Actively Learn, a digital content library and e-reading platform for K-12 students, adds “thousands” of popular titles published by HarperCollins, including classics like The Bridge to Terabithia.
The platform lets students and school districts rent individual ebooks for limited periods, typically for less than it would cost to buy those titles in print or digital formats.
Billing its model as a more “flexible alternative,” Actively learn says the HarperCollins partnership vindicates its vision for “the shifting landscape of digital publishing and school content purchasing.”
The costs of content in learning settings has been a growing concern among students and institutions at virtually every level of the education market.
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Fire Kids Tablet, Freetime Unlimited Come to Europe (Ink, Bits & Pixels)
Amazon begins selling its six-inch Fire HD Kids Edition tablet in the UK and Germany, where it’s also expanding its subscription service for digital children’s content, Freetime Unlimited, which includes a kid-friendly library of ebooks, games and video.
Amazon to Deliver Small Items Free (The Verge)
Amazon extends free shipping services for certain inexpensive, lightweight goods to U.S. customers who aren’t Prime subscribers, waiving the $35-minimum for orders to qualify.
Can Social Media Reinvent Academic Publishing? (Pacific Standard)
Publishers tend to approach social media primarily as a marketing tool—which it surely is—but the academic sector has generally been less keen to make use of social tools than trade publishers have. One commentator argues social media can can do much more than fulfill marketing needs for academic publishers, though. In his view, it can help reshape the model itself.
Related: The Latest on Social Media Marketing for Publishers
Digital Publishing…In Brief (DBW)
Digital Book World recently added content and services to our popular membership program and rolled out a series of “briefs” focusing on key topics in digital publishing. The goal is to make insights and ideas within the book world more convenient and accessible, especially if you can’t always keep up with the daily news cycle. Find out more here.
St. Martin’s Press Absorbs Palgrave Trade (Pub Lunch)
The scholarly division of Palgrave Macmillan was folded into the group created by the merger of Macmillan Science and Education and Springer Science + Business earlier this year. Now Macmillan integrates the imprint’s trade side into St. Martin’s Press.
Two Indie Presses Merge (PW)
The independent publisher Hawthorne Books becomes an imprint of Dzanc, which currently offers a list of approximately 200 print and 600 digital titles. In an announcement of the deal, both publishers say they expect to benefit from their combined resources while collaborating on certain initiatives.
Best-Selling Author Throws Barbs at Amazon (Guardian)
Ursula Le Guin adds her name to the list of best-selling authors who have launched broadsides against Amazon for allegedly harming book culture by controlling “what we write and what we read.” Le Guin’s complaints are familiar, but they aren’t without qualification: “Amazon and I are not at war,” she says, adding that “there are vast areas in which my peaceful indifference to what Amazon is and does can only be surpassed by Amazon’s presumably equally placid indifference to what I say and do.”
Related: Authors Raise Cry for Better Contracts
Australia Weighs Anti-Piracy Bill (Sydney Morning Herald)
On the heels of a court victory UK publishers scored against a handful of websites facilitating ebook piracy, Australian legislators are considering passing a measure that would give regulators more tools for going after similar online sources for illegally distributing copyrighted content.