Publishing is living in a world not of its own making

A big ebook shoe dropped on Sunday. It dropped on Kobo first. And it has nothing to do with Borders.

Kobo just delivered a new iOS (that’s Apple’s operating system for iPad and iPhone) app that no longer contains the direct link to the Kobo bookstore within it. That means that buying new Kobo books requires going to through the browser (not hard, but additional steps) rather than from a single click from within the app.

Later news on this developing story is that the Google app has been “pulled” and that the Nook Children’s app no longer has a link to the store. We have to expect that the Kindle and main Nook apps will undergo the same change very shortly. That will mean that the simplest and most seamless way to buy and read ebooks on the iPad or iPhone will be through Apple’s iBookstore. It will almost certainly mean a growth in iBookstore market share at the expense of all the other ebook retailers. It will also almost certainly mean that a lot of people who read their ebooks on an iOS device (I’m one of them) and prefer to use any of the other ebook retailers (and I’m one of those too) will be inconvenienced and annoyed.

However, it is also true that Apple will benefit from this move that many of their customers will resent.

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