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The future of educational publishing

An opportunity to participate in Schilling's next industry white paper

The ebook revolution started with the launch of the original Kindle back in late 2007. More than 5 years later the world is now moving away from dedicated e-readers to multifunction tablets. Despite the dramatic rise in ebook sales most students are still lugging around backpacks full of heavy textbooks. Why has this sector been so slow to switch to digital? What does the future of educational publishing look like? What attributes will be required for the successful textbook publisher of the future?

Those are just a few of the questions Schilling is asking as they research their next industry white paper. If you missed their last one on author and publisher relations you can learn more about it and download it here.

Schilling is in the investigation stage for this next report on the education publishing market. They plan to publish this free report in time for TOC Frankfurt in October. If you’re in the education publishing space and would like to participate in this project you can learn more about it here and sign up for an interview here. You can also obtain more details about the report in this downloadable PDF document.

I took part in the interview process for the author/publisher relations report and if you’re in the education publishing space I encourage you to schedule an interview with Schilling for this project.

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Comments: 6

  1. You might take a look at an article we just published about the reality of etextbooks from the usually ignored perspective of a student who actually uses them… 🙂 http://tidbits.com/article/13685

    cheers… -Adam

  2. The future is very bright and polish of educational publishing because its provide chances to speak up your thoughts.


  3. in the business

    All textbooks published by the big publishers in Canada can be purchased in digital form only, from primary through university. If uni students are lugging around textbooks, it is of their own choosing.

    • Yes, it is possible in some places. In a progressive environment like Canada, where all of the “usual” people are no longer being paid, students have the choice. I love the argument that the layout and design are as important as the content for engaging the student. I’m fascinated by the notion that print books are preferable to eBooks because students can re-sell them “once they somehow have managed to suck out all of the required knowledge.”

      How about the argument that photos and diagrams are required. For a traditional book, that means only the photos and diagrams that fit within the page borders. What about the myriad of additional information an author had to trim from the original manuscript, because the physical constraints of print are limiting cross referenced material.

      The real “education” for students will ultimately be the choices that educators are routinely dismissing due to pressure from the traditional “players.” I applaud you because you are not just “in the business” but responding in the best way possible for the students.

  4. I’ve been in the Textbook Design business for almost 15 years.

    Firstly, eBooks may be “cheap,” but in order to use them you must have (a) expensive hardware and (b) access to the Internet. Both of these things are a cost for end-users that publishers tend to overlook. Also DRM hampers everything for everyone. Smart people don’t purchase device-dependant content, ie; content that only works on Amazon’s Kindle or on Apple’s iPad. Books, on the other hand are a one-time cost that doesn’t need to be tethered to the Internet and can be re-sold when you’re done using them. DRM means that you do not own the books that you are “purchasing.”

    Secondly, eBooks lack the ability to do formatting and page layout that textbooks require, unless you’re using a PDF which kind of defeats the purpose of having the eBook format. eBooks are fine for text-heavy publications, but textbooks require the ability to present the information in different ways. Photos and diagrams are required, layout is required to engage the student, and so on.

    Textbooks as apps are no better than eBooks because they still require the expensive hardware and Internet access, plus they require a whole new set of skills to produce. You can’t simply throw text into InDesign anymore and get an app out.

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