the US and Canada. I just hope that Apple gets it together soon. I don't really like the idea that with Amazon I don't really have a copy of the book on my computer like I would with iBook.
     
  15. JulianL macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    London, UK
    #15
    I think that it's down to time, resources and corporate focus. Barnes & Noble/Fictionwise hardly seem to have bothered about international rights at all after about a decade in the business so they're a write-off in my opinion. Amazon have had Kindle running in the US for almost 3 years now so you would expect their publisher sign-up team to be fully resourced, getting pretty slick at doing this, and have essentially declared "mission accomplished" in the US so able to devote significant resource to international capture. Apple are new to the game and, despite its size and global notoriety, still exhibits some of the US-centric mentality common in many US companies (in my opinion) so I suspect that they're still building the teams responsible for signing up publishers and (a) have limited capacity in terms of how many publishers they can be negotiating with at any given time, and (b) are concentrating what resources they have disproportionately on the US publishers that they want. Apple are trying to establish their iBooks store from scratch and on a worldwide basis from the start. At least Kindle had a significant period to nail the US rights prior to international rollout.

    I'm also not convinced that it is as easy to get these agreements as you think although this is based on my experience of negotiationg agreements in the IT world and not the publishing world. If it's just a case of Apple presenting a completely standard agreement and saying "sign here" then that probably accounts for some delay with publishers saying no because there are clauses they don't like. If Apple are taking the more sensible approach and agreeing to negotiate specific clauses (as an early stage in the process some of the issues being picked up could essentially be bugs in Apple's standard agreements that need fixing) then those negotiations can be protracted. I've had many cases in my career where I've had two stubborn legal departments (one being mine) lock horns over an initial 2 page NDA for weeks before we could even get to beginning to negotiate the real multi-million dollar agreement we were trying to get to.

    - Julian
     
  16. ginguar macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #16
    Just a quick followup, I have just purchased books from the US store using my US iTunes account and a prepay card I bought on eBay, works a treat.
     
  17. JulianL macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    London, UK
    #17
    Thanks for the update. I'd be most grateful if you could fill in a few more details if you have the time, in particular:

    1) Do you need to register again for the US account using a fake US address or can you set up an account on the US store with a UK address? Do you then make sure to not enter a credit card so that the system doesn't see a UK billing address (which I guess is the one it really cares about)?

    2) Would I be right in assuming that the iTunes card you bought off eBay must be a US dollar one so that your US account will accept it for redemption?

    3) How does iTunes handle having multiple countries? Are they all tied to the same Apple ID so purchases from across both the UK and US stores show up in all the lists of your purchased stuff in iTunes and, once it's synced to your device, whether it came from the US or the UK is invisible?

    I just tried going to the iBooks store on my iPhone and, even though I don't have a US account, I went to view my account and hit the "Change Country" button but iBooks immediately told me that I couldn't change country because I have unused credit on my UK account. Are you now trapped into using the US store and not being able to change back to the UK until you run your credit down to zero? Are app purchases also locked to needing a US credit card or can you run your credit to zero by buying apps from the US store and paying the balance using your existing UK credit card? If not then it seems to me that you're stuck on the US store now until you can find something to buy that exactly uses up your outstanding credit.

    Sorry for all the questions but the devil is in the detail. I have almost £100 credit on my UK account so it'll be a while before I'll be allowed to change store so I can't experiment myself at the moment.

    - Julian
     
  18. ginguar macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #18
    Thanks for the update. I'd be most grateful if you could fill in a few more details if you have the time, in particular:

    1) Do you need to register again for the US account using a fake US address or can you set up an account on the US store with a UK address? Do you then make sure to not enter a credit card so that the system doesn't see a UK billing address (which I guess is the one it really cares about)?

    - I had to create a separate iTunes account, you need to log out of your current account and set up new, I think there were details on the forums here on how to set up an account without credit card details, I set this up intially on my laptop, you did need a US address but I just used my works office address in California, if you can set up an account without credit card this works.

    2) Would I be right in assuming that the iTunes card you bought off eBay must be a US dollar one so that your US account will accept it for redemption?

    - Yep I picked up a $50 iTunes card for $57 which given the savings I'm making in the cost of books is worth it.

    3) How does iTunes handle having multiple countries? Are they all tied to the same Apple ID so purchases from across both the UK and US stores show up in all the lists of your purchased stuff in iTunes and, once it's synced to your device, whether it came from the US or the UK is invisible?

    - Basically all I do is log out of one account on the idevice and log in using the other account which gives you access to that store (you'll need separate email addresses for the various accounts), only thing so far I haven't yet found a solution for is books purchased on US iTunes to sync between my iPhone and iPad when I'm logged back into my default UK account. I can have the books on both using the method above but they syncing of position seems to only work through the iTunes it was bought from.


    Sorry for all the questions but the devil is in the detail. I have almost £100 credit on my UK account so it'll be a while before I'll be allowed to change store so I can't experiment myself at the moment.

    - No prob, I now have $25 left on the US account which is still there when I log into that account, so if you can set up accounts with US iTunes without needing credit card details you should be fine, I'll look and see if I can find those details.

    Update: do a search in the forums for iTunes setup without credit card, there are plenty of posts on this.
     
  19. holyjohn thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #19
    I just purchased a US iTunes card via eBay.

    After the purchase thru PayPal, I sent a message to the seller if he can just let me know the Redeem code rather than sending me the iTunes card all the way. He gladly replied me with iTunes Code and I redeemed. Everyone is happy :)
     
  20. wyneken macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Location:
    The great State of Maine
    #20
    I think you're exactly right.

    Amen.

    It is probably difficult for most people living in the 21st century to imagine, let alone believe, the glacial slowness with which things "happen" (if that is the verb we're looking for) in the publishing industry. I can only speak from my experience in the US over the past 30 years, though nothing I've seen leads me to think it's different anywhere else. My own publisher, for example, has thus far not deigned to acknowledge the existence of the iBookstore.

    I suspect that more and more authors will just start publishing their work directly into the digital domain. I'm seriously thinking about this myself, though I've always steered away from any kind of self-publishing until now.
     
  21. 3lionsbecks Suspended

    3lionsbecks

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2010
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #21
    I'm sure it isn't as easy as I'd like to imagine....its just that right now the only real option for Canadian users is to go with the Amazon Kindle store. That doesn't seem like its in Apple's best interest nor mine as a customer. That being said....the titles that are available in both iBooks and KindleStore are about $3-$4 cheaper on Amazon so maybe I wouldn't even use iBooks if it were available.
     
  22. holyjohn thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #22
    Although it's true that Amazon's KindleStore is ~$3 or $4 cheaper than books in iBooks, I wouldn't mind the current pricing of iBooks content IF ONLY iBooks content is much more diverse and voluminous compared to KindleStore.

    But currently iBooks is simply horrible in terms of meager volumes of books and much disparity between each country's account.
     
  23. mixvio macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #23
    Although I live in Sydney, I'm from the US originally and I thought it would be prudent to continue to maintain my US credit card and bank account even after I left Australia. The number of times I've wanted to buy something but was blocked by some sort of regional issue would've driven me crazy if I didn't have a backup.

    I already had a mail forwarding address, so it's worked out in the end. The Kindle and iBooks store for Australia is pretty crap, but Kindle especially is pretty decent if you're buying things in the US. Thankfully you just need a US card and you can download them wherever (same with iTunes).

    I bought a book on the Barnes & Noble store because it wasn't available on the Kindle one, only to be prevented from downloading it because apparently they only let you download books if you're physically *inside* the US. It was absolutely asinine, but thankfully I have a VPN on my iPad. I'll never download anything else from them again if I can help it though.
     
  24. JulianL macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    London, UK
    #24
    Thanks for all the additional details Ginguar, it's much appreciated.

    - Julian
     
  25. h00ligan macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    A hot desert
    #25
    +100% this is where ebooks fail. If there is a paperback available the ebook should cost less. iBooks is extremely anemic compared to amazon.
     

Share This Page