Publisher says Apple removed all its books from Apple stores due to upcoming Steve Jobs bio

“John Wiley & Sons, a leading publisher of technology books, said Apple Computer has removed all its titles from the shelves of Apple stores in apparent retaliation for the upcoming publication of a biography of Apple CEO Steve Jobs,” Dawn C. Chmielewski writes for The Mercury News.

“The books disappeared from Apple stores last week after a month of increasingly contentious discussions about publication of the book, ‘iCon Steve Jobs: The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business,’ said author Jeffrey S. Young. The book, co-written with William L. Simon, offers an unflinching account of the rise, fall and rebirth of one of Silicon Valley’s most charismatic figures,” Chmielewski writes. “Apple spokesman Steve Dowling declined to comment on Young’s book or whether the company had removed Wiley publications from its stores. An Apple executive was provided with an advance copy of the book, a person familiar with the situation said.”

Full article here.


  1. “Read the article”


    Now I get it. But if this is for real, then Apple isn’t doing themselves any favors. If what the author says is true, then the Biography is actually much more positive than the original written 20 years ago. I for one, am going to buy this book.

  2. This is going to affect more than just the publiher, the individual authors are going to lose money by this as well. Unless the biography is filled with lies, Apple shoult not boycott the company or punish the other authors just because Steve Jobs doesn’t like the fact that he can’t control everything.

  3. Personnally, I think the name of the book is a bit unflattering, though it may be unintentional. While I think “iCon” supposed to be “Icon,” it looks to me more like “Con,” as in con artist. That might be enough to ruffle a few feathers at apple.

    My two cents.

  4. Last time I checked, it was o.k. for companies to choose which products they will sell and not sell. Unless you live in Outer Slobovia, you shouldn’t have a hard time finding the book.

  5. I don’t like a number of things about this scenario, but it is kinda’ funny– playgroundish.

    It’s like “I’m gonna’ take my bat and ball home if you don’t play fair.”

  6. NOW where am I supposed to get my [insert subject matter here] For Dummies books when they come out??!!

    The worst thing about this is David Pogue and Bob LeVitus are published by Wiley, and their non-‘Dummies’ books are generally informative. Otherwise, Peachpit and O’Reilly books are, IMO, more comprehensive than the few ‘Dummies’ books that Wiley pumps out related to Apple products.

    In the long run, it won’t matter; when was the last time anyone paid full retail price for a book at the Apple Store, anyway?

  7. I can’t wait. Jobs is a fascinating person. I doubt that I’d like him in person but I love reading about him. The fact that they’re removing this publisher’s books from the stores is just another interesting facet to his persona.

  8. If I owned a business that sold products made by another business, and that business made/marketed a product that was unflattering about me or my business- damn right I would sever that business relationship.

    That said- contractual obligations/considerations might impact my decision but not my desire to terminate the relation (short term).

    The publisher new the risk they were taking when they decided to publish this book. They were either fools or felt the profits made by this one title justified risking the releationship.

    Answer- They were Fools for underestimating Steve’s desire to control his image.

  9. Steev,
    The problem is that there are many other authors that had nothing to do with the biography, except for the misfortune of having the same publisher, that are being punished by Apple’s action. Apple has every right to boycott the specific book or individual author, but it’s not fair to punish the other innocent authors.

  10. Personally, I think the “iCon” in the title is extremely clever – even more so with what MacNewbie pointed out.

    Apple makes great computers, devices, and software. Apple also has the right to decide what products it sells in it’s stores. However, IMHO Apple’s reaction is childish – like a spoiled, insecure, brat who is going to take away his toys and is not going to continue to play simply because he can not have everything his way. (And this is very consistent with everything that I’ve read or heard about Steve Jobs – gotta love the irony.)

    JW&S – relax – Apple’s response is going to draw positive attention to your book and have people seek out this book and your other titles. Apple may have won the battle over shelf space, but word is out.

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