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Apple Now Rejecting eBooks Because of Links to Amazon

Did you hear about the latest nasty thing Apple was caught doing? Seth Godin is reporting on his blog that he won’t be able to sell his latest book in iBooks.

I just found out that Apple is rejecting my new manifesto Stop Stealing Dreams and won’t carry it in their store because inside the manifesto are links to buy the books I mention in the bibliography.

Quoting here from their note to me, rejecting the book: “Multiple links to Amazon store. IE page 35, David Weinberger link.”

So… when do we get to the news? You do realize that this is the same Apple who forced media companies (Amazon, Netflix, Pandora, et al) to remove ebookstores, website links, and other useful info from iOS apps, right?

Is anyone surprised that they rejected Seth Godin’s book?

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Evil Wylie February 29, 2012 um 3:01 pm

I’ve never heard of a traditional bookstore refusing to carry a title because of a note on the back that says "ebook also available," but this doesn’t surprise me. Godin’s shock is hilarious. He’s the one that signed an exclusive with Amazon (now expired); competition didn’t bother him then (i.e. Amazon’s refusal to let other ebookstores carry Amazon Publishing titles). Now, when it affects him…

Mark February 29, 2012 um 3:31 pm

Godin’s argument is essentially, "Companies have a right to do business however they want until they get too successful. Then, they don’t." I think Apple has a right to do this–it’s their store, after all–but if I were publishing a book, I’d simply not publish on iBooks. Certainly, I wouldn’t think I had a _right_ to sell via iBooks. Or Amazon. Or Nook.

All this stuff will work itself out. It’s just that in the middle of these sorts of transitions, people don’t always see it–I’m sure there were lots of people making buggies and whips who were upset when the automobile started destroying their industry. Some of them adjusted and went on to be successful in the automobile industry, some didn’t. It’ll be the same here–the more Apple and Amazon make it difficult to do business, the more opportunity there will be for someone else to come along and do things differently.

fjtorres February 29, 2012 um 4:18 pm

Not at all surprised.
Apple is entitled to filter out anything they want to filter out from their domain.
They own the hardware, they own the software, they own the content store, and they own the customers.
It’s all their property.
And there’s no reason they should share any of it.

Gary February 29, 2012 um 7:00 pm

If I owned a shop, I would be constantly meeting the sales representatives from various manufacturers, wholesalers and so on – and they all would want me to purchase their products for me to sell to my customers. For some, we’d write out an order, but some others would go away empty-handed. They’d certainly not all get orders. That’s the nature of the game.

All Godin (whoever he is) has done here is to make himself look a right pratt.

And what’s this talk about his *manifesto*? Right – he’s pretentious too.

Paul Salvette February 29, 2012 um 9:14 pm

Not a surprise at all. Smashwords has the same policy, probably due to pressure from Apple/Kobo/B&N, who they distribute to. Who will survive the eBook wars?

Ravi February 29, 2012 um 11:32 pm

It isn’t surprising, but that doesn’t mean it is acceptable.

Remember, Apple’s linking restrictions hit more than just URLs. They forbid Amazon, B&N, Kobo, et al from even mentioning their websites (since you can buy things at those sites that aren’t being made available through Apple’s In-App Purchase). If they applied their rules consistently (which they won’t of course), they’d ban books that just mentioned,,,, and so on. That would be fun to watch.

Ellen Hopkins March 3, 2012 um 9:08 pm

What’s good for the goose, etc. Amazon decided to ride roughshod over the industry, and now some companies are pushing back. As for authors that publish exclusively with Amazon, I think they’d do right by themselves to have those contracts vetted. And all authors should seriously consider HOW they publish rather than just running off TO publish, however they can.

David Bernheisel March 6, 2012 um 9:40 pm

I don’t think this is new. It’s always been like this since they launched. I guess someone made a big enough stink about it to be noticed.

Here’s Why iBooks Will Fail – The Digital Reader April 15, 2012 um 6:21 pm

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[…] This isn’t the first time that Apple has rejected apps or ebooks because they mention the competition, but it is the most baffling. In 2010 Apple banned a digital magazine because it covered Android, and in 2012 Apple also rejected ebooks which included links to the Kindle Store. […]

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