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Avoiding rejection with a Single Issue app

Jun 13, 2012 9:23 AM

Tags: #ibooks #rejection

Hi there,


We are up against a wall with the digital edition of a book that is about to be released in print unable to be approved by Apple because it presents features that are able to be replicated in the iBookstore.


Quite disappointing for us as we have been publishing on DPS for 18 months now and would rather use the toolset we know and pay for than spend time wrestling with a new workflow.  However, it is easy to see why Apple has taken the stance.


As I see it, we have three ways to move forward, but I am looking for insight from the community on whether any of these seems especially prone to success:


1. Appeal to Apple with a list of similar apps that have been published recently. While this would be our easiest route, it seems to me to be the least likely to bear fruit. Apple has said outright that what's in the store is not an indiication of the current approval policies, so I don't see this one working out.  I think Bob Levine had success with this, but it seems like a gamble to me.


2. Add features to the app that differentiate it from an iBook. One post somewhere in these forums suggested adding web-enabled content like an online survey or some social media interation using Web Overlays or HTML Stacks. My fear is that I don't have a great feel for the limitations of the iBook platform (EPUB3-esque) that I can say for certain what would differentiate us. Does anyone have any examples that show off iBooks being pushed to the limit?


3. Our last resort, and one that I know next to nothing about, is to convert the title to the iBookstore just as Apple is suggesting. This would mean throwing out the app approach and leaving DPS behind and takes us into very unfamiliar territory. Am I right in thinking that going the EPUB route would essentially mean starting over when it comes to things like videos and slideshows?


Thank you in advance for any and all insight you can provide.




Steven Sokulski

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    Jun 13, 2012 10:56 AM   in reply to Steven_Sokulski

    For #2, here are some I believe are available in DPS but not using iBook:


    1) Pinch and zoom images

    2) Multi-state objects for custom interactivity

    3) Scrollable frames


    How much interactivity have you added currently? In your opening paragraph you mention it is a digital edition of a book. How much extra does the digital edition add over just being the print version in a DPS format?



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    Jun 13, 2012 12:55 PM   in reply to Steven_Sokulski

    I can't think of any off the top of my head, unfortunately, but I'm sure they exist. Perhaps someone else can chime in with examples.



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    Jun 13, 2012 1:05 PM   in reply to Steven_Sokulski

    Steve, you might consider using some graphically advanced typography, which is rather difficult to achieve with iBooks.

    That, together with functional object states and scrollable frames should make a strong point. The idea of multi-issue bookshelf is also good.


    And of course try the direct discussion with Apple. It works (according to Bob Levine)...



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    Jun 14, 2012 9:09 AM   in reply to Steven_Sokulski

    I had an App rejected a few months ago, that Apple said should be a book.

    When I pointed out that it had, scrollable frames, slide shows and links to external sites, they just approved it without a word.

    Sounds to me you have some interaction in there, oh, I also added verticle navigation on some articles.

    Check out China NewYear, it's free, and will give you an idea of things to do, if you've not already done them.

    Don't be afraid to go back to Apple! if your polite, as I was, it will probably work.

    I also told them that we already had PDF's available for people to read electronically, and that adding DPS functionality enhanced the user experience.


    Hope that's of some use.


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    Jun 14, 2012 10:41 AM   in reply to Steven_Sokulski

    Just the normal 5 working days for them to come back, the same time as an update.

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    Jun 14, 2012 10:52 AM   in reply to Steven_Sokulski

    ....Plus I'm convinced that Apps do not see a human at the initial stage. I bet there is a quick "check box approval" system that does a huge amount of filtering. My China App was so clearly not a iBook, that it couldn't have been looked at by a human first off.

    If I was right, wouldn't it be good if Apple shared their basic criteria (just tick box style) save everyone time!

    Good Luck


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