Posts tagged educational eBooks
The following excerpt is from an article written by Laura Hazard Owen, who covers book publishing, paywalls and magazines for GigaOM, and was based on the results of a new report from Scholastic. You can view more findings from this study here.
Scholastic, the world’s largest children’s publisher, released its biannual report on children and reading Monday morning. The study, conducted in partnership with the Harrison Group in fall 2012, surveyed 1,048 U.S. children ages 6 to 17 and their parents about their families’ reading habits. A few of the findings:
Most kids still haven’t read an ebook.
46 percent of kids have read an ebook, up from 25 percent in 2010. (That’s actually a higher percentage than their parents: 41 percent of parents had read an ebook, up from 14 percent in 2010.) This means, of course, that 54 percent of kids still haven’t read one.
57 percent of girls who had never read an ebook said that they wanted to, compared to 46 percent of boys. I’ve asked Scholastic if the company also broke down the percentage of children who had never read an ebook by gender — I’m curious to know if there is a gender gap in terms of access to e-reading devices.
Huge growth in reading on tablets.
The most popular device for e-reading was a laptop or netbook, which 22 percent of children surveyed had used to read an ebook. The largest growth came from tablets — not surprising since the iPad launched in 2010, the last time this survey was conducted.
Kids claim they’d read more if they had more access to ebooks.
“I really need an iPad so I can read more,” wily children tell gullible parents. Just kidding! Although possibly a factor here.
What do you think about the results? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
Fewer college students bought and used e-textbooks in the 2011 academic year than in the year prior, according to a new report.
While about 6% of the textbooks students bought for courses in the 2010 academic year were digital books, only 3% were digital in 2011, according to the Student Attitudes Toward Content in Higher Education report by the Book Industry Study Group (BISG), an industry research organization.
The study, conducted among 1,625 students in late 2011, asked a wide variety of questions about student attitudes toward textbooks and e-textbooks. The report was presented this week at a BISG higher education publishing event in New York. The report’s presenter, Steve Paxhia, president of Beacon Hill Strategic Solutions, a boutique publishing consulting firm, pointed out that the 2011 version of the survey had respondent demographics that were slightly weighted against e-book adoption compared to the previous year’s study, like more full-time students (vs. part-time students).
The academic publishing market has yet to find the same secure purchase in digital publishing as other segments have, like trade publishing.
Kelly Gallagher, vice president of publishing solutions at BISG, estimated in a later presentation that about 5% to 7% of the e-textbook market is digital, versus the 15% to 20% that many major trade publishers reported as digital in their 2011 earnings reports or the roughly 30% of the romance genre that is digital.
Part of the reason might be availability. According to research among its users by VitalSource Technologies, Inc., a digital textbook distributor owned by Ingram with two million users, e-textbooks are only “always” available for a course 23% of the time. The same survey revealed that if all things were equal (price and availability), students would choose to use e-textbooks 47% of the time.
Other interesting statistics to come from the conference:
– Students are roughly 20% more likely to seek the lowest price on a textbook when they pay for it versus when their parents pay for it
– Nearly a third of students buy their books from Amazon
– The No. 1 reason students buy print textbooks among those who prefer to do so is that they can re-sell them
– About a quarter of students who buy textbooks want to keep them for the future
– About three quarters of students say the No. 1 device they use for studying is a laptop or desktop computer
– About 3% of students say their tablet computer is their No. 1 studying device. About 5% use a tablet computer as their secondary study device. But 46% of students are “interested in an iPad as a study device”
In the evolving collegiate retail industry one thing is certain: students are now comparing your store to the competition. To stay ahead, offering options is essential. Along with new, used, and rental, eBooks provide yet another money-saving price point on your bookshelves, as well as a digital alternative that was previously only available from outside sources.
Responding to consumer demands, MBS pioneered the first educational eBook solution with the Universal Digital Textbooks (UDT) program in 2005. As the largest provider of educational eBooks, MBS now has over 15,000 titles, a number that is actively added to weekly.
With just under 1,000 partner stores using our UDT program, it’s clear that the trend is growing in popularity. However, through our Foreword Online Feedback Survey, we realized that many stores are still unsure of how eBooks work, and more importantly, how they will affect their bottom line. But no worries — we can walk you through the details!
What is an eBook?
The best place to start is the basics. An eBook is any book that is composed in, or converted to, a digital format for display on a computer screen or hand-held device. Educational eBooks take this concept a step further with advanced capabilities, interactive features, and a platform designed for the needs of students.
How do they benefit my students?
This digital alternative provides several obvious advantages to students. Depending on the type selected, eBooks can include a variety of unique features such as keyword search, highlighting, note taking, note sharing, integrated internet capabilities, and supplemental material such as videos. Together, these features create an interactive learning experience that traditional print versions don’t offer.
Furthermore, students are constantly plugged-in to technology. Making their course material mobile allows them more opportunities to study on-the-go.
How do they benefit my store?
Although there are undoubtedly many benefits to students, the good news is eBooks provide just as many for stores! First and foremost, eBooks keep students active in your store. Digital textbooks allow you to offer a format that your competitors may not.
If you don’t carry eBooks, students seeking this format might go elsewhere. By offering a digital option, you earn the revenue by keeping the sale in your store and your students happy.
As the up-and-coming educational resource, eBooks also position your store to stay relevant from a students’ perspective. Offering the newest trend ensures you maintain a technologically-savvy and innovative image.
Better yet, this digital format eliminates some of the hassle associated with stocking print versions. For instance, there is no need for publisher or vendor returns, as well as ordering, receiving or out-of-stock situations.
Because eBooks are sold using a card, rather than a physical product, your store incurs no shrink as the cards have no value until they are sold. Similarly, your store can earn margin off of eBooks without having to take care of physical inventory.
“Between stocking the shelves, and shipping back unsold product, stores normally touch inventory at least twice,” explained Susan Anno, UDT sales support. “With eBooks, all you have to do is put a label on a card, significantly decreasing labor and payroll costs, as a result.”
How does the process work?
You have 2 options: sell eBooks online through a Virtual Bookstore or in-store if you have an MBS POS system. Bookstores with MBS inSite can offer eBooks alongside new and used textbooks. Either way, though, the process is really quite simple!
For systems bookstores, eBooks are adopted from the MBS database along with the text format. Labels are affixed to a card and the card is authorized through the POS registers. Once that is complete, simply merchandise the cards on the shelf with the corresponding print textbooks so that students are offered a full range of formats and price points. The student receives a code when they purchase the eBook which they use to access the title online by following instructions provided on the digital card.
Virtual Bookstores submit an adoption list to us for eBook matches. We load that list to a dedicated eBook website that we run and maintain. That website is then linked to the bookstore’s site. Once a student is ready to purchase, the sale will run through our dedicated website, mentioned above. The student can then access the content by activating the title online, and following the provided instructions.
If students need help during this process, we’re here! We have an entire support team dedicated and available to provide customer service and information to your students 24 hours a day. Most of the calls are resolved quickly and the issues are typically minor, according to Susan.
What about marketing?
Promoting eBooks is easy! We provide all the marketing and merchandising materials you need, including the UDT activation cards, free of charge! Better yet, all of our materials are professionally designed and printed. In fact, we recently released an updated design.
You can use signage such as informational posters to advertise your new option throughout your store and near your POS. Pass out informational brochures during big events such as freshman orientation to spread the word, or, consider using them as bag stuffers in the weeks before rush.
Try putting our eBook labels on a physical text that also has a digital version available to let students know their options; or even have employees wear them as stickers on their nametags or shirts to draw attention to your new alternative.
We also provide colorful backers that sit in stands to hold eBook activation cards for each title, for those stores who choose to sell in-store. No matter what way you choose to use them, our marketing materials make it nearly effortless to promote your newest format!
What are the best ways to access eBooks?
Once a student purchases an eBook they have several options for reading and interacting with the content. Our UDT Program was designed with students’ technologically-driven lives in mind, so our program ensures that eBooks are completely portable. In fact, Susan stresses the fact that any student can access an eBook with only the most basic requirements.
“PC, MAC, or any device with a web browser and Flash are capable of accessing and reading an eBook,” said Susan. “The iPad and the new NOOK Color will work as well with additional applications,” demonstrating the universality of the product.
How do I get started?
The implementation process is relatively simple, according to Susan, and takes very little effort on the part of the bookstore. She suggests that stores considering the UDT Program contact her for more information in the next month to ensure they can offer students this innovative option during their upcoming fall rush.
To learn more about our UDT program, click here. Explore your options further by talking with your MBS Representative or contacting Susan Anno directly at (877) 292-6432.