Apple Shifts Focus for iOS 9

Apple iOS 9 iBooks mobileOne of the biggest developments for ebook publishers when Apple launched iOS 8 last September was the company’s decision to bundle the update with its iBooks app.

At Digital Book World last month, iBooks Store Director Keith Moerer estimated 1 million new customers had flocked to iBooks each week between the iOS 8 rollout and the end of the holiday season.

Early reports suggest it’s unlikely the next version of Apple’s operating system will bring such noteworthy change to the ebook landscape.

While there are rumors of new music and TV streaming services on the horizon from Apple, the latest word is that iOS 9 will focus on smoothing out performance and stability issues instead of launching major new features.


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Amazon’s Competition in China Intensifies (Ink, Bits & Pixels)
Publishers and analysts have repeatedly emphasized the need to establish firmer roots in the fast-growing Chinese book market, especially as it’s being transformed by the surge in mobile users. Amazon’s toehold in China will soon face greater pressure from e-commerce rival Alibaba, which recently invested $590 million in the smartphone manufacturer Meizu.
Related: Mobile Boom Spurs Ebook Growth in China

Controversy Continues over Harper Lee Novel (Pub Lunch)
Some have questioned the circumstances surrounding the rediscovery of Go Set a Watchman, speculating whether the To Kill a Mockingbird author was taken advantage of in the process that secured her manuscript for publication later this year. Here’s what we know so far.

The Rise and Pitfalls of Fan Fiction in Publishing (The Daily Beast)
Ever since the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon, publishers have learned to see online fan fiction communities both as potential nurseries for future best-sellers as well as sounding boards for marketing new work. Yet copyright considerations still have many publishers treading carefully.

DRM-Free Publisher Unthreatened by Piracy (Pub Perspectives)
The movement within ebook publishing to do away with digital rights management systems has remained largely confined to genre fiction and independent publishers. Pressing its case, one DRM-free publisher says piracy sites post little threat to its business, in some cases even helping seed enthusiasm for key titles.

Test-Driving Zuckerberg’s Book Club (Mediashift)
In one reader’s account of participating in the inaugural weeks of Mark Zuckerberg’s new book club, some members are struggling to keep up with the pace and others are having difficulty procuring print copies or borrowing them from libraries in time. But the conversation shows promising signs of healthy debate.

On ‘Visual Novels’ and Other Digital Newcomers (Good E Reader)
Digital storytelling is sometimes evolving faster than readers or publishers can come up with terminology to describe it. Unlike enhanced ebooks but utilizing many of their features, what one industry watcher defines as “visual novels” draw heavily on digital comics popular in Japan. Production and distribution technologies could soon boost their popularity among English-language readers.

Lights out for Toronto Book Fair (PW)
The Toronto Book Fair won’t return for a second year despite drawing at least 20,000 attendees last November, with the event’s organizers saying they haven’t managed to secure enough support from exhibitors.

Two More Fifty Shades Movies Confirmed (Galleycat)
Just in case you had any doubt that all three installments in the series would be adapted for the big screen, the director confirms two follow-ups to next week’s Fifty Shades of Grey release are in the works. Two titles in the series found spots on the Digital Book World Ebook Best-Seller List last week.

Header image courtesy Dmitro2009 /


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