Apple to exhibit at Book Expo of America publishing conference? What’s the deal Camille?

Apple, which doesn’t really need to do trade shows, they’re their own universe, and thank God, we LOVE Apple, but even we are a little surprised to see they’re making their first appearance at Book Expo America this week in New York City. Apple has a prime spot at the American publishing world’s biggest convention — smack dab by near publishing giant Random House, and spitting distance to Disney and MacMillan.

There’s been some buzz, as in “Why is Apple there? They aren’t a publisher.” But it makes sense to us since they do have iBooks. It actually makes perfect sense to us. Apple is invested in iBooks, but the reality is eBooks don’t make up the vast bulk of publisher sales.

Apple’s appearance at BEA is probably more to do with branding and a forward-thinking strategy. You have to make people think about the future of books, and eBooks via a platform like iBooks is a definite part of that future. Too, it says something about Apple that they turn up. It says they understand that to be taken seriously in publishing you have to be a part of that community and not just a vendor of its products.

The Unofficial Apple Weblog TUAW speculates that Apple might be planning to announce an Apple digital library. But we think that’s probably baseless. Apple sees a benefit to being at the BEA, or they wouldn’t be there. And it’s all the more interesting they turn up when BEA has sort of downshifted from a weekend to a weekday conference and instead of moving between major American cities, decided to run only in its home base, New York.

Also, over the last couple years, many major publishers pulled back on their “on the floor” booth presence. Some skipped the booths altogether, doing business in more out-of-the-way meeting rooms (read hotel rooms). Apple turning up my signal its faith in a rebounding book market, or perhaps Apple was able to snag the prime spot for a song and thought now is the time to promote iBooks as “serious publishing” and expose traditional publisher and members of the publishing world to their brand of delivery.

Last year, the closest Apple came to attending the BEA was a nearby billboard. If Apple is there this year, you have to ask why?

Published in: on May 24, 2011 at 8:08 AM  Leave a Comment  
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