Ingram announced today a partnership with Chegg, an online textbook rental company. The new e-textbook program from Chegg will allow students the option to purchase or rent digital books. Ingram’s Vital Source will power Chegg’s digital textbook option. More information is available in the press release.
On Tuesday, May 3rd I recorded a 15 minute segment for the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education on Think TV, the local public television station in Dayton, Ohio. My topic was the rise of digital textbooks and options available for students and faculty to access and produce textbooks and learning materials. Below is a snapshot of my general comments with links to various sources for more information.
Our current textbook system is broken. We have arrived at $200 textbooks and have students who cannot afford them. As a result, students try to borrow a textbook from the library or a friend (sometimes the older edition), purchase a used one, or go without. Neither of these options provides revenue to the publisher, thus resulting in higher price points in an effort to recover the costs or production. What can we do about this catch 22? Continue reading
Earlier this week I attended the O’Reilly Tools of Change (TOC) Conference for the first time. Over 1250 attendees gathered in New York City to discuss and network about issues and trends in publishing, in particular, digital publishing. While much of the information presented was for the publishing industry, I did manage to find several great ideas and concepts that relate to libraries. I’d like to share these with you, in no apparent order. Continue reading
Interesting article in the NYT today about Barnes & Noble’s textbook rental program. According to the article, textbooks can be rented from college bookstores for about 42% of the retail price. B & N piloted the program last year in a few schools, it has now been expanded to 25 campuses. Renting textbooks isn’t a new phenomenon, but it’s picked up in popularity due to federal grants for bookstores to start rental programs (to combat the high cost of textbooks). Cengage and Chegg.com are also options. Are you allowed to highlight and write in the rented books I wonder? If this takes off, how might this impact the regularity of new editions? Unfortunately, it only offers an option to students, renting. It doesn’t get to the heart of the matter, which is the high cost of the book.
Here in Ohio we experimented with leasing e-textbooks from CourseSmart. It didn’t work out so well because the program has been canceled. Students just aren’t ready to embrace the e-textbook, they want “a real book.”