via Apple To Announce Tools, Platform To ‘Digitally Destroy’ Textbook Publishing | Epicenter | Wired.com
MacInnis sees Apple as possibly up-ending the traditional print publishing model for the low-end, where basic information has for many years remained locked behind high textbook prices. Apple can “kick up dust with the education market,” which could then create visibility for platforms like Inkling. This could then serve as a sort of professional Logic-type tool for interactive textbook creation complement to Apple’s “GarageBand for e-books.”
“There will be a spectrum of tools and consumers, and we will continue to fit on that spectrum,” MacInnis opined. “I don’t know if the publishing industry will react to it with fear or enthusiasm.”
Everyone who has any concept of the future knows that e-books are coming. They are the next logical step into the digital future. Of course there will be those who do everything they can to block this from happening. Leading that charge will likely be the current textbook publishers who earn more than $8 billion per year making the paper version. Where e-books are available today they are generally about 10 -15% of the cost of the paper versions. When e-textbooks become widely available what will happen to those dynasties? Will they go the way of the buggy whip manufacturers or will they get on the e-book trend instead of fighting it. That is anyone’s guess. Another industry that might take a hit with this change will be the backpack manufacturers and future chiropractors. Jimmy will no longer have to pack twenty pounds of books to school everyday.
One of the scariest parts of this industry is the control that such a small group has on textbook content. What your grandkids learn is currently pretty much up to a handfull of powerful people from Texas. When e-book publishing, which I think Apple will be addressing, becomes much easier the choices in each educational area will expand dramatically. This will be a good thing for local schools. Having a choice is never a bad thing.
The biggest complaint about e-textbooks from their potential users are that they are currently mostly in the .pdf version and therefore you can’t highlight or otherwise mark on them. The other is the glare and eye strain from the brightly lite screens. I have a feeling that by the end of this week those two complaints will be history. Apple, who has shaken more than one industry, will according to this article be shaking up this one also.
E-textbooks are coming, it is just a matter of when. Like everything else that has gone into antiquity there will be those who mourn their demise and do everything they can to prevent it from happening, and there will be those who jump on board to make them better and even less expensive. I hope that the U.S. is a leader in this in new field. We need the jobs.
Don’t be afraid of change, it is your friend….