Apple's textbook endeavor may be off to a better start than anyone expected. According to Global Equities Research, a firm that tracks iBook sales, iTunes customers downloaded over 350,000 textbooks in the first three days of availability. The system also logged 90,000 downloads of iBooks Author, despite lingering questions about licensing and ownership rights of the resulting work.
Apple iBooks Author opens a new world of publishing for the education market. As pointed out by Steve Sande in his review of the authoring tool, iBooks Author is designed to help writers produce textbooks. Usually a market reserved for prominent publishers, the tool could open the door for smaller publishers to distribute books or even individual teachers to produce customized content for their students. As someone who homeschool their children, I'm excited to see if curriculum companies embrace this technology. I'm already using the iPad about 30 percent of the time, and would love to use it more often.