The Wall Street Journal is reporting this morning that Apple is in talks with Harper Collins regarding ebooks for the new tablet. They suggest that the publisher will set the prices of the books with Apple taking a cut, in similar fashion to the 30/70 split currently in place for the App Store (but percentages not determined). The most interesting line notes that the ebooks "...will have added features."
Back in December, HarperCollins CEO Brian Murray noted that "...e-books enhanced with video, author interviews and social-networking applications" were a possibility. Just watch this demo from Sports Illustrated to get an idea of the potential. While consumers love the über-cheap prices being offered on the Kindle and the Nook, publishers would undoubtedly like to bump them up a little. These additional features will serve both the consumer and the publisher: Shoppers get a more interesting ebook experience, wrapped in Apple style, while publishers receive a bigger payday.
The Wall Street Journal notes that other publishers have been talking with Apple without offering any additional details. Now that we have a firm date for the tablet's introduction (probably, maybe) the rumors are going to swirl ever faster. Hold on to your seats.