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Apple didn’t make publishing easier…

January 20, 2012
by seth godin

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They made it easier to get your ideas into digital print.

There’s a huge difference between printing and publishing.

Printing is a commodity, a straightforward but important process that takes time and money. Clearly, digital ‘print’ in the form of an ebook is easier and cheaper than paper printing, which involves cutting down trees and paying for trucks and shipping, etc.

But publishing is something else entirely. Publishing is the act of curation, of taking financial risk to do the marketing work of finding people who want to read your book. Publishing is venture capital for ideas. Publishing involves either building direct relationships with readers (like you and I have) or in gaining access to scarce shelf space with retailers who have those relationships. A good publisher, then, gets your book on the shelf at Barnes and Noble, or uses some sort of connection (an electronic one, perhaps, or a trade show) to get the book in front of the reader and to make a sale.

Making it easier to get a book in the iBook store is great, it will enable even more writers to get their books in print. In addition, Apple’s new software will make those books prettier and maybe more fun.

But publishing? Not at all. Doesn’t help one bit.

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