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Posts tagged textbooks

Textbook publisher Follett threatens price-comparison browser plug-in
January 6, 2015 | 1:23 pm

A textbook price-comparison browser extension developed by textbook price finding site Texts.com has come under fire from textbook publisher Follett. This extension, “Occupy the Bookstore,” sits in a user’s browser and pops up less-expensive alternative purchasing sites when the user is visiting some online textbook store. Follett asked Texts.com to remove the extension because it draws sales away from stores Follet supplies. Texts.com has no intention of dropping the extension. They believe Follet does not have a case, because the price-comparison plug-in does not actually interact with the stores’ web sites; it interacts with data on the customer’s browser...

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,...

For more free textbooks, look at iTunes U
March 11, 2013 | 9:48 pm

free textbooksBy Dr. Frank Lowney This past weekend, Dr. Frank Lowney, an occasional TeleRead contributor, brought to our attention an online archive of free, Creative Commons licensed university textbooks known as the Flatworld Knowledge Book Archive. We heard from Dr. Lowney again yesterday; he told us that "another, larger source of free e-textbooks can actually be found on iTunes U. But that story, he said, is a bit more complicated." His explanation follows: Educational providers, such as institutions of higher education, can get a public iTunes U site from Apple at zero cost. Those public sites contain both "collections" and "courses." A collection can...

A legitimate archive of free textbooks
March 9, 2013 | 4:19 pm

free textbooks I received an email earlier this week from Dr. Frank Lowney, an occasional TeleRead contributor, and the author of The Coming ePublishing Revolution in Higher Education. Dr. Lowney, who is professionally affiliated with Georgia College & State University, most definitely knows his stuff when it comes to college textbooks, and higher education in general. That's important to point out, because in his email, Dr. Lowney brought to my attention a fantastic online archive of entirely free, Creative Commons licensed textbooks. (That is to say, a completely legit archive.) And while I am familiar with the company that originally created the archive--they're known...

What’s Happening to College Bookstores?
February 27, 2013 | 10:56 pm

college bookstoresBy Dr. Frank Lowney I recently traveled to Kansas City, Mo., to attend the annual convention put on by the National Association of College Stores (NACS), and to participate in a panel discussion on the impact of emerging technologies upon the textbook business. The CAMpus market EXpo, or CAMEX, is billed as the “largest annual tradeshow and educational event in the collegiate retailing industry.” NACS represents nearly all U.S. college stores, but CAMEX is attended primarily by people who run campus-owned stores. Half of all college stores are campus-owned; the other half are outsourced operations such as eFollett. The experience firmed-up many of...

App Review: Nota
February 22, 2013 | 11:00 am

With tablets becoming part of the classroom, new apps regularly arrive on the market to aid educators. One of the newest releases for Android devices is Nota, an app that allows users to add videos, links and images to the pages of textbooks. Nota could aid a wide range of people, providing a comprehensive way for students to learn that goes far beyond mere words. “Cost has been a disruptive factor in education, with soaring student debt and escalating tuition causing many families to wonder whether they can—or even should—pursue a traditional degree,” Nota Editor-in-Chief Stephanie Ray wrote on the company's blog....

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