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Higher Education

eBooks Account For Less Than 3% Of Sales From University Presses

eBooks are not making a big dent in the higher education market. According to a new survey by the Association of American University Presses, eBook sales or licenses account for less than 3 percent of total revenue for the majority of university presses.

The report also found that university presses are not prepared for the digital book revolution, as 60 percent of respondents expressed “serious concern” about the viability of their current business models.

Still, some university presses are adopting eBook strategies. Inside Higher Ed has more: “But there is anecdotal evidence from some presses that e-book sales have jumped in the months since the association collected its data. Several presses contacted by Inside Higher Ed reported that their e-book sales have risen significantly in the first part of 2011. While e-books still account for a small proportion of total sales even in these cases, the presses see the uptick as an encouraging sign that there is a market for electronic versions of ‘serious nonfiction’ works after all — and that market might finally be stirring.”

NYU And XanEdu Win Award For Collaborative iPad App

NYU’s Stern School of Business has won an award for using iPads. The university partnered with digital textbook provider XanEdu in the Fall of 2010 to develop the XanEdu iPad app project

XanEdu and NYU students worked collaboratively to develop the study app based on the students’ habits. It involved more than 500 students in more than 50 courses. XanEdu delivered digital course packs on the iPad and asked students to contribute to the development of collaborative tools.

The app was one of ten winners of the 2011 Campus Technology Innovator from NYU.

Ohio College Students Get Free Digital Textbooks

The University System of Ohio has teamed up with college textbook publisher Flat World Knowledge for a new program that gives free digital textbooks to students. As part of the program, a thousand Ohio students will receive digital textbooks for free from Flat World.

The press release explains how it works: “Faculty in the pilot who select Flat World textbooks for their courses, and agree to participate in a research project focused on student learning, can offer their students free access to the Flat World Knowledge suite of digital learning materials and low-cost access to print textbooks.”

Students in the program can choose the eBooks in their desired eBook format. The digital files are DRM-free and have no expiration, so students can continue to use them after the program is over.

University of Kentucky To Adopt iPad Curriculum

The University of Kentucky’s Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce is working with Apple to run an 18-month trial in which students, faculty and staff will all use iPads to complete course work.

The department will use iPads for everything from student recruitment, admissions, seminars, graduation, and classes. Apple is supporting the school throughout the trial, with things like program development and strategy, as well as training users. The goal of the project is to explore how to take advantage of the device in the classroom setting and to discover which applications work best for studying diplomacy and international commerce.

In February, about 50 Patterson School students, faculty, and staff began using the iPad trial, and another 35 students will join the trial program once the 2011 students are chosen. The program will include both first and second-generation iPads.

Colleges Consider Forcing Digital Textbook Adoption

With the variety of cheap eReaders on the market these days, it might finally be time for students to adopt eTextbooks.

And textbook publishers and universities may begin forcing students to adopt this new model by only releasing digital versions of required texts. The Chronicle of Higher Education reports: “They’re saying that e-textbooks should be required reading and that colleges should be the ones charging for them. It is the best way to control skyrocketing costs and may actually save the textbook industry from digital piracy, they claim. Major players like the McGraw-Hill Companies, Pearson, and John Wiley & Sons are getting involved.”

The universities might be able to make money on this as well. The Chronicle of Higher Education piece continues: “Here’s the new plan: Colleges require students to pay a course-materials fee, which would be used to buy e-books for all of them (whatever text the professor recommends, just as in the old model).”

Do you think this will work?

Via TeleRead.

Arizona State University Is Bringing Kindles And YA eBooks To Library

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Arizona State University is launching a new digital book collection in its libraries thanks to funding from the ASU Parents Association Library Endowment.

The ASU Library eBook collection will include Kindle eReaders and eBook editions of young adult novels from 1988-2008. The electronic collection is being named in honor of young adult literature scholar Alleen Pace Nilsen who is professor of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and director of the English Education Program at ASU.

Nilsen is selecting books to include in the collection, which come from the “YA Lit Honor List” published by Nilsen each November in the English Journal. So far, this includes 41 titles.

A wall plaque in ASU’s Hayden Library will read: “ASU Libraries Kindle E-Book Young Adult Literature Collection in honor of Dr. Alleen Nilsen.”

Kaplan Publishing Is Extending Free eBook Promotion

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Kaplan Publishing is extending its free eBook trial service another week. The Free Back-to-School eBook promotion on the iBookstore lets students test drive eTextbooks for a limited time period.

After dominating the free eBook spots in the iBookstore last week, Kaplan is extending the free eBook promotion until September 6th.

Titles include Law School Labyrinth, Med School RX, MBA Fundamental Accounting and Finance, Portable GMAT, NCLEX-RN, the PMBR Finals series, Kaplan’s MCAT subject review series and Kaplan AP guides.

Kaplan is also introducing a new series this school year. The 101 Practice Questions series is available exclusively as an eBook in the iBookstore.

Cafe Scribe Progam Lets Students Test Digital Textbooks

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Want to try a digital textbook, but don’t want to commit in case eBooks are not for you? Follett Higher Education Group‘s Cafe Scribe digital platform has a new sampling program for just this. The “Try Now, Buy Later” program lets students and professors test its digital textbook program for seven days.

Most of Follett’s publisher partners are participating in the program, which includes more than 10,000 titles eligible for a free trial download. Students can try the free trial program at www.cafescribe.com. The program will run through the entire Fall 2010 semester.

According to study by CafeScribe, 1 in 3 people who sample digital textbooks go on to buy an eTextbook. Cafe Scribe CEO Bryce Johnson chatted with eBooknewser earlier this summer about the growing eTextbook business. He told us that lower prices and lighter backpacks are leading to more eBook adoption on college campuses.

Kaplan Publishing Is Giving Away eBooks

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Students are getting ready to head back to school and to celebrate Kaplan Publishing is running a special free download promotion. The publisher is giving away 90 book titles as free downloads exclusively on Apple’s iBookstore.

Today through August 30, Kaplan is giving away test prep guides and study aids to high school and college students for free on the iBookstore.

Titles include Law School Labyrinth, Med School RX, MBA Fundamental Accounting and Finance, Portable GMAT, NCLEX-RN, the PMBR Finals series, Kaplan’s MCAT subject review series and Kaplan AP guides.

Kaplan is also introducing a new series this school year. The 101 Practice Questions series is available exclusively as an eBook in the iBookstore.

Eric Frank Of Flat World Knowledge Talks About The Future Of Textbooks

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Flat World Knowledge
, a publisher of openly-licensed college textbooks has doubled its business this year. This semester, the company is selling books on more than 800 college campuses, up from 400 last fall. EbookNewser caught up with Eric Frank, founder/CEO of Flat World Knowledge to discuss how the textbook business is evolving.

EBN: What’s going on in the textbook publishing industry?
EF: The industry is in turmoil. We’re in the midst of a national textbook affordability crisis caused by the industry’s inability to adapt to changing industry conditions – primarily driven by the impact of the Internet on the supply chain of publishers. Over the years, publishers have (rightly) competed with each other for market share. That competition drives up the cost of textbooks annually well beyond the rate of inflation. Books got more expensive than the average student could afford so students turned to the Internet to find less expensive alternatives.

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