Apple Adds Self-Published Books to iTunes

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The traditional book publishing industry is still coming to grips with the challenges presented by e-books and self publishing platforms. Now Apple is moving into the world of self publishing with
a new section in iTunes called Breakout Books.

“Find the next reading sensation with this hand-picked collection of books from emerging talents,” a note on the iTunes Books section reads. “All are independently published directly to the iBookstore and have earned high ratings from customers like you. Check back regularly – new titles are added as they begin taking off.”

One look at the new section quickly illustrates how the self-publishing market has matured, as all of the titles feature art and titles that rival the professionalism of the major traditional book publishers. Currently devoted primarily to fiction, the section is broken up into Romance, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Mysteries & Thrillers, and More to Explore.

A number of the e-books are free, while other range in price from $0.99 to $9.99.

While Amazon already promotes self-published authors via its Kindle Direct program, the launch of a self-published author section within Apple’s popular iOS ecosystem (iPhones, iPads, etc.) immediately offers emerging authors a higher profile on the leading mobile platform in the U.S.

Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords, a site that helps authors publish and distribute e-books, welcomed the iTunes development. “Although the iBookstore has always carried and supported self-published ebooks, [this] launch signifies an escalated commitment on the part of Apple, whose iBookstore currently sells books in 50 countries,” he wrote in a blog post. “In the process, Apple is helping to shape a brighter, more democratized future for book publishing. More writers will have the freedom to publish and more readers will have the freedom to discover and enjoy a greater diversity of high-quality books than ever before.”

By Adario Strange, PCMag


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