As a multinational corporation Apple is many things – a firm that designs and sells consumer electronics, software, personal computers and it’s the largest distributor of digital music. They are also a growing force in eBook sales though a recent action to ban a book due to its mention of Amazon reveals a astonishing degree of unprofessional behavior. It resulted in Doctorow pulling his own works from the iBookstore and for a content distributor their behavior is simply unfathomable .
It’s worth reading Doctorow’s full explanation in boingboing:
Author Holly Lisle has a series of online writing guides that she sells. One volume of this, “How To Think Sideways Lesson 6: How To Discover (Or Create) Your Story’s Market” was rejected by Apple’s iBooks store. At first, Apple told Lisle that she wasn’t allowed to have “live links” to Amazon in her books. So she removed the links and resubmitted the book, and then Apple rejected it again, telling her that they wouldn’t sell her book because it mentioned Amazon, a competitor of its iBooks store.
But I also will not deal with this sort of head-up-ass behavior from a distributor. You don’t tell someone “The problem is the live links,” and then, when that person has complied with your change request and removed the live links, turn around and say, “No, no. The problem is the CONTENT. You can’t mention Amazon in your lesson.
This is not professional behavior from a professional market.
And cold moment of truth here—you cannot write a writing course that includes information on publishing and self-publishing and NOT mention Amazon. It’s the place where your writers are going to make about 90% of their money.
So I’m pulling ALL my work from the iBookstore today. I apologize to iBookstore fans. I tried. Hard.
But I’m done.