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Apple launches 'Breakout Books' to highlight exclusive, self-published works

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iPad iBooks
iPad iBooks

One major benefit of ebooks doesn't necessarily apply directly to readers — digital reading has made it a good deal simpler for aspiring authors to self-publish books and sell them through huge storefronts like Amazon's Kindle Store or Apple's iBookstore. Now, Apple is making an effort to do more promotion for those indie authors by means of a new section of its online store called "Breakout Books." According to Apple's descriptions, all of the books listed are independently published to Apple's storefront and have also received high rankings from those who have already purchased and read the books — it's like a "best of" section for the self-publishers in the iBookstore.

They're grouped in three broad genres at the moment (romance, sci-fi / fantasy, and mysteries / thrillers) with a fourth catch-all "more to explore" section as well. Many of the books are quite inexpensive, and a surprising amount are free, so there's definitely less of a financial risk to try these offerings out. The page isn't overflowing with options at the moment, but Apple says they'll keep fleshing it out as more books "begin taking off." For those interested in supporting independent authors and finding some content that isn't on The New York Times bestseller list, this might be a page worth keeping an eye on — and it gives Apple an outlet to promote its independent work, just as Amazon has made its self-published Kindle content a major part of its own store.