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Rumoured 'GarageBand for e-books' to bulldoze textbook biz

Apple hype machine powers up for Thursday

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A new app from Apple will emerge this week allowing users to create their own books - and steamroller the textbook industry - according to moles claiming to be close to the fruity tech titan.

All we know for sure is that the iPhone maker will hold an e-book-related media event on Thursday - it may not sound like the hottest technical innovation of the year, but unnamed sources whispered to Ars Technica that Apple plans to build upon a quote in Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs: the iPad biz baron said the textbook publishing was a "$8 billion a year industry ripe for digital destruction".

The Ars source says that Apple will unveil tools to create interactive books — like a "GarageBand for e-books", referring to the Apple-made app that lets users write their own songs. Apple's e-books can include video, images and text, but the new system could include 3D models, interactive charts and audio along with social networking elements.

The multimedia toolkit would be easy to use and - like GarageBand - would offer ordinary punters content creation tools usually handled by professionals.

Whether or not Apple's new innovation destroys the textbook industry in the long run, it appears to be working the key players in the short-term: Apple has signed deals with at least one major textbook publisher, according to the Wall Street Journal. We'll find out on Thursday. ®

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