An ebook app has been forced to close because Apple “made it completely impossible for anyone but Apple to make a profit selling contemporary ebooks on any iOS device.”
The iFlowReader app will no longer be supported from 31 May next because the people behind it believe they have been left with no other option. The ebook app launched in December last year with an investment of a $1 million and offered readers a unique auto-scrolling feature. Following Apple’s introduction of a new fee structure earlier this year, the company says it can no longer make a profit. This is the first major casualty of the new structure or “agency model” as Apple calls it. The new model makes the publishers the defacto retailers and they get a 30 percent commission of any book sold. On top of that Apple takes a 30 percent cut leaving the ebook stores with just 40 percent, which iFlowReader says “is all of our gross margin and then some.”
With the agency model, all sales agents (ebook stores) have to charge the same price as set by the publisher. Prior to the agency model being introduced, various deals were available from publishers with up to a 50 percent discounts available, however now everyone gets the same deal. The six largest book publishers have now adopted the agency model and as a result of the latest adoption – by Random House – its entire catalogue (17,000 books) disappeared from iFlowReader’s store on 28 Febraury and the following day appeared in Apple’s own iBooks catalogue. iFlowReader is clearly annoyed with Apple, stating on its website: “We put our faith in Apple and they screwed us.”
When the new fee model was introduced earlier this year, it was seen as only a matter of time before something like this happened. For those using iFlowRader and worried about safeguarding the books they’ve bought, instructions are available from the source link below.