Publishers Offering Feature-Packed, Digital Textbooks to Overcome Used Market Woes
July 23, 2013 10:28 AM
comment(s) - last by
About 77 percent of students said they still prefer print books
Textbook publishers are hoping to battle the used textbook market with digital options, but it could take some time before students hop on that bandwagon.
Publishers like McGraw-Hill Education and Pearson Plc don't make any money on used textbooks; their revenue comes from sales of new textbooks. However, college students in particular aren't always willing to pay the steep prices for new textbooks -- which can run hundreds of dollars -- after already having to pay thousands for tuition.
This is where the used market comes in handy. Students can buy used print books on the cheap, and then resell them when the semester is over.
used "Biology" by Sylvia Mader and Michael Windelspecht as an example. The brand-new print version costs $229, and the used version costs $102. Students can typically resell it for about $95.
Which route do you think students are going to take?
To address this issue for publishers, they're launching
digital e-book versions
of their textbooks. This allows them to sell access codes to students, which expire when the semester ends.
For the book "Biology," the e-book version costs $120.
This is still more expensive than the used print version, and students don't have the option to resell it after use. But textbook publishers insist that the bonus material along with the access code is worth the extra money.
These digital versions can offer quizzes, study guides, flash cards, notes and some even act as a personal tutor for an additional fee.
McGraw-Hill launched its LearnSmart software in 2010, which is a persona guide through the company's e-books. At that time, there were only 150,000 subscribers. In 2012, there were more than a million students. They pay about $25 to $35 per course on top of the cost of the e-book.
But not all students care to use the extra features that come with e-books. Many still like to hold a physical book in their hands and study on their own without guides and quizzes to slow the process. Not everyone learns the same way.
In a 2012 study by the National Association of College Stores, about 77 percent of students said they still prefer print books. Another survey showed that just 14 percent of classes required online e-books.
Tech giants like Apple, Amazon and Microsoft have been working with publishers to offer e-books on devices like the iPad, Kindle and Surface. It's a win-win situation, since the tech companies sell their hardware and textbook publishers often get a cut of e-book versions sold.
Last year, Apple introduced
iBooks Author and iBooks 2
. iBook Author is Mac software that allows textbook writers and publishers to create textbooks for the iPad, and iBooks 2 is the sequel to the iBooks app that provides students with new study options like note-taking.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
7/23/2013 12:03:56 PM
Publishers already come up with "new" versions of the textbook to undermine selling used text books. Anyone that's taken a semester or two in college knows that. The whole thing is a scam, which is a shame because students are usually working hard to make ends meet already.
As far as the e-book concept - I love reading novels on my Kindle, but if I have an exam to study for I don't want a poorly timed cracked screen, dead/bad battery, etc. ruin my ability to study for a few days, or keep me tied to a computer so I can read it online. Most of the textbooks come with online quizes and "extended content", but who really has time to use most of that stuff anyway?
"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
Judge Finds Apple Guilty of E-Book Price Fixing
July 10, 2013, 9:20 AM
Apple Reinvents Textbooks/Publishing with iBook Author, iBooks 2
January 19, 2012, 11:49 AM
Netflix Announces 7-to-1 Stock Split, Eyes Explosive Overseas Growth
June 23, 2015, 8:18 PM
Sources: Hack on Fed. Database Lost 4.1M Social Security Numbers, Personal Info
June 11, 2015, 9:11 PM
The Big One: Chinese Hackers Steal Records of 4 Million U.S. Gov. Employees
June 4, 2015, 8:13 PM
Tutorial: Here's How to Force YouTube or Vimeo VIdeos to Embed as HTML5
June 3, 2015, 10:14 PM
Google Finally Fixes Maps Bug That Was Giving Racist, Profane Results
May 21, 2015, 1:43 PM
The Pirate Bay Loses Its Iconic Swedish Dot SE Domains
May 20, 2015, 6:31 PM
Most Popular Articles
F-16 Schools Trillion-Dollar F-35 in Mock Combat, Fleeing is Best Option Pilot Admits
July 1, 2015, 5:53 PM
SpaceX Falcon 9's Seventh Supply Mission to ISS Ends w/ Fiery Stage 1 Explosion
June 28, 2015, 1:10 PM
SanDisk's 200GB microSDXC Card Turns Smartphones Into Enviable PMPs
June 26, 2015, 2:02 PM
Windows XP, Vista Users Can Get Free Windows 10 Upgrade Thanks to Loophole
June 23, 2015, 2:23 PM
Apple Music: The Money, The Launch Hiccups, and the Nitty Gritty Details
June 30, 2015, 5:09 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information