Indiana University Saving Its Students Millions with Electronic Textbooks

By Samantha Akridge

In 2012 Indiana University implemented a Digital Learning Program. Students pay about $35 for a textbook and they can access it on their computers, tablets, or phones. They can also make notes or comments, highlight, and share the text electronically. The students have access to these books the entire time they are at the University.

Professors are also able to comment on a text or highlight passages for more careful reading. This kind of social reading is highly beneficial in a classroom environment.

By making textbooks available digitally they have saved their students approximately $8 million. However, Professors note that print is not dying on campus. Many students still prefer print for their textbooks and either buy the real book or print out individual chapters as they go.

With over 40% of students opting in to the program this year it is helping to make backpacks lighter and wallets heavier.

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Amazon Expands their Self-Publishing Program to Authors and Readers Outside the US

Amazon just announced that they will be expanding their self-publishing program, Kindle Scout, in the next few months. Amazon will now open this service to Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, India, etc. However, Amazon requires that the manuscript be in English.

Kindle Scout is a reader-powered publishing platform for new materials and authors. Scout is like the American Idol of book publishing. Readers decide what gets published by nominating the books that they like, based on excerpts.

This process takes much of the guesswork and risk out of publishing new material. And since the titles will be published digitally Amazon will play agent, publisher, printer, distributor, and retailer. It takes much of the economic burden off of Amazon.

Written by Sam Akridge