Apple spotlights indie authors

Apple is rolling out a feature that organizes groups of popular self-published e-books and offers them prominent display on iBookstore.

According to the New York Times, the new feature is slated to appear under a banner titled “Breakout Books” and remain on the iBookstore’s main page for at least two weeks.

Breakout Books will remain a permanent feature of the site after two weeks, although it will probably not be so prominently displayed.

As Leslie Kaufman of the New York Times notes, Cupertino definitely has an incentive to offer self-published authors a boost, partly due to price.

Indeed, self-published authors often sell their books for $2.99 or less, which is obviously significantly less than most books sold via traditional publishers.

“Apple is helping to shape a brighter, more democratized future for book publishing,” confirmed Smashwords distributor Mark Coker, who noted that many of the 70 featured titles had originated from his distribution company.

Apple debuted its iBooks Author platform in January 2012. Originally targeted at the lucrative education market, Cupertino ultimately decided to open iBooks doors to other types of content.