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Author Claims Apple Won't Carry Her ebook Because It Mentions Amazon 332

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-in-our-store dept.
martiniturbide writes "Author Holly Lisle tried to publish her guide How To Think Sideways Lesson 6: How To Discover (Or Create) Your Story's Market at Apple's iBooks store. She says it was rejected first by Apple because it had 'live links' to Amazon. After she removed the links, it was rejected again because according to her: 'The problem is the CONTENT. You can't mention Amazon in your lesson.'"
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Author Claims Apple Won't Carry Her ebook Because It Mentions Amazon

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 29, 2012 @05:32PM (#40811251)

    shut down discussion.

  • by rjames13 (1178191) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @06:00PM (#40811565)

    Require extraordinary proof.

    There are plenty of iBooks already that mention Amazon.

    We have one person making a blind accusation here.

    Maybe you can give us some examples? ...

    Selling on Amazon's FBA program by Nathan Holmquist
    Make a killing on Kindle by Michael Alvear

    If you ask me what is going on here, it is creative marketing. By blaming Apple for her book not being published, she gets free marketing for her book on Amazon. All this marketing fed by the frenzy of the Apple haters.

  • by HangingChad (677530) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @06:04PM (#40811593) Homepage

    Amazon tells you that if you want to be in their lending library the content has to be exclusive to them for 90 days.

    At the end of 90 days you discover that the 90 day clock resets. Instead of just saying as long as you want to be in the lending library, the content has to be exclusive, they play the recurring 90 day game.

    I'm guessing if they just came right out and told the truth it might be challenged as anti-competitive.

    I'm also guessing some big titles get a better deal.

  • by Deep Esophagus (686515) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @06:12PM (#40811697)

    How on earth is this censorship, or controlling a market? Unless Apple can stop her from distributing her book in any form in any marketplace, all they've done is stop somebody from going into Walmart and putting up "Shop at K-Mart" signs.

    People keep throwing around the word "censorship" like they think they know what it means, but it's obvious they don't. Censorship is when the government restricts your speech. Even if every single one of her claims is true, she is not being censored.

    Disclaimer:I am most certainly not an Apple fanboy; I have loathed Apple ever since Woz left. I think they have horrific business practices, terrible design, and don't get me started about proprietary-everything with no user servicable parts inside. Despite all that, I think this is a non-story.

  • by Frosty Piss (770223) * on Sunday July 29, 2012 @06:18PM (#40811761)

    Mod parent up.

    There are dozens and dozens of books that both "mention" Amazon, and have Amazon as their primary subject, many being books on how to publish on Amazon or otherwise make money on Amazon. Many authors publish on both Apple and Amazon.

    Folks, use some common sense: Apple simply could not get away with this type of policy. And there is not reasonable reason why they would want to.

    Without seeing the actual email traffic, we can't know for sure, but possibly it's a shitty book? Maybe there where technical issues that this woman didn't understand? Maybe there where copyright issues with parts of the content? Who knows?

    I'm inclined to believe that this woman is either jumping to conclusions and doesn't feel like she should have to follow some process that Apple has requested, or like others have said, a stupid PR stunt.

  • by bigstrat2003 (1058574) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @06:38PM (#40811935)

    People keep throwing around the word "censorship" like they think they know what it means, but it's obvious they don't. Censorship is when the government restricts your speech. Even if every single one of her claims is true, she is not being censored.

    Well, Merriam-Webster's site says this.

    Censorship:

    1. The institution or practice of censoring.

    Censor:

    To examine in order to suppress or delete anything considered objectionable; also: to suppress or delete as objectionable.

    Nothing about the term requires that it be applied to the government. So, you're wrong. And while Apple certainly has the legal right to censor content that appears in their marketplace, it's pretty shitty of them to do so, and people are absolutely right to call them out for it (provided that the claims are true).

  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @07:34PM (#40812479)

    >>>See, the problem here is you're setting up a straw man. Nobody is "forcing" Apple to sell anything.

    Yes. They are. I was directly responding to this request: "There needs to be a law against censoring content in a public marketplace by a public company." (It helps if you follow the thread-of-conversation before you reply.)

  • by drkim (1559875) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @08:52PM (#40813099)

    Can you tell me where in the Bible, Torah or Koran it says that sex is dirty?

    Like Song of Solomon:
    "We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts, But my breasts are like towers."
    "He shall lie all night betwixt my breasts."
    "Come ... blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits."
    "My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him."
    "He thrust his hand into the opening, and my inmost being yearned for him. I arose to open to my beloved, and my hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with liquid myrrh, upon the handles of the bolt."

    You see..? Done Biblically, sex is very dirty!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 29, 2012 @10:07PM (#40813591)

    You need to use a dictionary more often. Just because you don't like what someone else is posting doesn't make it incorrect. Apple is censoring content.

    Your assertion is not the same thing as a dictionary. You are just as mistaken as the other poster if you think that a store choosing not to stock a product is censorship. You don't understand the word.

    How about backing that up with some actual dictionary references instead of asserting your opinion as a definition?
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/censorship [merriam-webster.com]
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/censorship [reference.com]
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/censor [reference.com]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship [wikipedia.org]
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/cultureshock/whodecides/definitions.html [pbs.org]

    Some definitions mention "official", but not all mention government as a necessary component.

    Censorship is a word of many meanings. In its broadest sense it refers to suppression of information, ideas, or artistic expression by anyone, whether government officials, church authorities, private pressure groups, or speakers, writers, and artists themselves. It may take place at any point in time, whether before an utterance occurs, prior to its widespread circulation, or by punishment of communicators after dissemination of their messages, so as to deter others from like expression. In its narrower, more legalistic sense, censorship means only the prevention by official government action of the circulation of messages already produced. Thus writers who "censor" themselves before putting words on paper, for fear of failing to sell their work, are not engaging in censorship in this narrower sense, nor are those who boycott sponsors of disliked television shows.
    --Academic American Encyclopedia

    Reading. It's not just for the landed gentry any more.

  • by lesserwhirls (2696283) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @10:25PM (#40813697)
    From the author (taken from comments on her site):

    "Here’s the first email I received from them. Boldface is mine.

    Dear Holly Lisle,
    One or more assets from your submission, How To Think Sideways: Career Survival School for Writers, need to be replaced:
    Ticket #: 1438977
    Ticket Type: Book Asset
    Apple ID: 541126811
    ISBN: 9781937533304
    Vendor ID: 9781937533304
    Full book asset:
    Competing Website(s)
    Notes:
    Jun, 29 2012, 12:13PM – Apple:
    Book file contains links from competitors: Amazon, in the chapter Q&A 6, under “Question 9
    Please log in to iTunes Connect to view this request and upload replacement assets:
    If you have any questions about this report, contact us at the iBookstore.
    Regards,
    The iTunes Store Team

    Here’s the FINAL email I received from them before I removed my courses.

    Dear Holly Lisle,
    One or more assets from your submission, How to Think Sideways: Career Survival School for Writers, need to be replaced:
    Ticket #: 1438977
    Ticket Type: Book Asset
    Apple ID: 541126811
    ISBN: 9781937533304
    Vendor ID: 9781937533304
    Please note that the changes in this ticket were not executed. The ticket has been returned to you for additional corrections. Please make all of the changes requested below.
    Full book asset:
    Competing Website(s)
    Rejected Reason(s):
    Competing Website(s)
    Notes:
    Jun, 29 2012, 12:13PM – Apple:
    Book file contains links from competitors: Amazon, in the chapter Q&A 6, under “Question 9
    Jul, 18 2012, 4:54AM – Apple:
    Epub internals validation passed
    Jul, 18 2012, 4:54AM – Apple:
    The following ticket task(s) have been updated by the feed: Full epub
    Jul, 18 2012, 1:21PM – Apple:
    Please Note: The original change request was not fulfilled. Your changes were not saved. Previous issue was not addressed. Please review your file before resubmitting it. Thank you.
    Jul, 19 2012, 8:35AM – Apple:
    Epub internals validation passed
    Jul, 24 2012, 11:56AM – Apple:
    Please Note: The original change request was not fulfilled. Your changes were not saved. Original Issues have not been resolved.
    Please log in to iTunes Connect to view this request and upload replacement assets:
    If you have any questions about this report, contact us at the iBookstore.
    Regards,
    The iTunes Store Team

    As noted, however, I HAD changed the lesson, HAD removed the links, HAD complied with their request. Since the links were gone, their only possible objection—NOT STATED—was content."

    Sounds like she is reading between the lines. As noted in other comments, there are several publications in the iBookstore that deal directly with amazon (including publishing through them).

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @10:57PM (#40813859) Homepage Journal

    The face of Apple [thechive.com] has died,

    But they clearly still have a prick.

  • by drkim (1559875) on Monday July 30, 2012 @03:31AM (#40815239)

    I'm sorry A.C., I didn't realize it was ACTUALLY written in English. I thought it was ACTUALLY written in Hebrew.

    But perhaps you would rather enjoy Ezekiel 23:20 (New International Version translation)

    There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.

  • by bennomatic (691188) on Monday July 30, 2012 @05:33AM (#40815761) Homepage
    Well, a quick search of the iTunes Music Store lets me find a bunch of Amazon's apps. Narrowing it to books, there aren't many, but right on the first page of the search results is this [apple.com] and this [apple.com].

    Maybe there's more to the story than meets the eye.
  • by whisper_jeff (680366) on Monday July 30, 2012 @07:40AM (#40816267)

    Again, I'm not saying you're wrong, maybe she is making a fuss just to get publicity. If so, then by all means, let us know why you think so so that we won't waste our time supporting her.

    Her claim is the book was refused because it mentions Amazon. Go to the iTunes store. Do a search for Amazon. Ignore the results about the geographic region and notice how many other books clearly and obviously mention Amazon. Take particular note, for example, of the book titled "Amazon.com" which, one would assume, is about Amazon and makes mention of the company.

    After you do this basic level of investigation, one can only be left to assume that there's either some key part of this story missing and/or she is doing this to generate attention for her book as a marketing ploy (driving people to buy her book on Amazon, most likely).

    It just seems to me that you're saying that anyone who makes a fuss must just be in it for the publicity, and I strongly disagree.

    I agree (with you) - making a fuss does not mean one is just trying to generate publicity but, especially in today's day and age one must be sure to consider the possibility that, yes, it is being done for publicity. It's a marketing tactic that has proven to work, largely because most people aren't willing to do any degree of investigation into whether or not a claim is true. Thus, he (or she) who complains loudest gets eyeballs.

    I believe, in this case, the story is either missing a very important key piece of information or, more likely, the author is manipulating the online media into generating hype regarding her book to increase sales.

"A mind is a terrible thing to have leaking out your ears." -- The League of Sadistic Telepaths

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