NOT. Here’s the sad statistics, based on my shallow and incomplete survey:
Number of iPads sold by Apple in 28 days: 1,000,000
Number of iPads in the hands of book editors: 2
Wouldn’t you think that the most significant e-book reader; one that, weeks before release, caused Amazon to change it’s e-book strategy and is projected by most analysts to be the device that will save newspapers and magazines would be in the hands of the people who are on the front line of book publishing? It doesn’t seem to be the case. I admit to poor survey techniques. I simply called lots of editors we regularly work with and asked them: Do you have an iPad? Do you know anyone who does? Has the company any strategy regarding iPads? In almost all cases, the responses were: no, I saw someone in the office with one last week and no. Editors are largely so underpaid, that virtually none are buying them for their own use, and publishers are so cheap that we can’t expect the companies to outfit the whole staff overnight, but wouldn’t it make sense to have some pilot programs? I couldn’t find any. Every editor I spoke with is interested and curious but there’s a surprising undercurrent of “I don’t see what it means for me.” I attribute this to ongoing efforts of publishers to isolate their editors from the world.
Our agency has two. Our 16GB WiFi unit arrived at noon on the day of release. Our first 64GB 3G unit arrived last Friday. We will be blogging about what this product means for authors and editors, but initially we have little to say other than they work exactly as promised. What I can say is that no one can judge the iPad who has not held one for five minutes and tried to read something with the iBooks application. Getting your hands on one in an Apple store is actually harder than buying one. There’s about a five minute wait to get to the demo tables.
Help this survey be more accurate. If you are an editor and have an iPad, post a comment.