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Friday, March 25, 2011

Publishers Invest in Inkling’s Textbook Solution

Matt MacInnis, co-founder and CEO of e-book publishing startup Inkling, was quoted at length in this Campus Technology article on why the e-textbook market lags so far behind the e-book market. Now there’s news that his firm has taken another step in addressing the issue.

Publishers Weekly reported that the San Francisco-based firm, which creates interactive textbooks specifically for the Apple iPad, recently secured “multimillion dollar” investments from McGraw-Hill and Pearson. Inkling plans to produce electronic versions of the textbooks from the two publishers for the popular Apple device in the Inkling multimedia platform.

Inkling will have access to the top 100 undergraduate textbooks from McGraw-Hill and 24 of the most popular business and arts and sciences titles from Pearson, along with medical books from Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Inkling already has agreements to reproduce titles from a number of major education publishers, such as John Wiley & Sons and W.W. Norton.

This partnership is one of many efforts that are trying to reinvent the textbook. The industry also continues to look for possible ways to reduce the cost for students. All the various efforts feature online access, customizable content, selling the content in smaller units such as chapters, class and instructor notes that are easy to circulate, video and animation, and the reach on multiple devices.

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