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Inkling to Launch a New iBooks Author Competitor Next Week?

O’Reilly will be holding their annual digital publishing conference next week, and I will be there, helping with the ereader petting zoo. But do you know who else will be there? Ryan Knapp, one of the founders of Inkling.

As you probably know, Inkling was one of the hot iPad startups of 2010. They were developing an enhanced textbook platform on the iPad, and they’ve been selling textbooks via their own app. But besides launching and periodically going back for more capital, Inkling hasn’t done much that is newsworthy of late. But soon that will change.

I have now heard hints from no less than 3 sources that next week Inkling plans to unveil ebook authoring tools. I don’t yet know what those tools are, but given the nature of the textbooks that Inkling sells, I suspect that this is going to be an alternative to iBooks Author.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any more details. My attempts to contact Inkling (email and Twitter) failed, so really all I have to go on are the hints. But still, this is an interesting story.

Inkling was one of several companies that I half expected to vanish under the deluge of hype surrounding the launch of iBook Author. I’ve been watching them in the weeks since, and it’s good to see them keeping calm and fighting back.

I, for one, am really looking forward to next week’s news. I’m hoping that Inkling’s tools aren’t quite so encumbered as iBooks Author. WIth that app you can only make enhanced ebooks in the one format and you re only allowed to sell that ebook via iBooks (after Apple gives you permission to do so).

While I am sure that Inkling wants you to make textbooks for their iPad app, I am still holding out some small hope that it will offer cross-platform support. Even just a minimum level of Epub output would be great.


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