Interesting news comes from the consumer magazine industry, which has been investing in new products for tablet computers such as the iPad. Wired, published by Condé Nast, launched an iPad edition in May – the app sold 73,000 copies in the first nine days – but by November sales had fallen to 23,000. Men’s Health, published by Rodale, is selling around 2,000 copies a month. These figures come from the Audit Bureau of Circulation in the USA.
Book publishers know the marketing potential of apps and some bestselling authors will expect such editions to be available (there are, for example, iPhone apps for cookery stars such as Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson), but will the sales justify the large investments required? It is of course too early to say, but it is interesting to watch the experiments in other media industries alongside what is being tried in books. Another anxiety for publishers is that some authors, as they have done with ebooks, will decide to bypass publishers and sell direct.