Now E-Textbooks Can Report Back on Students’ Reading Habits

Posted in Teaching on November 9th, 2012 by steve

“Data mining is creeping into every aspect of student life – classrooms, advising, socializing. Now it’s hitting textbooks, too …” (more)

[Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Education, 8 November]

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Ditch the Monograph

Posted in Research on October 19th, 2012 by steve

“A historian or anthropologist spends years working on a monograph, bulking up an argument. A scholarly publisher takes more years to shepherd that argument into print. Meanwhile, academic libraries have ever-smaller amounts of money and space to lavish on such books, which often have more pages than they have readers …” (more)

[Jennifer Howard, Chronicle of Higher Education, 14 October]

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Publishers offer deal on ebook pricing in EU

Posted in Legal issues on September 19th, 2012 by steve

“Apple and four publishers have offered to overhaul the pricing models for digital books to allay European Union concerns that they blocked competition …” (more)

[Business Post, 19 September]

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Bulk-Purchasing E-Textbook Experiment Expands to More Colleges

Posted in Teaching on September 6th, 2012 by steve

“An experimental business model for delivering e-textbooks is expanding, with some adjustments, to 26 colleges and universities this fall …” (more)

[Alisha Azevedo, Chronicle of Higher Education, 5 September]

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What Is an Access Code Worth?

Posted in Teaching on September 3rd, 2012 by steve

“The story of one University of Maine student’s quest for a reasonably priced textbook reveals just how complicated course materials have become as the textbook industry makes its awkward transition from print to digital …” (more)

[Jeffrey R Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, 3 September]

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States reach $69 million ebook pricing settlement with publishers

Posted in Legal issues on August 30th, 2012 by steve

“Ebook-buying consumers in 49 states (all except Minnesota) and five territories are set to receive $69 million as the result of a settlement between the states and HarperCollins, Hachette and Simon & Schuster …” (more)

[Laura Hazard Owen, Paid Content, 29 August]

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Students Find E-Textbooks ‘Clumsy’ and Don’t Use Their Interactive Features

Posted in Teaching on August 23rd, 2012 by steve

“Several universities have recently tried a new model for delivering textbooks in hopes of saving students money: requiring purchase of e-textbooks and charging students a materials fee to cover the costs …” (more)

[Angela Chen, Chronicle of Higher Education, 22 August]


Discovery Invests in Digital Textbooks in Hopes of Growth

Posted in Teaching on August 20th, 2012 by steve

“As another academic year starts, about 500,000 children across the country will find themselves learning subjects like middle school history or high school biology from a new line of digital textbooks …” (more)

[Brooks Barnes and Amy Chozick, New York Times, 19 August]


Free Open Source Textbooks Growing in Popularity in College Classes

Posted in Teaching on August 10th, 2012 by steve

“Though paying for tuition and housing eat up more money, textbook costs are among the most groan-inducing expenses incurred by college students …” (more)

[Victor Luckerson, Time, 10 August]

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Secondary schools reluctant to introduce book rental schemes

Posted in Teaching on August 10th, 2012 by steve

“Changes to the curriculum and increasing availability of ebooks are making secondary schools reluctant to start book rental schemes …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 10 August]

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23% VAT rate means parents can’t save on school ebooks

Posted in Teaching on August 10th, 2012 by steve

“Parents are not getting the full benefit of the savings being made as traditional school books go electronic. Educational publishers say although ebook costs are down 20-35%, the lower prices are being cancelled out by a 23% VAT rate which is not applied to traditional schoolbooks …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 10 August]

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Intelligent textbook encourages students to Inquire

Posted in Teaching on August 7th, 2012 by steve

“Inquire is an iPad app developed by Seattle based Vulcan Inc which claims to be the world’s first intelligent textbook. The app presents an electronic version of Campbell Biology – a textbook used by first year University students in the US – in an interactive way that makes the complicated subjects covered easier to penetrate …” (more)

[Fergal Gallagher, Digital Times, 7 August]


Ebooks outselling print books among Amazon’s British customers

Posted in Research on August 6th, 2012 by steve

“Amazon sells 114 ebooks for every 100 print books it sells in Britain, according to new data from the online giant …” (more)

[Business Post, 6 August]

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Could ebooks be the future for university libraries?

Posted in Research on June 22nd, 2012 by steve

“Sarah Emily Duff makes the case for using ebooks to carry out academic research …” (more)

[Guardian Professional, 22 June]


Judge: Ample evidence that Apple ‘knowingly joined’ e-book conspiracy

Posted in Legal issues on May 16th, 2012 by steve

“Apple is not officially on the hook yet for allegedly colluding with publishers to fix e-book prices, but US District Judge Denise Cote had some harsh words about the company’s actions. Cote denied Apple and five publishers their request to have a class-action suit over the alleged price fixing thrown out on Tuesday …” (more)

[Jacqui Cheng, Ars Technica, 16 May]

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As 17 more states join class action against book publishers and Apple, new details revealed

Posted in Legal issues on May 14th, 2012 by steve

“New York, the District of Columbia and fifteen other states have joined the e-book pricing class action suit against Apple, Macmillan and Penguin. A total of 31 states (if you include DC) now allege that Apple and publishers conspired to set e-book prices …” (more)

[Laura Hazard Owen, paidContent, 14 May]

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Why are kids’ e-book sales surging? Partly because adults are reading them

Posted in Research on May 4th, 2012 by steve

“New stats from the Association of American Publishers show that kids’ and young adult e-book sales grew by triple digits in February, while adult e-book sales appeared to flatten. But the AAP notes that’s partly due to the fact that so many adults are reading YA e-books like the Hunger Games trilogy …” (more)

[Laura Hazard Owen, paidContent, 4 May]


It doesn’t matter what e-books cost to make

Posted in Legal issues on May 3rd, 2012 by steve

“Book publishers are trying hard to defend the pricing of e-books — perhaps in part because they’ve been accused by the Justice Department of rigging prices to keep them artificially high — by arguing that it costs a lot more than most people think to produce the electronic version of a book …” (more)

[Mathew Ingram, GigaOM, 3 May]


How Books Will Survive Amazon

Posted in Research on May 2nd, 2012 by steve

“So far discussion of the Justice Department’s suit against Apple and several major book publishers for conspiring to fix retail prices of e-books has omitted the major issue: the impact of digitization on the book industry generally …” (more)

[Jason Epstein, New York Review of Books, 26 April]

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Tor Books goes completely DRM-free

Posted in Research on April 24th, 2012 by steve

“Today, Tor Books, the largest science fiction publisher in the world, announced that henceforth all of its ebooks would be completely DRM-free. This comes six weeks after an antitrust action against Tor’s parent company, Macmillan USA, for price-fixing in relation to its arrangements with Apple and Amazon …” (more)

[Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing, 24 April]