The continued process of locking by other publishers continues as they abandon freedom of choice by consumers and force you to use App readers that they may abandon at a future date, or the vendor might collapse.
Future Publishing and their ImagineFX magazine is a prime example. Several years ago they introduced a Premium service for print subscribers to access PDF copies of their issues alongside ebook apps on iPad, Nook etc.
Unfortunately recently they took away the PDF download service, claiming it was a beta. Only a year or so ago they stopped shipping cover disks with this magazine as well, a trend followed by most major publishers.
As a publisher with its own ebook app franchise, we already know how difficult it is it to maintain ebook apps compared to traditional ebook file formats. Apps mean constant struggle and expenditure to maintain them - where as traditional ebook files are simple and easy to produce.
In recent times we’ve had to make hard calls to remove many of our ebook apps from circulation and combine titles together in an effort to make the model viable. The problem the is sales volumes are too low, the format is not convenient for everyone, and it does lock you into a specific vendor platform. We’ve all seen platforms and vendors die, often leaving content stranded and no way forward -forcing consumers to buy what they already paid for again.
We feel that apps need to offer significant value added benefits that cannot be done in a conventional ebook format - and that is why we added tools to our ebook apps, in an effort to make them more relevant to gamers.
As for other publishers, we’ve already abandoned our subscription to MacFormat, and are thinking seriously about our WebDesigner and ImagineFX subscription.
We hope other publishers come to the party and wake up about the false economy they are creating by expending effort in platform specific app delivery mechanisms.
We are the first to admit we love our iPads, but honestly, we want to be able to enjoy our purchase on any device we own, some with very large screens, such as conventional computers.
We think Future Publishing, like other publishers are taking away choice from consumers.
>For those that agree with us, voice your concerns online and email the publishers that you feel aren’t giving you the platform freedom you deserve.