Dear Authors, Your Next Book Shouldn’t be an App
There was another editorial on TechCrunch yesterday, and the author (like Paul Carr) has been caught up in the iPad hype.
If you, as an author, see the iPad as a place to ‘publish’ your next book, you are completely missing the point. What do you think would have happened if George Orwell had the iPad? Do you think he would have written for print then copy and pasted his story into the iBookstore? If this didn’t work out well, do you think he would have complained that there aren’t any serious-readers anymore? No. He would have looked at the medium, then blown our minds.
Needless to say, I think she’s wrong. Whatever you spend to make that app will be spent in a small, highly competitive market. There are 4 billion apps in iTunes right now. What makes you think your app will stand out, or that you’ll make a return on the investment? BTW, most of the material created to enhance the ebook cannot be sold elsewhere; there is no other market. (Okay, you could post the content on a website, but wouldn’t that undercut the app sales?)