UK iBooks - .errr... no thanks.

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Carniphage, May 28, 2010.

  1. Carniphage macrumors 68000

    Carniphage

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    Sheffield, England
    #1
    The promise of eBooks is twofold...

    An enormous library of books to choose from...
    ..and prices a bit cheaper than their physical equivalents.

    The UK iBooks store has gone online, but so far there is a double fail at work.

    I just searched for some writers.
    No Ray Bradbury or Robert Silverberg (looking to re-read stuff I read ages ago)
    How about something more modern?
    No Douglas Coupland, only one Iain Banks...
    Let's try William Gibson. Finally some books I know.

    This lack of content might be due to the newness of the store. Perhaps more publishers will appear soon.

    But the book publishing rights in the UK are held by different publishers, and my guess is that they are going to be slower to get their catalogues online. Ebooks are not that new, and the UK publishing industry seems to be very slow off the mark. They just about manage to release electronic versions of best-sellers but failing to go through their back catalogs.

    Amazon has a bigger single global store. And not different stores in each territory. It treats publishing as if the whole world was the USA. Even so, British writers like Iain Banks are far better represented in the Kindle store.

    So what about price?
    William Gibson's Pattern Recognition is £6.99 (UKP) in the iBook store.
    The same title in the Kindle store is $7.50 (USD) which is £5.22.

    That's a big difference.

    I am guessing that most people will not be wanting to have an electronic library split between incompatible apps. So anyone interested in reading on the iPad will be making their mind up soon about which service to use.

    Apart from the cuter presentation of the iBook app, I don't see why any reader would be drawn to the iBooks store at this time.

    C.
     
  2. One Love 1867 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Location:
    Sheffield, UK
    #2
    I'm pretty sure there are ways to strip the DRM from eBooks, if you were that way inclined..

    As for the actual iBooks store.. it's been live for a matter of hours.
     
  3. Elise macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    Location:
    London
    #3
    Give it a chance, yes the selection and cost is a lot to be desired but it's only be live for a relatively short period.
     
  4. PhantomZone macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2009
    #4
    The bookstore in general is nothing but a joke...

    checked out the UK one this morning and saw Frankie Boyles book for £9.99....

    You can buy the *actual* book from Amazon for £10.25 and for much much less third party! ( ROFL - in fact..the paperback is £3.99!!!! )

    The *digital* non interactive black and white book should be £4.99 at the very most....

    They really don't encourage you to be legit offering rip of pricing like that!

    It might be easy to use and admittedly I've bought a few books from the US store but seriously...who are they trying to kid?
     
  5. sandyjmacdonald macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    #5
    Even the US iBooks store doesn't have that great a selection. Pricing is much more reasonable though.

    I agree about the Kindle store. It seems much better to me, price-wise, and selection-wise. WhisperSync is great too. It's a shame there isn't a way to transfer books bought in the Kindle store to the iBooks app, as the iBooks interface is much nicer.
     
  6. WytRaven macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Location:
    Orbiting Mercury
    #6
    Hey at least you have something...

    AU store is just Winnie and guttenburg...awesome...not.

    Stupid AU publishers apparently just don't get :rolleyes:
     
  7. Dodgeroo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    #7
    Also www.feedbooks.com has a ton of free books in various formats that aren't on Gutenburg. You just download them as epub and sync via iTunes, they show up in iBooks. Just grabbed a load of Lovecraft books like that.
     
  8. billyjoegibsonx macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    #8
    Ibooks in the uk is quite boring atm, but im hopeful that apple will strike deals with publishers in the future! Keep in mind the ipad has only officially launched today!! Give it time!

    Jeezo i mind the days of having an ipod touch without the app store! Just give it some time :)
     
  9. THFourteen macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2010
    Location:
    London
    #9
    TBH i just use the kindle app, dont even have iBooks on my ipad.
     
  10. Carniphage thread starter macrumors 68000

    Carniphage

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    Sheffield, England
    #10
    Apple are a company that usually understands that you only get one chance to make a first impression.

    C.
     
  11. talkingfuture macrumors 65816

    talkingfuture

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    Location:
    The back of beyond.
    #11
    I think that much like the TV shows and films on iTunes it will take a lot longer for the rest of us to get the same variety of content as the americans because of all the complicated international deals to be done. Give it time.
     
  12. parish macrumors 65816

    parish

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    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    Wilts., UK
  13. gwynne macrumors 68000

    gwynne

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    #13
    Buy from amazon, remove DRM, convert to epub, drop in iBook. Solved.
     
  14. smiddlehurst macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    #14
    But this isn't about Apple, it's about the publishers. All Apple can do is provide the storefront and a platform with a wide audience and try to push the publishers to use it, ultimately the rest is down to the publishers to make content available, set prices that people will pay and so on.

    And, seriously folks, iBooks has only been available for two months in the US and a single day over here. A little bit of patience wouldn't go amiss here rather than instantly complaining. Oh, and as for the cost example listed above of iTunes UK v Amazon US, what's the tax situation on those prices? Because if the US one doesn't include tax but the UK one has VAT built in then it's £6.13 versus £6.99 which would be just about within the ballpark you'd expect for the UK (remember it does cost more to do business here, even when you're dealing with digital media).
     
  15. Bentron macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    #15
    Talk about overly dramatic! The store only updated overnight and for a while will be in a state of flux. Most informed people will know that. The store isn't the most important part of the iBooks app, that is the reading experience which for most has the 'Wow' factor. That is the first impression people will get.
     
  16. Carniphage thread starter macrumors 68000

    Carniphage

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    Sheffield, England
    #16
    Apple are launching a service to compete with Amazon. Both readers are on the iPad. UK Users can click either icon.
    Amazon chose to end run around local publisher nonsense by launching what is effectively a global store.

    And Amazons dollar prices have no VAT. There is no VAT on books.

    The iBook store only has a very short opportunity to put this right.

    C.
     
  17. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #17
    When even the American iTunes Music Store opened, the selection was very lame.

    Welcome to being an early adopter
     
  18. spammerhamster macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    #18
    if you know the kindle-version is cheaper, why not just get that one? You have a kindle app...
     
  19. steel magnolia macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    Location:
    South Florida/ N.C.
    #19
    Barnes and Nobles also has an app now for the iPad, at least in the US store, between Kindle app, B&N app, and iBooks I can find almost any book I need. I do wish iBooks would have a bigger selection but it is very young yet so will remain hopeful.

    Patty
     
  20. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Other
    #20
    Err its the same story for everywhere iBooks has launched. Not many authors and those that are there are slightly more expensive than Kindle.

    However there are two sides to every story in regards to Amazon Kindle too.

    If you use an American Address with your amazon account you will get Kindle United States books. Far more authors and much cheaper than if you use a European address in Kindle.

    So I actually search both iTunes Books / Kindle US / Kindle Europe to find the best deal.

    I do prefer the way iBooks looks and integrates with iTunes, but find I use kindle more regardless.
     
  21. Carniphage thread starter macrumors 68000

    Carniphage

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    Sheffield, England
    #21
    I don't a fancy reading application is enough. It has to be coupled with a bookstore that is the equivalent of the music store.

    The Kindle app on the iPad is very comparable, and it would only take a bit of programming for the Kindle application to offer a similar level of eye-candy.

    What everyone here seems to be saying is that if Apple brings in more publishers, then in a year or two the UK iBooks store might potentially have as many titles as the Kindle, and if we are very well behaved, the prices might eventually become comparable too.

    I'd describe those as two quite large "IF"s.

    Customers interested in reading their first e-books are probably not going to wait for several months before making their first purchases. They might want to buy an ebook tonight. And if they are rational, they would not buy from iBooks.

    And once you have spent a hundred quid or more on Kindle books, you will inevitably become invested.

    I am aware that this situation it is not Apple's fault. It is the fault of asinine British and European publishers. But the best possible way of letting them know is to vote with our wallets.

    C.
     
  22. sandyjmacdonald macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    #22
    Can you explain how to do this, or point me to a website that does? I spent 20 mins searching for ways to do it, and it seems that there is no easy way to convert the .azw files to .mobi files (which can then be converted to epub), without using some kind of command line program.

    Having two or three different ebook apps just seems silly. I have iBooks, Kindle and Kobo, and I believe B&N have just brought one out too.
     
  23. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Other
    #23
    Please Post a link to how to do this. I searched google but the process seemed convoluted.
     
  24. talkingfuture macrumors 65816

    talkingfuture

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    Location:
    The back of beyond.
    #24
    Seems like the selection is growing all the time. I found plenty of books that I would like to read. I suppose selection will depend on your personal tastes though.
     
  25. willcodejavafor macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2007
    #25
    Really disappointed by iBooks and the pricing. Paperbacks are so much cheaper :)
     

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