"Steve Jobs has started writing a book," a plugged-in tipster tells me. It's the barest of rumors, but the book industry is already eagerly anticipating the Apple CEO's autobiography.

Jobs became a jealous guard of his own privacy after Time reported in 1983 that he denied being the father of his daughter Lisa Brennan-Jobs. He later acknowledged her, but he has since become famous for being uncooperative with writers and publishers. After Wiley came out with an unauthorized biography, iCon: Steve Jobs, Jobs had the computer-book publisher's wares removed from the shelves at every Apple Store. (And that was for a book subtitled The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business, mind you.)

Amazon.com has more than 7,000 search results for "Steve Jobs." Yet he has never written a book himself. (The closest he came was a foreword for To Infinity and Beyond!, a history of Jobs's Pixar studio.)

An autobiography, entirely in his own words, would be the perfect medium for this famous control freak. And publishers have been eager for a Jobs memoir for years. When Dan Lyons shopped a book based on his Fake Steve Jobs blog, many publishers rejected him because they feared that putting out Lyons's book would get them blackballed from the bidding for the real Jobs autobiography, if and when he chooses to write one.

There's no time like the present. Jobs has faced his own mortality since 2003, when he learned he had pancreatic cancer. He's officially on medical leave from Apple through June, citing "complex" health problems. It's hard to see an obsessive workaholic like Jobs taking bedrest, though. Why not pass the time writing a memoir?