Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Implications of the iPad

Wow. Apple debuted the iPad today, and it looks beautiful. Here are my initial thoughts on the device, and its implications:

My Writing Nook - iPad edition
First of all, let me say: there will most definitely be an iPad-specific version of My Writing Nook. I've already read through the developer documents and will be exploring the SDK in the coming weeks.

Rather than simply port the iPhone/iPod app to the iPad, I am completely rethinking the interface to take advantage of the iPad's screen real estate and new interface paradigms. I am really excited about what the device offers - and I think the iPad version of MWN is going to knock your socks off.

The iPad also represents a tremendous opportunity for writers. There aren't too many details about the iBook store yet, but I have to believe that Apple will allow independent third-parties to submit their eBooks for sale. Apple has chosen the ePub format, which is a free and open format.

If they use a model similar to the App Store, with 70% of the take going to the author, then the iPad could really be a boon for self-published authors. This is likely the reason why Amazon announced their new royalty plans last week, and others will be forced to follow suit.

Web Fiction
The iPad will also provide a boost for web fiction. With it's form-factor and excellent browsing capabilities, it will make reading web fiction a breeze. No more clunky laptops or netbooks - you can sit in bed and read web fiction like you would a regular book.

I can't wait until this thing ships in March. What do you think? Is the iPad a game-changer?


  1. It could be nice and will no doubt have an impact, but I can't imagine it leading to an e-book explosion: it's just too expensive for a casual reader to purchase.

    Which is the problem ALL e-readers face. How many books does the average person read in a year? How much do they SPEND on books? Until you can an e-reader for under $100, (complete with an installed library of popular classics), the average person just has no reason to bother.

  2. I'm really glad to see you're going to do an iPad version. I think, with the keyboard dock, this is going to be a really slick little portable writing device. Battery life will be great, small enough to carry anywhere, reading and editing on it will be a joy, etc.

    Looking forward to it!

  3. Dary - I think you're thinking about it the wrong way. People aren't going to buy it as an eReader. You're absolutely right - as an eReading device, it's way too expensive. But people are going to buy it as a casual computer, instead of a netbook. And the next time they are thinking about purchasing a book, well, there's the iBookstore, which makes finding and purchasing a book as easy as a few taps and swipes.

    Jason - I'm really excited about MWN on the iPad. I wish March were here already!

  4. Dary, the 'average' person won't spend *any* money for a device loaded with 'classic' books as they pretty much read nothing but tabloids. I spent $200 on books last year, *easy* - and that was mostly used copies! But as others have said, the iPad is a multiple-use device, replacing netbooks and e-readers both. You can't really compare it to just one.