Kindle Store versus iBooks Store



Where should you purchase ebooks on technical subjects?
I searched for "Premiere Pro" books on kindle store and iBooks store.
  • There are 6 relevant books by big publishing houses in the Kindle store, of which 5 are also present in the iBooks store. Some big publishers are entirely absent from the iBooks store including Focal Press.
  • It costs $120 to purchase these 5 books on Kindle store, and it costs $155 to purchase the same books on the iBooks store. That's a savings of nearly 30% in favor of the kindle store.
  • Search results on kindle store are 5x better than on iBooks store. The top 10 results in the kindle store contained the 6 most relevant books whereas you've got to scroll through the top 48 results in iBooks store to find 5 of the relevant books.
  • Publishers are usually charged a fee for publishing on the Kindle platform based on file size (since Amazon incurs delivery costs for Whispersync on its 3G enabled kindle devices) which means they have an incentive to reduce file sizes. For example, the image-heavy book "Premiere Pro CC Visual Quickstart Guide" by PeachPit Press is 30MB on Kindle store and 155MB on iBooks store. iBooks store does not charge publishers for delivery costs, probably because it sells high-resolution iOS devices where poor quality images would stand out. In general, iBooks store has higher quality ebooks.
  • Kindle books, usually those by big publishing houses, limit the "simultaneous device usage" to 5 devices, where each installation of the Kindle software on your computer or using the Kindle Cloud reader counts as a distinct device. iBooks store allows all your iOS devices to read your iBooks and up to 5 authorized Macs (similar to audio & video content purchased from iTunes store.) The iBooks store is more generous with ebook usage restrictions.
  • Kindle store has a lot more book reviews, and it consolidates the reviews of the paperback, hardcover and ebook versions on the same page for convenience. In general, the Amazon reviews of technical books are reliable. The average star rating of these reviews is also shown in search results.
  • Kindle store allows lending of ebooks and recently introduced a MatchBook program - both of these benefits are not available in the iBooks store. However, big publishers usually disable these benefits for technical books on the kindle store.
  • Kindle ebooks can be read on wider variety of devices (Windows, Android, even in a web browser.) iBooks store purchased ebooks must be read on iOS devices or on iBooks for Mac, only available on OS X Mavericks.

Conclusion:
Technical books are significantly cheaper on the kindle store. Use the amazon reviews to pick the most relevant technical book(s). Watch out for poor amazon reviews regarding image quality in ebooks. Verify whether the publisher skimped on the kindle version by comparing file size on kindle store with the same book on iBook store. On the iBooks store, you can conveniently search for a specific ebook using it’s 13-digit Print ISBN number.