Normally we turn to the TUAW Brain Trust for your opinions about hot topics in the news and your predictions about the future of tech. Today, we're switching things up. Instead of asking about where things are going, we're asking you about strategy.
Here's the situation: Like many authors, TUAW blogger Steve Sande and I have fallen in love with Apple's iBooks Author page layout tool. When writing our book about preparing your computer for the upcoming 10.8 OS X upgrade, we decided to create an iBA version for iBooks and a standard Kindle edition for Amazon.
Although frustrating to use at times (it's still early days in iBooks-ville, such as where's the "Split into new chapter at this point" option?), we loved the look and feel of what iBooks Author produced. It's slick, it's hot, it's yummy. We uploaded our product last week using the nifty in-app "Publish to iBooks" feature.
Then people started asking us: "What about us iPhone users? Don't we get to read the book too?" You see, here's the problem: iBooks Author doesn't do iPhone. It's an iPad-only product.
And there is the heart of our dilemma. Should we invest the time, the extra ISBN, and the extremely high annoyance overhead to convert our Kindle version to an iBooks-compliant ePUB via our old creaky copies of Pages? (We mean it about the annoyance. It's a huge pain.)
You tell us. We're going to go with your advice. We're giving you a poll and the comments are open for your opinion. Should ebook authors make an end-run around iBooks Author to create iPhone-compatible ePUBs that reach a wider audience or are we wasting time and effort on a format that can never really compare to the iPad experience?
|Absolutely. Publishing two editions may involve compromise but it creates a bigger customer pool and offers higher satisfaction.||434 (29.9%)|
|No, it's going to confuse customers when they see your book *twice*, even if you make it very clear that the iBooks Author version provides a different reading experience.||133 (9.2%)|
|Only offer the iBooks Author; keep the emphasis on presentation quality.||359 (24.7%)|
|Only offer the ePUB version; the iBooks version may be slick but customers expect their purchase to be readable on all devices.||356 (24.5%)|
|Dudes, you're publishing on Kindle? What's wrong with you?||111 (7.6%)|
|Something else. I'll tell you in the comments.||59 (4.1%)|