The forbidden Apple

So let’s try this again and I will make myself very clear: I’m seriously pissed.

Apple rejected my book from its iApp store on the basis that it has the F-word. Now, I’m sorry, but the fact that the F-word is in my book is the least of its crimes (they must have missed the “cunt”), so…“fuck”? Really? But that’s not the point.

And you can download the Stanza (free) or eReader (free) applications to your iPhone, download my book, and read it that way, so all is not lost. But that’s not the point.

Some people call this censorship. I don’t; they’re well within their right to accept or reject any book they want. But that’s not the point.

The point is also not that Apple is cutting off its nose to spite its face. For whatever reason I don’t understand, they’re wishing-washing on e-books.

1) There is no iBooks.

2) There is no restriction of explicit lyrics and explicit/violent games and R-rated movies in the iApp store, which leads me to believe that the restriction is solely for e-book applications. Why? Are we discriminating against reading as a leisure activity? Why?

3) At the same time, Apple made a deal with ScrollMotion to provide a host of e-books as applications, but I notice they are of the young adult variety, which is a pretty safe bet, content-wise. However, they’re wrapping these up in DRM. Why?

4) Not only that, but some of them are seriously over-priced. More than the hardback!!! Gah.

5) When I actually looked at what was in the e-book section if the iApp store, it was classics in the public domain (good!) and puppies-and-kittens (no, seriously, books on puppies and kittens) and manga (in which I have no interest whatsoever). Yeah. Selection. I can get a better selection of books to read at Wal-Mart, albeit I have to go there and buy dead-tree books.

6) On Teleread, the speculation is that spikes in iTouch sales are good for e-books, but is that true for e-book applications?

Nothing Apple is doing on this front makes sense to me. David Carnoy’s Knife Music (read his whole post) was rejected for the F-word, but this wouldn’t have even come to light if he weren’t already semi-high-profile (which fact is okay with me, but it’s happening all over the place, not just with him). I mean, they’re adding e-book applications a little bit. Here and there. Snootily.

On a purely capitalist pig basis, wouldn’t you think this would be a market they would want to exploit? I can only conclude that Jobs simply carries an utter abhorrence for The Book and does not want to exploit it for another revenue stream.





But not…books?


  • Dude

    January 13, 2009 at 8:15 am

    Makes no sense to me, either.

  • Philip Persinger

    January 13, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    I go back so far that I am more irritated that I have to wade through the iPod and iPhone people to get to a computer when I go to the store.

  • David Nygren

    January 13, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    That is enraging. I’m having sympathy high blood pressure just thinking about it. You’re right that it doesn’t make sense from a business perspective. I can’t even imagine what exactly is going on there. Could it really just be Jobs? I’d feel slightly better if they actually had a reason, no matter how wrong-headed it might be.

  • MoJo

    January 13, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    Said it violated terms of service, which I’m not quite sure what that means in the context of explicit music and R-rated movies and violence-loaded games. This is my original post.

    And what’s just as bad in a different way is that all the DRM’d books ScrollMotion put up got taken down over the holidays because there was a flaw in the DRM. How’dja like dem Apples?

    ETA: And you know, who knows if it’s Jobs. I’m only poking at him because he so infamously proclaimed that people don’t read anymore.

    Honestly, I canNOT fathom why Apple wouldn’t exploit this revenue stream to the hilt.

  • Dude

    January 14, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    I wonder if the Apple had a worm that made Jobs sick? Well, he should have more time on his hands now….maybe he’ll take up a hobby…like reading.

  • […] Jovan, in fact, a TeleBlog commenter, writes of her own brush with Apple’s […]

  • Th.

    January 26, 2009 at 2:02 pm
  • MoJo

    January 26, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Oh my goodness.

  • Th.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:07 pm


    Last night I saw an iPhone ad. The third of the three apps they mentioned was books.

  • MoJo

    January 27, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    The ScrollMotion deal was for YA books. I mean, yeah, they’ve got e-book applications, but not in A) the numbers or B) the selection. I’m going to contact my app builder again and see if he’s up for a resubmission.

  • haggis

    February 8, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    You know what a Apple fanatic I am, but I still don’t know what they’re thinking. They do indeed advertise books prominently in the ads now, but perhaps they need some massive numbers of unhappy customers grousing about all this before they truly comprehend there’s another pocket of untapped money to be had. Or maybe they just need to see some competition making money off something they didn’t take seriously.

    Which brings me to this little goodie, which I wondered if you’d seen yet: The Plastic Logic

  • haggis

    February 8, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    Crap. Your blog thing ate half my post, and then won’t give me a chance to edit. . .

    The PL (hopefully, they’ll think of a catchier name) is plastic-based, not silicon, so it’s flexible and can take abuse. The display is HUGE (8-1/2 x 11, same as a full-sized document) and also weighs about the same as a legal pad. The only thing I see it lacks is wi-fi, and they may well have that by the time it hits the market. It also works with any document format and uses eInk, so the battery life is about a week.

    Now, not having sprung for an eReader yet, I thought having something purse- or pocket-sized was one of the appeals but the older my eyes get, smaller may not always be better. This is kinda kewl, isn’t it?

    Supposed to sell at a price at least comparable to Kindle, but if you get that much more flexibility with it, that might not seem too bad. Looking to have them ready to hit the market in the next few months, so will be interesting to see how it’s received.

  • MoJo

    February 9, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    Haggis, I’ve seen that and I spent quite a bit of time looking at it today. I’m torn on the device, as some technopundits aren’t impressed.

    Kindle 2.0 came out today, but 2 big Romancelandia bloggers and an e-press editor have fallen out of love with theirs. Took a while, though.

    Oh, I had to disable the edit feature because it wasn’t working. I’ll see what I can do to get it fixed.

  • […] they seem to be searching books for the f-word and rejecting those that use it. Author Moriah Jovan had a book rejected last month on that basis (although the rejection didn’t mention the book’s more creative […]

  • Dwayne Holle

    February 3, 2010 at 6:02 am

    Laptops will change the world when they are accessible to everyone financially. Think of every man and women, having a personal laptop.

  • Dude

    February 3, 2010 at 8:52 am

    Dude says that considering that you can buy a netbook for $199 and a regular laptop for $299, they are fairly accessible.

  • MoJo

    February 3, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    Hey Dwayne. Actually, there’s a program for that. One Laptop Per Child

    I do think laptops are the new PC/desktops, but netbooks are pretty much the all-around jack-of-all-trades gadget to have.

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