The days of toting heavy textbooks are gone for some Indiana University students, who have opted into the school’s digital learning program.
Started in 2012, the IU program has saved students about $8 million by making electronic textbooks available. Students are able to access their texts, which run about $35, via the Internet from mobile devices to computers. Users can highlight, take notes in and share the electronic text.
“Students have been complaining for a long time about the high cost of textbooks,” said Anastasia Morrone, associate vice president for learning technologies at IU. “Really, it does give you pause why a book has to cost $300.”
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UK’s New Consumer Rights Act Protects Ebooks (Digital Reader)
The UK has enacted a new law which extends existing consumer protection laws to include digital content. The Consumer Rights Act guarantees that anyone who buys digital content, such as DVDs, online films and games, music downloads or ebooks, in the UK will have the opportunity to return the content and get a refund should it prove defective. The refund period is limited to only 30 days, but the law also gives UK consumers an additional five months to request that the retailer repair or replace the faulty digital content.
Sourcebooks Creates Personalized Children’s Books (Chicago Tribune)
Book publisher Sourcebooks boasts an impressive list of creative heavy-hitters who have signed on to produce personalized books with the Naperville publisher that launched its “Put Me In the Story” division in 2013. For writers and publishers eager to connect with kids, the potential rewards are tremendous, but so, too, are the challenges. How do you personalize a book in a way that’s fully satisfying to both children and parents — and at the same time fully respectful of original text or character? How do you give parents and grandparents room to be creative without giving authors high blood pressure?
Frankfurt Book Fair Guest of Honor: Indonesia (DBW)
With the slogan “17,000 Islands of Imagination,” Indonesia, the fourth largest country in the world, is offering glimpses into its rich cultural and literary landscape—for the first time in the German-speaking world. “In its role as guest of honour at the 2015 Frankfurt Book Fair, Indonesia has the opportunity to take a first tentative step on the international literary stage,” explains Goenawan Mohamad, Chairman of the Guest of Honour Committee.
New Foyles Store: Where ‘Physical Meets Digital’ (DBW)
Foyles, the independent bookstore chain, has opened its latest branch in Grand Central, Birmingham today. It has been described as a retail space where “physical meets digital.” The 4,300 square foot store stocks a range of 15,000 titles and includes a number of digital innovations for enhancing customer service and experience, including three audio-visual author pods and a children’s story pod, where customers can hear and see best-selling writers read their work aloud; booksellers with handheld tablets, running a new Foyles web platform offering access to a range of millions of books; and digital signage throughout the store including a floor-to-ceiling display screen
Kobo Partners to Launch Orbile in Mexico (DBW)
As the book industry continues to evolve, so do the ways in which passionate readers want to enjoy their favorite books. Further expanding on customer offerings, two of Mexico’s most prestigious book retailers, Libreria Porrua and Gandhi, officially unveiled Orbile, a joint partnership and new service powered by Rakuten Kobo, offering a full-service e-reading solution for the Mexican market. The e-reading service will be available to Mexican readers through Libreria Porrua and Gandhi—both in-store and online—on October 22nd.
4 Ways to Use Science to Hack Your Book Cover Design (WWM)
Your book cover is arguably your most important brand asset. A book cover informs the reader of genre, tone, content and (for better or for worse) relative quality. We know that different genres follow vastly different trends in book cover design, but we can also turn to psychology to understand why certain design elements impact a book’s appeal to readers (and therefore sales).
Playster Launches New Multi-Content Entertainment (DBW)
All-inclusive, global media and entertainment platform Playster announced the U.S. launch of its unlimited platform of content across all forms of entertainment, including books, audiobooks, video games, music, movies and TV shows. Playster will offer a free tablet and premium headphones for all who subscribe for one year to the unlimited entertainment platform, the first subscriber on-demand platform to do so.
Swedish Bookselling Stabilizes, as Amazon Stays Away (Pub Perspectives)
The number of bookstores in Sweden is declining, but those still in business are now getting out of the red, benefitting from poor online competition.
Reform Advertising Before It Is Too Late (Medium)
Advertising is broken and we in journalism and media must take responsibility for reinventing it — because advertisers and their agencies will not, and because our very survival depends upon it. But nevermind whining about their moral hazards. The answer is not to block the ad blockers. The answer is to improve advertising, to make it consensual, and then to reconsider the fundamental business model of mass media.