Monday, February 15, 2016

February 2016: Author to Author: We Need To Talk About Apple iBooks

Author to Author: We Need To Talk About Apple iBooks

Why can't iBooks embrace rational consistency?

You've heard of iBooks of course. iTunes was the start of a closed marketplace aimed directly at Apple product owners, and both iBooks and iTunes have the distinct benefit of being tightly bundled with the 231 million iPhones sold since 2007. In terms of customer marketplace, this makes iTunes and iBooks a very lucrative market opportunity.


So I expect some hassles. When you're dealing with a gorilla who can convince people to pay $700 for a smartphone that costs $250 to manufacture, it's going to be all about profit for them. Apple isn't evil, but they want their devices - iPads, MacBooks, iPhones - to be ubiquitous and in the hands of every age group. Adult erotic content is going to have some bumps along the way.


But it's February now, and someone at iBooks unpublished all our Smashwords distributed titles back in November 2015. The reason? "Max" is not an acceptable first name and last name combination.


They're surely going to remove Sophocles next, and, without Oedipus Rex, I fear their whole collection of Greek sagas will be tarnished!


Inconsistency costs time and money

It's a bit shocking that our titles were on Apple for years before they noticed the author's name is Max! Apple has had a long track record of irrational responses to Cherish Desire titles, but we were in a good place - a comfortable detente - for most of 2014 and 2015.


Some titles were removed for questionable reasons. A cover that apparently offended a censor. A story title that must have been alarming. I'd get little love notes from Apple via Smashwords that just said a title was Inappropriate. Sometimes later revised editions were accepted, other times they weren't. It was fairly random.


Then Apple iBooks took down "Free Orgasms, Volume 1". I don't recall the reason, but it was most likely Inappropriate. This was right after the title started to get traction, so I 'm guessing that someone didn't read the description, thought "Free Orgasms" was a sportsball scores reference, and then complained.


And I get it. As a retailer, Apple iBooks retains the right to decide what they stock and sell. They aren't obliged to carry any titles at all. It's just an insanely irrational approach to doing business. We're in the catalog for 18 months and then vanished without any warning. That's how links get broken, and I don't like broken links.


The next block of books that didn't pass the censors' opaque requirements were also free books. The entire Free Erotica Series was blocked by Apple iBooks. The reason given? They had Free in the title.


Can you imagine how many movies, albums, and books would have to be removed if the word Free in the title was verboten? And poor Joe Blow is going to take it horribly if they delete his "How to Be Free" book!


What's going on Apple iBooks? If you want to define a standard then stand by it. Wasting my time, the nice folks over at Smashwords' time, and your time is a tragedy. This is a business, and it shouldn't be your first rodeo, Apple.


Bottom line, inconsistency at Apple costs all of us time and money. I've stripped all iBooks links out of the catalog. Smashwords is supposedly reaching out to ask what is going on. If you are a dedicated iPad or iPhone user that is tightly wedded to the iBooks store, all I can recommend is that you buy the same edition of the book from Smashwords directly.


Heck, go straight to Smashwords today, set up your account, and download "Free Orgasms, Volume 1" for free.


You got this! Apparently Apple doesn't.


Thank you for your support.

Cherish Desire Erotica

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