In a move that should please publishers, the September release of iOS 8, Apple’s updated operating system for phones and tablets, included the integration of the iBooks app. Now all new Apple mobile devices will come with the app, and access to the iBooks store, pre-installed, ready for potential e-book buyers to use.
The integration comes as Apple ramps up efforts to reach new e-book consumers and enhance opportunities for discovery and promotion in the iBooks store, which it hopes to position as a major online retailing channel. Apple has sold more than 550 million iPhones and more than 237 million iPads, and its impact on the e-book market will continue to grow. The release of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, both with significantly larger and more reader-friendly screens than their predecessors, will likely attract readers of heavily illustrated and media-rich digital books, as well as textbooks.
The iBooks store, which can be accessed through the iBooks app, has added new features, including a selection of free e-books and additional categories to help consumers find the books they want. The titles offered in the “Great Free Books” section represent a variety of genres and reading tastes. Among them are Private by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro (a thriller), Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard (a YA novel), How the García Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez (literary fiction), Justice League, Vol. 1: Origin by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee (a graphic novel), and Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff (nonfiction). The free books also include three titles that are exclusive to Apple: Be My Love by Lucy Kevin (a romance novel), The Animal Book by Steve Jenkins (a reference title), and an interactive edition of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, with video content and study guides.
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SOURCE: Publishers Weekly