Apple announces e-book store

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Think iBooks Looks Familiar? You're Not The Only One.

Apple’s hoping to recreate the magic of what iTunes did for music with the addition of a vast selection of electronic books. Announced at Apple’s event today, the iBook store.

Book pricing has been set similarly to what’s offered on Amazon.com’s Kindle platform — the first book shown at Apple’s event was priced $14.99, a Ted Kennedy book (available on Kindle for $14.78).

The books you own will be displayed on a bookshelf and the pages inside the books themselves are displayed on an off-white background. Page turns are handled simply by tapping on the right or left sides of the screen and showcase a nice page-curling effect.

According to Jobs, “Amazon has done a great job of pioneering this tech. We’re gonna stand on their shoulders and go farther. Five of the largest publishers in the world are supporting us with all their books and we want everyone in there.”

The iPad will support the popular ePub format and authors will be able to embed multimedia such as photos, videos, and audio files directly into books. That’s a cool feature for standard books and an outstanding feature for textbooks. Imagine your history book containing video and audio snippets.

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