Category Archives: App Store

The eBook Buyer’s Bill of Rights

This was inspired by a big bunch of Samples I downloaded from Amazon’s Kindle Store. These are not specific to Kindle format. All eBook formats suffer.

People like lists of ten. I have nine here as a work-in-progress minimum.

1) You have the right to a proper cover.
a) The cover should be the same as on the current printed edition.
b) The cover should be large enough to fill at minimum a five-inch screen.
c) A thumbnail of the cover shown for sales or library software purposes should be the same cover as in the eBook.

2) You have the right to a Table of Contents (TOC).
a) The TOC should have links to the matter inside the book so you can jump to each part.

3) You have the right to proper formatting by default.
a) Formatting should mirror a proper printed book.
b) Paragraphs should have indents without spaces between paragraphs.
c) Only after such proper default formatting should a reader be able to mix things up via a device’s software settings (typesize, spacing, margins — in other words, reflow overrides).

4) You have the right to highlight passages.
a) Sharing highlighted passages should be optional, opt-in, and protect privacy.

5) You have the right to set Bookmarks.
a) As many as you damn well want!

6) You have the right to Copy passages.
a) Copyright holders have the right to restrict this to one paragraph at a time to make piracy too time-consuming.

7) You have the right to legible illustrations.
a) They should be zoomable or several sizes should be available via linking.

8) You have the right to proofreading.
a) Any eBook with more than ten typos should be refundable as defective.

9) You have the right not to be assaulted by screens of blurbs when starting a book.
a) Blurbs are unnecessary in eBooks — they’ve already been bought!

A $449.99 iPhone App For $1.99?

From time to time — OK, when I’m bored — I go through the TwitPic Public Timeline. It’s really fascinating.

Today I came across this:

There’s a “funny videos” app for iPhone that costs $449?? What the hell?

So I went to iTunes, searched for “iFunny” and found this:

So, which is correct? And is the non-sale price really $449.99?

ePub Books On webOS

Oh, this is totally off-topic. But my allegiance is not to Apple. It’s to writers (see this post).

Ibis Reader enables non-DRMed ePub eBooks to be read on any device that has a web browser.

After the break, see what it looks like running on my crap PC using a version of Firefox 2.x and then on webOS.

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Apple Is Scaring Publishers And Writers

The contradictory — no, now it’s outright nonsensical — hand of Apple is at work, rejecting things again.

Creepy Steve Jobs May Not Want You to Read This (or Will Break Down Your Door)

Apple has rejected an app version of this column—which, on a relatively frequent basis goes out of its way to analyze the odd behavior of Steve Jobs.

[. . .]

The stated reason for the rejection of my free app is that Apple requires “sufficient amounts of content to appeal to a broad audience.” Putting aside the fact that this pretty much makes specialty content ineligible for iPhone or iPad apps, it’s also a pretty fudgy standard.


What if I wanted to publish an app that was a specialist’s tool? It could be anything. Some obscure aspect of metadata organization, or a compilation of medical research material, or even a collection of presentations about software theory, anything that would have a very limited yet actual audience. Is Apple going to deny me the chance to earn that money? Because, in Apple’s eyes, I’m not appealing to the great wad of people out there who own and buy its devices?

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Comic Book Pricing

The day after a discussion about digital comics, writer Warren Ellis has an interesting discussion going on at his Whitechapel forum about print comic book prices.

Warren Ellis:

And now, most of the more popular comics in the commercial field are 3.99. The old favourites, your X-MENs and so on. Some of them are including extra material — indicating that the price could in fact have been held at 2.99, but pricing them at 3.99 increases your dollar market share in nice ways.

More than one commentator has noticed, however, that the midlist is getting cannibalised again.

No-one can retreat from 3.99 again, really. That’s the new threshold.

— and —

My thinking is — and this isn’t news, it has been for a while — that in the current time, comics probably have to work a little harder to be owned. To quote myself about magazines, they are objects that have to want to be owned. In fact, you can also frame it in terms of experience design — comics singles must want to be used.

Someone over there calls himself a “geezer,” stating that he began buying comics when they were sixty-five cents.

Dear god! When I started, they were twelve cents.

Anyway, that “geezer” says he has a hard time going into a store with twenty bucks and coming out with 3-4 comics.

I don’t know what digital comics are going for at the App Store. I haven’t looked (going through the disorganized mess of the App Store on a desktop is No Fun). So, I can’t comment on the digital price aspects of it.

One way or the other, though, I expect I’ll be surprised.

And I also expect to be buying a lot of e-reprints, if those ever happen. There’s a huge comic book nostalgia market out here that shouldn’t be ignored.

Digital Comic Books, Piracy, And More

Over at writer Warren Ellis’ forum, Whitechapel, there’s a very interesting discussion happening about digital comics.

Part of Ellis’ initial post:

If I were starting out today, I’d be thinking very hard about wrapping my comic into a .cbz container, slinging it on Rapidshare and posting the link on download sites under an anonymous handle.

I mean, obviously, more people are probably thinking about an iPad app. But the thing about iPad apps is that, as with the iPhone, there are going to be a huge fucking load of them very soon, and they’re going to be very difficult to sort through. An iPad app for an indie comic is going to get lost in the crowd just like an indie comic in PREVIEWS. Probably worse, since paging through PREVIEWS is a bit easier than clicking through a category dump in the App Store.

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Will The iPad Break The App Store? Yes.

Apple’s App Store will suffer its first crisis this year, thanks to the iPad.

At the iPad’s introduction, Steve Jobs made a point about how pixel doubling will enable all current iPhone apps to run on the iPad.

This may be so … but who in their right mind wants to run iPhone apps on the iPad?

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