Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

future of e-textbooks

DM news posted an article this week on how retailers are preparing for a big push on e-textbooks this fall. On the whole the article is interesting, and provides a brief overview of projections and current status of the e-textbook market.

The article is a good example, though, of why I prefer not talking to the press. On the whole the article is good, but one quote was taken out of context, implying a different meaning, and another point was reported inaccurately. To be fair, part of the problem is on my side, as I tend to talk very quickly.

As a point of clarification, we did not indicate that the textbook market will be 50% digital in 5 years. Our opinion is more in line with other industry estimates, but certainly something in the 20% range could be reasonable. We were asked to explain the range of estimates out there, and I was trying to provide a scenario or rationale that might explain estimates as high as 50%. 50% could be possible, but I think most experts would predict far more moderate numbers at this point.

Another error in the piece, it reads :

After an NACS study found that about half of students did not know their school's stores sold e-textbooks, some began to offer “personal book lists.”

This is inaccurate. The NACS study did not precipitate stores offering personal portals. Rather, stores that offer personal book lists have less of an awareness issue that digital is an option. The best stores explain what the digital option means. Those stores are seeing greater adoption of digital, which may be partially explained by better awareness. Other stores are investigating personal book lists, but again, that likely has little to do with the NACS study which suggested many students do not know if their store offered digital as a choice. A comparable study by librarians found close to the same percentage of students did not know if the library offered digital books, and the librarians have been at digital delivery far longer than stores. Thus, it is a marketing and awareness challenge for us both, and not necessarily a surprising statistic.

1 comment:

devry university online said...

This is good news. More e-textbooks will be available soon and students will truly benefit from it. I’m looking forward for the 50% digital textbook market. But anyway, thank you for the post. I truly appreciate your effort for sharing this information.