Are iBooks The New Podcasts?

Mar 29th, 2010 | By | Category: Citizen Media, Commentary, Podcast Distribution, Podcasting

The Apple iPad will be available starting this Saturday – and it looks like the company has another hit product. Pre-orders are in the hundreds of thousands and iPad suppliers are forecasting 8 million to 10 million iPad shipments in 2010.

That’s a lot of iPads – and a lot of people that will now be reading eBooks. While the Kindle has been relatively successful niche product, the iPad is a mainstream multi-function device – and it is expected to ship with 30,000 free ebooks available.

With numbers like these, it’s clear that a new platform for publishing is here.

Are iBooks The New Podcasts?

Apple’s iBook sneak preview isn’t nearly as sexy as the “motion magazineViv Mag or Penguin’s forward-thinking concepts for ebooks.

Apple’s eBook / iBook examples, though, look like they could be published by mortals. They look like something podcasters and bloggers could whip up over a couple of weekends.

And, out of the hundreds of thousands of podcasters and millions of bloggers, there are going to be a lot of people interested in publishing ebooks for those 8-10 million people buying iPads in 2010.

eBooks are going to be the new podcasts – not replacing podcasts, but becoming the latest user publishing platform. Just as the iPod provided a mass audience platform for podcasts, the iPad will create a mass audience platform for eBooks.

We’re still looking for the Pagemaker of iBooks – a cheap or free eBook/iBook publishing tool that’s as user-friendly as the typical iPhone app.

It’s coming, though, and once it hits, book publishing will never be the same.

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4 Responses to “Are iBooks The New Podcasts?”

  1. Steve Boyett says:

    See my open letter to Steve Jobs asking for a “bookcast” section of the iBook store that would be the equivalent of iTunes’ podcast section:

    • James Lewin says:

      “I strongly believe this would do for digital books and magazines what podcasting did for digital audio: bring millions of eyes to the device, allow niche publications that otherwise would be unaffordable in the traditional bound-print model, democratize the end-user experience regarding popularity of such works, and give yet another voice to creative people previously unable to garner what has long been considered the imprimatur of traditional publication.”

      Thoughtful post!

  2. Funny, the last time I checked, PageMaker wasn’t free.

    It’s true that there’s a sore need for something that can make a good EPUB version of your book–the existing converters, some of which are free, all leave a bit to be desired, as does the export to EPUB function in InDesign.

  3. elliot (rhymes with smelliot) says:

    PageMaker wasn’t free – but computers were niche tools back when PageMaker came out, so they had to charge hundreds of dollars to a small number of people.

    Everybody’s got a computer, a mobile computer and soon a tablet – so they should be able to create a content development platform that’s more of a mass market tool.

    Not sure why Adobe has stuck to the vertical model for Photoshop for so long. Seems like they’d do better selling everybody the tools to fake photos.

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