Friday, January 26, 2007

Why aren't e-textbooks selling?

From The Miami Herald

Digital textbooks can save college students hundreds of dollars every semester, but the market is off to an unimpressive start. It's been a year since most U.S. campus bookstores began offering downloadable versions of some textbooks, ranging between 40 percent and 50 percent less than the cost of the tangible version.

But as the spring semester kicks off on Florida college campuses, these cheaper e-books are not flying off the cyber shelves. Industry insiders point to several reasons: lack of knowledge, poor marketing and few choices.

''Publishers are having a hard time figuring out what they need to do,'' said Bill McKenna, director of digital products at Follett, a company that operates more than 700 college bookstores, including the University of Miami Bookstore. Follett offers about 1,000 titles in digital form, but sales have been meager.

''We haven't seen the revolutionary kinds of successes that other markets involved in digital delivery have seen,'' McKenna said.

More at the link.

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