Apple Adds Expensive Paid Books To iTunes Store

More than five months after the release of the iPad, Apple has finally made paid electronic books available via the iTunes platform for Aussies. Unfortunately, there don't seem to be any discounts involved for most titles.

Apple told publishing blog ebookish that thousands of titles had been added to the iBookstore, which previously only offered free public domain titles to Australian account holders. Publishers who have taken the bait include Hachette, Hardie Grant, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Murdoch Books and Wiley. However, there's little or no discounting despite the much lower production costs, and not much evidence of standardised pricing.

One of the reasons digital music took off was that it offered a better deal to consumers. That's not evident in Apple's approach here, where new release titles are cheaper as hardbacks in many instances. As Nick over at Gizmodo succintly put it: "Trying to charge a premium for a small, DRM filled file is absurd."


    In the word of the immortal John McEnroe 'You have got to be kidding me!'. The exact same book shipped for free from the Book Depository is $8.09 (

    Tomorrow, When the War Began costs $9.99 on Amazon Kindle and can be delivered to the iPad.

    To get publishers onto their "ebook" platform, Apple gave publishers the right to name their own retail prices. Apple just wanted to sell more iPads and media content was/is seen as key. It has caused Amazon to cede pricing control and potentially will result in the destruction/diminishing of the overall ebook market. Totally sucks!

    As much as I like the IBook app for reading, at that pricing level I shall be shopping elsewhere - or reading more classics for free.

    I bought many books for my Kindle when they were cheaper than the physical books. I love the iPad for reading ebooks but I refuse to buy anything other than apps through iTunes. I now get all my ebooks through the Rapidshare/Hotfile shops.

    Yes, the pricing is absurd, but I place the blame squarely with the publishers, not Apple in this case. The dinosaur publishing industry is too terrified of change to offer a better deal on an ebook. It might cause consumers to switch to ebooks in droves, at which point the large, old world publishers as we know them will cease to be relevant.

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