While we are certain this Thursday’s Apple event in New York City will be focused on education, there’s not much else we know about the Cupertino company’s upcoming announcement. We’re assuming they’ll be no new hardware, but one report is claiming that the event will be more significant than we had originally anticipated.

Sources close to Ars Technica have revealed that Apple is set to launch a “GarageBand for eBooks.” A tool that will allow authors to create interactive books easier than ever before, in much the same way GarageBand allows us to create music:

Apple is slated to announce the fruits of its labor on improving the use of technology in education at its special media event on Thursday, January 19. While speculation has so far centered on digital textbooks, sources close to the matter have confirmed to Ars that Apple will announce tools to help create interactive e-books—the “GarageBand for e-books,” so to speak—and expand its current platform to distribute them to iPhone and iPad users.

The report goes on to explain the complexities authors face in having their eBook published, and how Apple’s tool would simplify the process and encourage a boom in content. According to Ars, users have been crying out for a tool of this kind:

At the same time, however, authoring standards-compliant e-books (despite some promises to the contrary) is not as simple as running a Word document of a manuscript through a filter. The current state of software tools continues to frustrate authors and publishers alike, with several authors telling Ars that they wish Apple or some other vendor would make a simple app that makes the process as easy as creating a song in GarageBand.

Not only will the software simplify eBook publication for authors, but it would also be advantageous to Apple. With more authors submitting more content to Apple’s iBookstore, the Cupertino company can offer iOS users a greater catalog of content that would allow it to stay ahead of rival services from the likes of Amazon and Android. The move may also boost the availability of school textbooks on the iPad, which is rumored to be Apple’s main goal.

Ars also reports that Apple could introduce support for ePub 3 standard, which removes some of the limitations of ePub 2 and would allow content formatted for iBooks to be used on other e-reader platforms.

Will you be hoping for a “GarageBand for eBooks” tool this Thursday?

[via The Next Web]