Who Decides What Gets Sold in the Bookstore?

Seth Godin:

I just found out that Apple is rejecting my new manifesto Stop Stealing Dreams and won’t carry it in their store because inside the manifesto are links to buy the books I mention in the bibliography.

Quoting here from their note to me, rejecting the book: “Multiple links to Amazon store. IE page 35, David Weinberger link.”

And there’s the conflict. We’re heading to a world where there are just a handful of influential bookstores (Amazon, Apple, Nook…) and one by one, the principles of open access are disappearing. Apple, apparently, won’t carry an ebook that contains a link to buy a hardcover book from Amazon.

Would Amazon carry a book that linked each book in the bibliography to the iBookstore? I don’t know, maybe they would. But would Barnes & Noble carry a book that contained coupons to buy additional books at Borders? (Pretend Borders is still in business.) Why not link to iBookstore versions of the books from the iBooks edition?

Keep in mind that Apple isn’t blocking Godin’s book from being read in iBooks — they’re simply not selling it in their e-book store.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012