iBooks 2 and Apple education event: The other view

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    Apple’s iBooks 2 and Apple education event are hogging the limelight for days. Here is a different take on the issue

    At first I thought we should blame ourselves for getting our knickers all in a knot when the rumors started circulating that Steve Jobs’ deadly forces of disruption, honoring his dying wishes, had turned their sights on textbooks. But don’t we frighten easily!

    Then I felt angry at Apple.

    Long-time master manipulators of the press and of fan-boys worldwide, they could hardly expect calm when the only available reference point was Jobs’ Court Biographer reporting that textbooks were “the next business he wanted to transform. He believed it was an $8 billion a year industry ripe for digital destruction.” Come on Apple. Please don’t use the word “transform” interchangeably with “destruction”, follow that with a “no comment” for the press, and then blame us for speculating that the “big one” was going to detonate. And being disappointed when it did not.

    Out with a whimper, not with a bang. You can’t disrupt an $8 billion industry with eight multi-gigabyte e-textbooks and 20,000 assorted apps. The weapon of choice? A cobbled-together free software tool, iBooks Author, Mac-only, that makes authors sign away their publishing rights to Apple. And for distribution, let’s stick with the failing iBookstore. Education may well be “deep in Apple’s DNA,” but selling ebooks certainly is not.

    Read more on thefutureofpublishing.com