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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Update on DynamicBooks from Macmillan

In February, Macmillan introduced a new platform called DynamicBooks that will give professors the opportunity to create custom digital textbooks from existing titles. Professors will be able to customize the texts by rearranging chapters; uploading links, video or audio; rewriting or deleting portions of the text; and uploading the course syllabus.

Book Business recently interviewed Clancy Marshall, general manager of DynamicBooks, and posted an interesting article on their website. Marshall discussed the benefits for students, instructors, and authors; how the approach will address textbook pricing; and how the model could help fight piracy. The section on piracy is particularly interesting and worth a read. Marshall noted, “I think that the great thing about DynamicBooks is that it addresses the two issues that I think are problematic with textbooks today. One is that they're priced too high for the students. DynamicBooks, on average, are going to be about 40 percent to 50 percent of the price of a traditional book. It also addresses this idea that textbooks aren't worth paying for. It's not like you can just go online and find a pirated version that would include your instructor's individual edits and notes.”

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