The Chronicle recently reported on a trend we have been monitoring for a while. From small start-ups to the big publishers, custom textbooks are becoming the common denominator in digital publishing. With pressure from students who complain course materials are overpriced, professors are taking the Frankenstein mash-up approach to adopting course materials these days by taking materials from here and there, making textbooks much more affordable.
Customized course materials is not a new concept for faculty, pubishers, or college stores, but new innovations in digital technology in conjunction with the open source movement are enabling new growth in this course material segment. Moving content to this segment is often beneficial as it reduces the cost of course materials for students, provides faculty with resources more tailored to their classes, and sell-through via the store improves.
The Chronicle article covers several of the players -- new and traditional -- who currently operate in the custom publishing area.