Apple as of August 2010 supports English, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese and Swedish.
Don’t see your language listed? As of March 2011, the iBookstore does not support the following languages-
Persian, Old (ca.600-400 B.C.), Persian, Samaritan Aramaic, Amharic, Arabic, Official Aramaic (700-300 BCE), Imperial Aramaic (700-300 BCE), Burmese, Chinese, Hebrew, Japanese, Judeo-Persian, Judeo-Arabic, Central Khmer, Lao, Mon-Khmer.
Just because the iBookstore does not support the above mentioned languages, doesn’t mean that iBooks itself does not support them. iBooks renders exceptional foreign language support in ePub 2 and ePub 3. Japanese looks great being displayed vertically and rendered in a right to left orientation. Arabic flows right to left. Chinese characters are flawless using the ruby tag.
Confused? Me too. This raises another big red flag in the market. How are publishers to sell books in foreign languages to Apple users?
AEL Data has devised a solution that will enable you as a publisher to reach out to Apple users with foreign language content without selling the books via iBookstore.
“I don’t understand the reasoning behind Apple’s thought process in regards to not supporting foreign language in the iBookstore. Nevertheless, we are always there to provide solutions to our publishers to cope with such market anomalies,” says Mohammed Sadiq, V.P of AEL.
The solution. Foreign language eBooks can be sold online via the web in the form of ePub 2 and ePub 3 and accompanied with a mobile app customized for individual publishers. In other words, the ebooks will be made available on an eCommerce platform and the purchases being made online through a credit card or a payment gateway. The customized reader app will be available for free on the iTunes store and once downloaded and installed on the local device memory, it is ready for use. The reader boasts of a “Cloud Sync” option with a local bookshelf which will be made available offline as well. Once the purchase is completed on the web, there is an option to sync the web account with the reader and Voila! the ePubs are now made available on the reader. On the iPad, or the iPhone.
Presently, the reader offered by AEL is called the “Lektz” reader and is available for free on the Apple App store as well as Google Play store. Lektz is being used to make AEL’s process more consistent along the way, but Sadiq confirms that the SaaS model will be available to clients.
Visit us next week for an in-depth analysis of the Lektz reader.