Apple jumps into the ebook trade with iBook store

During the unveiling of the iPad today, Apple CEO Steve Jobs also announced a new iBook app and a store to sell ebooks for Apple’s newest device.

According to reports in the Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post and others, the new application places a bookshelf on the iPad displaying the ebooks owned by the user.

The iBooks Store will apparently operate along the lines of the iTunes Store. There has been speculation that Jobs’ latest venture may be the application that pushes ebooks into the mainstream (just as the iTunes did for digital music downloads) and be the revenue stream that saves publishing, most particularly magazines and newspapers looking for a new revenue model to replace paid subscriptions and print copy sales.

Others have as vehemently suggested that the iBooks Store will extend Apple’s price-setting practices into a whole new industry in a way that will not help publishers.

With Kindle’s audience growing, Barnes & Noble’s Nook still on backorder at stores around the country, and Sony launching its own wireless Reader, 2010 continues to look like the year of the ebook.

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February 18 meeting: Book Publishers Northwest will meet at the Pacific Place Barnes & Noble at 4 pm to take an in-depth “Look at the Nook” and have a behind-the-scenes discussion with B&N sellers about what type of ebooks appeal to Nook owners. More information will be sent out in the February newsletter. If you would like to subscribe to BPNW News, follow the directions in the right-hand column.

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