A small publishing company called Peter Pauper Press today announced an iPad version of a print book called The Little Black Book of Kama Sutra.
The book is part of a continuing series of “Little Black Books” and “Little Pink Books.” Other titles include The Little Black Book of Cocktails and The Little Pink Book of Etiquette.
The Kama Sutra book is very much in line with a growing trend of publishing books as interactive apps instead of as e-books. The only trouble is that the book is sexual in nature and illustrated with photographs. The publisher isn’t even going to try to get it past Apple censors, but instead intends to distribute it independently rather than through the iTunes App Store.
The Kama Sutra puts Apple in an awkward position.
The content is really an Indian religious text that predates the fall of the Roman Empire. For Apple to simply ban such works (note that Apple has not banned and reportedly will not be given the opportunity to ban the book) is to risk a thriving black market in content that many may prefer to Apple’s own store or worse, a reputation for having an inferior set of content maps to Google’s Android platform.
It’s clear that Apple needs an alternative to its present system simply banning on not banning. There needs to be some way for adults to be able to buy adult content for the iPad or it will never be serious content form.
The bottom line is this: If Apple wants to get a leg up on the competition, it can’t pretend that its hands are tied. Apple needs to be more flexible, or it risks screwing itself in the lucrative market for adult-only content.