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Posts tagged textbooks

Morning Roundup: Author rejects award. Women who write horror and more
July 11, 2014 | 9:00 am

women who write horror[caption id="attachment_115803" align="alignright" width="211"] Author Mary Shelley[/caption] Author Rejects Award Due to Amazon Backing (GoodeReader) The ultimate in low class and poor breeding has occurred in the book world as an author turned down a major award due to its association with Amazon. UK-based children’s book author Allan Ahlberg declined the Booktrust Best Book Awards‘ Lifetime Achievement Award because the £5,000 prize money had been donated by Amazon. *** Horror and the Women Who Write It (Book Riot) I started to delve into the online world of horror writers and horror writing forums. In my attempts to join that community, I started to realize that...

Why aren’t eBooks disrupting the college textbook market?
April 11, 2014 | 12:25 pm

college textbook marketThanks to Nate at The Digital Reader for sending this article my way. The write-up, from a blog called Fast Company has some interesting insights into why the college textbook market has not been taken over by ebooks yet. I have long held my own ideas on this matter. I have taken one course which had an online textbook option, and the functionality was so limited that it wasn't even worth bothering. Cut and paste was completely disabled, the books could not be read offline, they were scanned PDF and not OCR-searchable, and they expired the day after the course ended....

Italy targets 19 percent book tax rebate to promote culture
December 18, 2013 | 2:15 pm

italyAs reported by Italian press agency Agenzia Giornalistica Italia (AGI), the Italian government is planning a 19 percent tax rebate for book buyers, up to a maximum annual limit of EUR 2000 ($2746). As part of the package of measures entitled "Destination Italy,"  the plan, just approved by the Council of Ministers and announced by Premier Enrico Letta last Friday, is designed "to promote greater dissemination of reading physical books," and applies to all books with a "user ISBN." The Destination Italy package is designed to encourage inward investment and foreign business activity in Italy. "Destinazione Italia is the expression of...

NetNames wants you to believe its textbook piracy figures, buy its services
October 18, 2013 | 10:35 am

NetNames Statements by "domain management, online brand protection and online security" company NetNames about the size of the problem of textbook piracy in the UK are being picked up by the BBC and The Bookseller magazine. According to the BBC report quoted, 76 percent of a sample of 50 popular textbook titles were available for download on one file sharing site alone. The reports do focus on the issue of textbook pricing and availability as much as on piracy per se. NetNames' director of piracy analysis, David Price is quoted at length on the issue of textbook pricing, emphasizing that publishers need...

Don’t Go to Art School, Part 5: The Nearly-Free English Degree, Year Four
August 26, 2013 | 3:29 pm

schoolRead the entire "Don't Go to Art School" series: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 * * * For year four of our Nearly-Free English Degree, we'll be covering contemporary times and other special topics. Each "course" below is worth one credit. Literary Theory and one of the In-Depth Study courses are compulsory; you'll need to pick two others, from at least two of the groups, and then pick three electives. One of these other electives can be another literature class from any of the categories for any year, but two of them should be non-English courses from the selections...

Textbook Piracy: Growing problem or reasonable solution?
August 23, 2013 | 6:59 pm

online learningCollege ended about 10 years ago for me. That wasn’t the dark ages of technology. We all had laptops and cell phones and constantly checked email. We all worried about the prices of textbooks too. Part of me wonders what it would be like if I went to college now. Colleges are starting their fall semesters right about now, and students are scrambling to find cheap versions of their textbooks for classes. These costs add up. College students find themselves spending hundreds of dollars just on books alone. I was lucky, and tended to read the books in the library or buy them...

Renting Textbooks from Amazon? Better Not Cross State Lines…
August 18, 2013 | 3:39 pm

AmazonA poster at Mobile Read alerted me to this shocking story from Inside Higher Ed, about a new textbook rental program. The article warns of a clause in the textbook rental fine print that restricts users renting through Amazon's Warehouse Deals, Inc, from moving the textbook out of the state in which it was initially purchased. From the article: "At first glance, the restriction doesn’t seem to make much sense. But to those who have been following Amazon’s aggressive efforts to avoid charging state and local sales tax, the reasoning behind it becomes clearer. Kenneth C. (Casey) Green, founding director of the Campus Computing...

Weekend Roundup: E-books on the fly; textbook publishers; Google’s translation technology; and more
July 27, 2013 | 11:44 am

e-booksTextbook publishers revamp ebooks to fight used market (NBC News) A booming market in recent years for selling and renting used college textbooks has saved students across the United States a ton of cash. But it has put textbook publishers in a bind. They don't make a cent unless students buy their books new. * * * New Mobile and Online Library Service 'Hoopla' Does Everything But Ebooks (DBW) A new digital library services vendor, Hoopla, is out of beta and is now operational at a handful of libraries. The company gives access to libraries and patrons video, music and audio books — but...

Morning Roundup: The new gatekeepers; Google’s digital textbooks; and more
July 25, 2013 | 8:47 am

Morning RoundupThe New Gatekeepers Are Economists (The Scholarly Kitchen) Today’s gatekeepers are no longer the big media companies (defined as organizations that invest in and distribute content: books, magazines, television, journals, movies) but the huge technology companies that have learned how to profit from others’ content:  Amazon, Google, Apple, Facebook. * * * Fiction eBooks to Overtake Print by 2014 (Good e-Reader) Nielsen is reporting that they have it on good authority that Fiction eBooks will overtake print by 2014. * * * Google Will Sell and Rent Digital Textbooks Starting in August (GigaOM) Google will start selling and renting digital textbooks through the Play store next month,...

Study shows college textbook piracy rising, digital textbook adoption falling
July 18, 2013 | 5:32 am

On The Digital Reader, Nate Hoffelder has some details from a study suggesting that the adoption of digital textbooks is in trouble, and piracy is up considerably. Nate places the blame on the rising cost of textbooks in general. He includes a chart that shows textbook prices have been increasing at a considerably higher rate over the last 35 years than the consumer price index, the housing bubble, and even health care. He quotes a contact who notes that prices on core textbooks, the ones that most students have to get, are especially prone to price increases. It looks...

Self-Published Books Not a Solution for K-12? Don’t Be So Sure…
May 6, 2013 | 2:37 pm

self-published Christopher Harris has a thought-provoking essay up at The Digital Shift in which he argues that self-published books are "not a solution" for K-12. He argues that publishers "serve a critical role in the information ecosystem" by vetting and recommending quality books to school librarians, who often work alone without the benefits of a large paid staff to assist them in their book-buying choices. I sympathize with the task Harris, and other school librarians, face. But I think he misses the point that publishers have the prominence they do simply because until recently, we lacked the technological abilities for anyone else...

Supreme Court rules importation of textbooks legal under First Sale doctrine
March 19, 2013 | 7:35 pm

Remember the Supreme Court case about the Thai exchange student who bulk imported cheap overseas copies of textbooks and resold them in the U.S. (making over $1 million in sales) to finance his doctorate? The judges handed down a decision today. By a six to three majority, they found that the student’s importation and resale was legal under the Fair Use Doctrine. Just because the books were printed overseas did not exempt them from the right of First Sale, which means that people who buy them can resell them as they please. Ars Technica has more details on the decision. Essentially,...