Friday, May 13, 2005

Steve Jobs' Executive Temper Tantrum

In case you missed it in late April -- well, I did -- Apple and Wiley are butting heads over a no-holds-barred book, titled "iCon Steve Jobs: The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business." (sighs) Whatever. (snores)

Like J.D. Lasica, author of the blog alerting me to the story, I'm a Wiley author. And I bought an iPod for my daughter, who happens to enjoy hanging out at the local Apple store. Yeah, well, who cares?

(takes a deep breath)

Here are the two questions media watchers have been asking:

1. Now that Apple Computer has pulled Dummies books from its stores, should Wiley brace itself for a boycott among Apple users, regardless of the retailer?
2. Or will this retaliation by Jobs' mob simply create buzz, thereby fueling sales of the unauthorized bio?

Nice strong arm tactic, Mr. Jobs. With the book's release only three days away, let's review how this virtual book burning has backfired already. (Note: I like lists...)
1. John Wiley & Sons moved up the release date of the controversial book by a month, says Wired News. Wiley's CDA site features the book under the banner "iControversy." Wiley has so many avenues of book distribution, this won't hurt a bit.
2. The controversial authors are making the promotional rounds. They've already been mentioned and/or interviewed on Fox, CNN, NBC, etc. A Yahoo search of the keywords "Steve Jobs" and "Wiley" produces 45,600 hits.
3. The San Jose Mercury News says no one would have cared about the book if Mr. Jobs hadn't made such a big stink. Now, everyone's curiosity is peaked. Even if the book tanks, or reveals absolutely nothing new or interesting, the authors will have made their mark.

After suing bloggers, settling with Eminem over a copyright violation and this, Apple's image has seen better days. If there was ever a lesson to be learned in book PR, it's this: any publicity is good publicity. I'm sure authors Jeffrey S. Young and William L. Simon would like to shake your hand about now...provided you promise not to punch them out.

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1 comment:

Kim M. Bayne said...

HINDSIGHT (Another list!)
1. Steve Jobs is a smart man. Did he really think his demands were going to be met? Did the PR folks at Apple warn him this could stimulate book sales, and if so, did he ignore them?
2. The PR folks at John Wiley & Sons must have strategized that this was a great way to generate interest in the book. I know it is standard procedure to send materials to bio subjects to check facts, but come on. There is only one reason Wiley would send an unauthorized bio to the subject. To create deliberately controversy.