Guru Roundup: Bringing You the Industry’s Need-to-Know News

Business and Industry News and Findings

First, the biggie that’s on everyone’s mind:

New York Times DealBook Blog: Calling Off Auction, Borders to Liquidate

“The Borders Group said Monday that it would liquidate, shutting down the 40-year-old bookseller after it failed to find a last-minute savior. Though it is not a big surprise, the move will still strip the publishing industry of shelf space that is becoming increasingly scarce as brick-and-mortar stores continue to founder. Borders said it would proceed with a proposal by the private equity firms Hilco and the Gordon Brothers Group to close down its 399 remaining stores. That liquidation plan will be presented on Thursday to the federal judge overseeing the company’s bankruptcy case. The company will begin closing its remaining stores as soon as Friday, and the liquidation is expected to run through September. The chain has 10,700 employees…”

Zacks Investment Research: Amazon to Acquire Book Depository

“Amazon.com Inc. has announced that it will acquire UK-based online bookseller, The Book Depository International. The acquisition will add over six million titles to Amazon’s already large stock of books. The cost of the transaction was not revealed and the acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. It is unclear whether The Book Depository will retain its individuality and continue to operate as a separate website or if it will be folded into Amazon.com. But in any case, Amazon will reduce its competition in the e-commerce market as the Book Depository is one of its major rivals…”

Digital Journal: Digital Textbooks Prove More Expensive

“Don’t be fooled by the digital hype this back-to-school season: a recent study by CampusBooks.com shows that as cool as high-tech gadgets and digital textbooks seem, they are costing students far more than buying and selling old fashioned, hard copies. CampusBooks, the top textbook price comparison website online, compared the prices of the 25 most popular college textbooks during the spring semester of 2011. Seventeen of the 25 books had e-book options, and in every case but one, the up-front cost of an e-book was cheaper than buying the print version. However, e-books have no resale value. After factoring in the average buy-back prices of printed textbooks, only one of the e-book versions were cheaper than buying and eventually reselling the used print version–and the savings were nearly always in the double-digits…”

Content Delivery

MSnbc.com: Amazon Offering e-Textbook Rentals: Kindle Service Could Save Students Money, but May Face Resistance

“In her first semester of college, Kathleen Ronayne said she spent around $500 on textbooks. This past semester, the rising Syracuse senior said she only spent around $150, trying to buy as many as possible on Amazon.com. Now the world’s largest Internet retailer is offering an option that may prove even cheaper. The company announced the launch of Kindle Textbook Rental on Monday, saying the service could save students up to 80 percent off textbook list prices. But it remains to be seen whether the service will be a success. Despite the rising popularity of e-books on Kindle, iPad and other platforms, 75 percent of students say they prefer print textbooks, according to an April 2011 study by NACS OnCampus Research…”

PR Newswire: McGraw-Hill Education is First to Provide Universal Access to Its Digital Content and Tools Directly From Any Campus Portal

“McGraw-Hill Higher Education announced the launch of McGraw-Hill Campus, the first-of-its-kind institutional service providing faculty with true single sign-on access to all of McGraw-Hill’s course content, digital tools and other high quality learning resources from any Learning Management System (LMS) . . . McGraw-Hill Campus includes access to McGraw-Hill’s entire content library, including eBooks, assessment tools, presentation slides and multimedia content, among other resources, providing faculty open, unlimited access to prepare for class, create tests/quizzes, develop lecture material, integrate interactive content, and more…”

PRnewswire: Pearson and Blackboard Announce Partnership to Integrate Pearson’s MyLab and Mastering Programs with Blackboard Learn

“Pearson and Blackboard today announced plans to integrate Pearson’s MyLab and Mastering programs with the Blackboard Learn online teaching and learning platform — providing users with a convenient, seamless transition between systems. Pearson’s MyLab and Mastering programs this year are projected to have more than 9 million student registrations at higher education institutions, many of whom use Blackboard’s learning management system…”

MarketWire: Oxford University Press Selects Desire2Learn Learning Suite

 

“Desire2Learn UK Ltd. today announced that Oxford University Press (OUP) has chosen Desire2Learn® Learning Suite after an extensive review process. With the adoption of Desire2Learn technology, OUP will be better placed to deliver its English Language learning resources to customers across the world. Many aspects of the Desire2Learn Learning Suite, will aid this, including Learning Environment, Learning Repository, ePortfolio, and Analytics…”

Comments (2)

  1. Bill Hockensmith

    Hello Jeff,
    I have a question. What is the true marketshare of EBooks in the TEXTBOOK Market. It seems that most of the online media is obsessed with digital textbooks but I have yet to see any real interest from students. I have been a College Bookstore manager for over twenty years. I continue to offer E-Textbooks. I have worked recently in both 2 yr colleges and large Universities. My perception is that students still do not want EBooks. In fact, Repulsed my be a more accurate term. They never rise above about 1% of total sales , no mater how many offerings I have. Are E-Textbooks way more Hype than reality?
    Bill Hockensmith
    Director
    Allan Hancock College

    Reply
    1. TextbookGuru (Post author)

      Bill
      You bring up some interesting arguments and hearing the bookstores side is always a welcome addition to the online sales we typically discuss. Online we have seen digital product represent 3-4% of overall sales. Last year we watched rental go from 3-4 merchants and 7% to 10 merchants and 15% of sales. I expect that we will see eBooks increase in overall marketshare this semester. A few critical factors need to be taken into consideration. 1) Amazon kindle, while is has few titles college kids needs, seems to have a very competitive price. 2) overall competition and technology is changing. Only time will tell! Right now they are all hype and no bite but I expect to see that change.

      Reply

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