HomeBookA new iWork about to launch with the iPad?

As an entrepreneur and startup business I’m always thinking about how Macs are used in these environments. When you look at Apple’s demo of iWork on the iPad it makes you speculate as to what Apple has up it’s sleeve. If the iPad is showing a version of iWork on a slimmed down hardware of a laptop in an iPad, it makes you wonder about the version of iWork for regular Macs. So here are my thoughts.

  1. More than likely an iPad and MacBook Pro will have the same file format for both so that files created on either platform can be shared seamlessly.
  2. Will the new version of iWork have an export function that will allow authors to publish their books in the epub file format?
  3. Will Apple’s revenue on book sales at the iBook store be more than the typical publisher’s take? Apple’s only costs will probably be only storage and bandwidth of an author’s ebook. No physical inventory or shipping required.
  4. What is the market share of the ebook market versus the real book market share?
  5. As an author, does the pricing structure allow me to sell a physical book through one channel and give away through the iBook store an ebook? My friend Ted said he buys physical books and then scans them into his Mac to do a search and find when he is looking for the facts from the book. This is much quicker to look up a “remembered” fact when time is short than finding the book and looking for the reference. I like his approach, hence this question.
  6. Can I charge different prices for a physical book versus an ebook in the iBook store?
  7. Can the iPad version of iWork allow for manipulating graphs and charts in the book? Imagine allowing to change the data on a book’s chart or table real time, that would be cool. An truly interactive and educational book.

Personally these are some unanswered questions, and more to follow, that need to be answered before I’m ready to jump to the iBook store. Early adopters will have no problem getting an iPad and seeing the benefits, but having just come from a book sellers trade show I did not see one Kindle or other ebook reader in the bunch.

The iPad will sell and will be a success, it’s just going to take a while to get it out to the average public as it’s “too expensive” for every day book readers to buy for everyday reading. Now education and all of the books that have to be carried, that’s another story. Sound like a niche product.

Your thoughts?

Update 03/31/2010:

Ars Technica has an article titled “How Self-Published authors getting in iBookstore via Smashwords” ┬átelling how independent publishers (formerly self published) authors will be able to get into the iBook store.


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