iTunes: The Long Tail Challenge

Today, Seth Godin announced that his newest Vook, Linchpin, is available as an iPad app, and on sale in the iTunes store. He also noted the challenges of promoting a book in the store when there are so many apps:

There are more than 24,000 apps listed in the iPad store, and yet the front window (equivalent to the window of a bookstore) shows the user six choices. The spotlight coverflow up top shows another sixteen, fairly randomly. Meaning there’s a little worse than a one in a thousand chance that your app will appear in front of someone interacting with the store at the first level.

Seth advocates that authors become the “gatekeeper” of their own content. They can’t rely on iTunes store promotions; it’s their job to reach out to their users. Social media and user engagement will dictate how purchases are made, just as they dictate the content that is consumed on the Web.

There are also apps that help you search for apps, such as Chomp. The Chomp iPhone app serves as a search engine for the iPhone app store that includes user reviews. It blends search, social media and shopping all into one.

There may be problems with iTunes store model, but there are also talented people ready to develop solutions.

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  4. Vook, the iPad and the Dawn of Mixed Media
  5. Progress, Then Perfection

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