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Apple Store Pulls "For Dummies" Books to Protest Jobs Biography

TMO Reports - Apple Store Pulls "For Dummies" Books to Protest Jobs Biography

by , 11:50 AM EDT, April 26th, 2005

Apple Computer has pulled all books published by John Wiley & Sons in protest of an unauthorized biography of Apple CEO Steve Jobs about to be released by Wiley, according to a report by the San Jose Mercury News. Books pulled include titles by New York Times columnist David Pogue, as well as authors and long-time Mac columnists Andy Ihnatko and Bob LeVitus, both of whom write columns for The Mac Observer. Messrs. Ihnatko and LeVitus confirmed to TMO that their works had been pulled.

At issue, according to Kitt Allan, an executive at Wiley, is an unauthorized biography of Steve Jobs titled iCon Steve Jobs: The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business (US$16.47 - Amazon), penned by Jeffrey S. Young and William L. Simon.

This is Mr. Young's second go around on a Steve Jobs biography, the first of which, The Journey is the Reward ($14.78 - Amazon) was published in the 80s and covered Steve Jobs' ascent at Apple.

Mr. Young told the Mercury News that his earlier work offered negative portrayal of Mr. Jobs, but said that the new book was more positive, covering a Steve Jobs that had learned from what Mr. Young characterized as his failures at NeXT.

Whatever the issues with iCon Steve Jobs, Wiley's Kit Allan told the newspaper that, "It became increasingly clear that Apple was not happy with the publication of the book. Recently, the meaning of that became clear when Apple told us that our technology books were immediately being pulled from their Apple retail stores. But, of course, Wiley stands behind our authors."

It stinks

So far, it's that support of it the company's authors that has resonated with Bob "Dr. Mac" LeVitus and Andy Ihnatko, two of the Mac authors caught in the crossfire.

"It stinks," Mr. LeVitus told TMO. "I'm sad that Mac users won't find my books at the Apple Store. At the same time I'm tickled that Wiley did the right thing in spite of the pressure. Since, Borders, Barnes & Noble, WalMart and many other fine booksellers carry my books and have lower prices, I don't expect to lose many sales (or much sleep) over the whole sordid affair."

Andy Ihnatko, who voiced his praise for Wiley to the Mercury News, took a similar view when contacted by TMO for comment on the story.

"I keep coming back to the line from The Godfather...It's not personal. It's just business," he said. "Obviously I'm disappointed that Apple's dislike of one book has caused them to 86 everything from the same publisher, but I've no reason to feel personally persecuted."

He added, "Plus, my publisher called me personally last week to explain the situation and apologize for the fallout. I told him that Wiley did the right thing in a bad situation. I'd much rather be here telling people my reaction to having my books pulled from the Apple store than talking about my reaction to Wiley killing a book under pressure."

A partial list of the books TMO pulled from the Apple Store:

Bob LeVitus:

  • Mac OS X Tiger for Dummies ($14.95 - Amazon) [This book is not yet released, but was scheduled to be carried at the Apple Store when it was published]
  • Dr. Mac: The OS X Files ($34.99 - Amazon)

Andy Ihnatko:

There is more information in the San Jose Mercury News story. You can find out more about iCon Steve Jobs: The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business (US$16.47 - Amazon) when it is released in May of 2005.

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