E-textbook start-up RedShelf now boasts five of the biggest academic publishers as partners in its distribution platform, after adding Wiley to its roster this fall.
RedShelf recently hired Tom Scotty, former Co-President of Macmillan Higher Education, as its Chief Operating Officer.
Macmillan and Cengage were among the first of the major academic publishers to make their content available through RedShelf early last year. They were followed by Pearson, McGraw-Hill and Wiley. RedShelf estimates that those five publishers together represent anywhere from 60 to 80% of the higher education market.
According to RedShelf CEO Greg Fenton, securing those publishers required “sell[ing] them on the fact that we have distribution.” The Chicago-based company currently offers more than 150,000 e-textbooks through 150 campus bookstores, with plans to grow both those figures.
The world of higher education publishing is undergoing transformations on a number of fronts, led by the soaring cost of textbooks.
While e-textbooks remain in their early stages of adoption, recent research indicates students are looking for cheaper, digital alternatives to print textbooks, and publishers are pursuing ways to deliver them without compromising their bottom lines.
Whether e-textbooks will ultimately solve those issues is still an open question. For its own part, RedShelf sees itself as primarily disrupting the used textbook market, claiming e-textbooks represent a new revenue stream altogether that, according to Fenton, so far isn’t cannibalizing print sales.
RedShelf Leads eTextbook Pack as the Only Startup to Partner Directly with the Big 5 Academic Publishers
Leading digital edu distributor now offers more than 150K eBooks and eTextbooks, boosts ebook sales for its 150+ university bookstore partners
CHICAGO, December 4, 2014 – RedShelf, a Chicago-based startup spurring digital adoption in higher education and one of the fastest-growing distributors of eTextbooks in the U.S., has partnered with Pearson, McGraw-Hill, Cengage, Macmillan and John Wiley & Sons. It is the only education tech startup to have a direct partnership with all five publishers. The agreements mean that students will have access to more than 150,000 titles through RedShelf’s site and 150+ university bookstore partners. RedShelf also collaborates closely with its publishers on a number of initiatives to help them spur digital adoption on campus and improve ease-of-use for campus faculty and bookstore partners.
“RedShelf has been a great addition to The Cornell Store’s format options for course materials. Students are slowly beginning to adopt the eTextbook format as an affordable and flexible alternative to traditional print,” said Chris Cave, Academic Materials Manager at The Cornell Store. “Since offering digital distribution through a white labeled RedShelf site, our bookstore has seen our online eBook sales double in sales compared to the prior year. It has been an easy to implement tool and has been beneficial in pushing the digital course material initiative at our store.”
RedShelf offers eTextbooks to approximately two million students across the US with up to 60% savings in comparison to new traditional print textbooks. By working with more than 400 independent publishers, RedShelf delivers course content through their online marketplace and through their university bookstore partners. The additional digital purchase and rental offerings from Pearson, McGraw-Hill, Cengage, Macmillan and John Wiley & Sons adds a more affordable option for the most commonly required textbooks.
“We firmly believe that digital textbooks are close to a tipping point in adoption, and we want to directly support our university and publisher partners in driving that shift,” said Greg Fenton, CEO at RedShelf. “Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for students to access course content digitally and help publishers find additional channels to build engagement and increase revenue. It’s a win for everyone.”
RedShelf is a leading supplier of digital learning materials, dedicated to providing paramount technology to the learning community in order to accelerate the transition to digital. In collaboration with strategic partners, publishers, institutional bookstores, and other content creators, RedShelf streamlines the discovery and distribution of eBooks and other digital course materials for today’s student learners. Utilizing a seamless browser-based eReader solution along with a powerful eCommerce engine, RedShelf provides easily accessible and cost-effective learning materials to learners everywhere. Please visit www.redshelf.com for additional company information.