UPDATE: Apple support advises authors who don’t upload directly to iTunes using iTunes Producer contact their agent to correct any page number errors.
Have you ever made a decision to purchase a book on iTunes based upon the number of pages shown for that ebook? If you have you have been mislead by Apple.
In my opinion it makes no sense to list page size for digital devices when file size or even word count would be more meaningful to a user.
I first noticed this rotten worm in Apple iTunes when checking out one of my picture ebooks for children. It seems Apple doesn’t consider pictures as part of a book and only counts words.
If an ebook on iTunes contains a high number of pictures, like a travel book, a picture book or an art book, pages containing pictures are not counted towards how many actual pages the ebook contains.
Every one of my ebooks, and likely every book by any author on Apple containing images, is much larger than indicated by the number of pages listed by Apple in their iTunes ebook shop.
The difference in page length between the original MSWord and Amazon is that the original had to be altered to include several page breaks to conform with Amazon Kindle formatting regarding Title, Copyright, Table of Contents, etc. This difference applies to all Amazon ebooks and my original document I sent to Smashwords.
On iTunes my picture ebook for children titled “Bubble Trouble” is shown as 4 pages. On Amazon the same ebook is listed as 22 pages. The original MSWord document is 18 pages. This ebook contains thirteen color pictures within the story, and the appendix has six black and white pictures from the story in 8.5 x 11 pages for printing out and coloring by a child.
A reader viewing one of my ebooks or any ebook containing pictures is drawn towards the data for that book. If they see a low number of pages they probably bypass that book and look for a different book with a larger number of pages.
Apple’s use of misleading page sizes hurts potential sales for authors such as I, but also robs the reader of discovering a new author or enjoying the ebook itself when a purchase decision is influenced by inaccurate page size data.
My advice for any Apple owner is to disregard the indicated pages for an ebook. If you are really curious about the size of a book then check it out on another retail outlet like Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, or even Amazon.
My advice for Apple is to join the digital age and replace their iTunes page size data with something more useful for readers, such as file size or number of words.