According to a new report which has come from GoodEReader.com (via 9to5Mac), Apple is apparently preparing to launch a new E-publishing Program in late January, tied in with the reported Apple media event. The program would be designed to get budding unsigned authors to use the new self-publishing platform to get their content on the iBookstore. If this takes off, then it is essentially an resource with which Amazon or Barnes and Noble could find it difficult to compete.
Certainly, one of the ways that Apple could help to drive this digital self-publishing platform is through tight integration of iWork software and the iBookstore. Late last year, Apple placed an advertisement on their Corporate Jobs website looking for a software engineer who would be specifically focused upon import/export layers for the next generation of iWork software, likely now to be iWork ’12. This individual could be well placed to design and implement new features that would facilitate the rapid and easy publication of material directly from iWork, which can already export in EPUB format although, weirdly, does not open EPUB files.
If Apple were looking for a novel way to get people back on board and using iWork, this may be a good start because, let’s face it, the lack of major updates of iWork will have driven quite a few Mac users into the hands of MS Office. Generating a really tight integration between iWork, EPUB, and the iBookstore would be a fantastic advantage over companies like Amazon who do not have the iWork brand/software platform.
Of course, any muppet with a word processor can publish a digital book but Apple could be packaging this in a particularly friendly way. The new iWork/iBookstore partnership could be to authors, what the SDK/App Store was to developers when iOS was released.
Just a thought.