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iBooks: Barrier to entry?

January 28th, 2010

It’s now been almost a week since Apple’s iPad announcement. The dust is beginning to settle (until it’s released). But there are some interesting question hanging around that haven’t been teased out so far.

With the launch of iBooks, Apple has now entered the book publishing market. They didn’t announce any subscription models (but really, who doesn’t think they’re around the corner?). But they have 5 major book publishers on board who are supplying content to the iPad.

To me, the most interesting question is: what is the barrier to entry into the iBooks store?

One of the ways iTunes has really revolutionized the content game is in how it has leveled the playing field for content producers. Complete amateurs can submit podcasts for distribution. One-man operations can develop software that sits “on the shelf” right next to the biggest developers out there. From what I hear, submitting music for purchase on iTunes is also not nearly the ordeal that old-school music distribution used to be.

So – what will it be like with iBooks? Is there going to be some avenue for small-time writers to submit their works for sale/distribution? How hard will that be? Would there be some kind of editorial review process? (That’d probably be the biggest sticking point, or point of controversy).

There could be a whole new world of self publishing created, almost over night. I’d love to read it.