Following Apple’s announcement regarding a media-related event to be held in New York this Thursday, new information has arisen to suggest that Apple may be planning to disrupt the textbook industry, as well as making it easier for authors to create e-books and submit them to the iBookstore.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple will announce a partnership over digital textbooks with McGraw-Hill, Cengage Learning, and other educational publishers. Apple has reportedly been working with McGraw-Hill since June leading up to this week’s announcement. This falls in line with predictions made by our own Jim Gresham.
This could easily mark an extremely significant moment, and could show Apple disrupting the textbook industry to make digital textbooks more available and easier to use, lower prices on digital course materials, or even invent an entirely new digital textbook experience unlike anything we’ve imagined thus far, possibly incorporating collaborative or social tools.
Meanwhile, Ars Technica reports that Apple will be announcing a simple GarageBand-like tool to make it easier for authors or publishers to create e-books, especially in the education sector:
At the same time, however, authoring standards-compliant e-books (despite some promises to the contrary) is not as simple as running a Word document of a manuscript through a filter. The current state of software tools continues to frustrate authors and publishers alike, with several authors telling Ars that they wish Apple or some other vendor would make a simple app that makes the process as easy as creating a song in GarageBand. Our sources say Apple will announce such a tool on Thursday.
A simple tool to aid in the creation of eBooks would actually make a lot of sense – it would increase the range of titles available in the iBookstore, help new authors get discovered, and help bring additional revenue in to Apple.
Whatever the specifics might be, it seems that Thursday’s event will almost certainly focus on education, and more specifically on the textbook industry, and will likely discuss Apple’s iBooks platform in general.
We’ll keep you up on the latest information from the event as soon as it becomes available to us.