This is the most difficult post I’ve ever had to write.
Steve Jobs hates ePub. He hates eBooks.
How can anyone with his refined sense of taste not hate them?
They’re an abomination. A tasteless — and incompetent — techie committee solution to electronic books.
Seriously, can any of you see Apple creating ePub? (If you can, leave now. You don’t know Jobs or Apple.)
And iBooks? iBooks?!!!?
From the company that gave us the delightful CoverFlow …
… we now get shelves?!
And the software looks atrocious! Really, really atrocious. The shelves are bad enough, but the display samples shown at the presentation make me yearn for a Microsoft product — Microsoft Reader!
Yes, it is true: Apple has created something worse than Microsoft!
There is nothing Apple can do to make that software better. Not highlighting, not annotations, nor social notetaking. Nothing. Because underneath it all is that abomination, ePub, and nothing can help that.
I’m not even going to go into the rumors of how the iBooks software was developed. That’s Apple’s business.
My business is what this means for the future of electronic books and especially the future of writers.
There is a scene in Paddy Chayefsky’s classic movie, Network, where Howard Beale feels the wrath of God upon him.
That’s really the kind of speech I’ve been very tempted to deliver to Steve Jobs and Apple.
I don’t play poker, but let’s imagine I did and actually knew how. Across the table from me is Apple.
And I wonder what cards they’re holding.
Because iBooks is the lamest frikkin hand Apple could possibly hold in this game.
So what is up his sleeve? I know some of it. I stick to that.
But something … is missing.
A certain term comes to mind. But that’s really a fool’s game.
So something else is up here.
I sit here wondering if Apple realizes this: That they can get any writer they want regardless of whatever book contract that writer is currently tied to.
Is that the game?
Or is it Disney + Pixar + Marvel as spearheads?
That second one is a clever hand and it could be enough to win. But that’s not a very bold move. The first one is the bold move. The one that changes everything.
iBooks is shit. I know it. Steve Jobs knows it.
ePub is shit. I know it. Steve Jobs knows it.
What we’ve seen is not Apple’s final word in regard to electronic books.
This blog gets killed this weekend, so I’ll be on the sidelines, working on my own stuff, preparing for what I think is coming up.
This isn’t over.
But this blog soon will be.