Archive for the ‘ Guru Roundup ’ Category

Why Can’t I Buy My Book Any Where But the Bookstore? Reaction

The article written on Why Can’t I Buy My Book Any Where But the Bookstore? Part 1 and Part 2 have provided some extra comments and I wanted to share them with you.  Here are what some others have said about the topic.

Rafter –http://rafter.com/thetruth/assets/pdfs/Rafter_The_Truth_About_Textbooks.pdf

Brian Jacobs – Akadamos – http://www.universitybusiness.com/article/curious-longevity-college-bookstore

Response from NACS – http://thetextbookguru.com/2012/08/07/i-cant-find-my-textbook/#comments

This is obviously hot topic with many opinions.  Feel free to share your thoughts below.

Guru Round-Up: This Weeks Industry News

4EyesOnMe Takes Student Grading Data to a Whole New Level

4EyesOnMe taps into what’s becoming an increasingly important trend in helping make data accessible and actionable: visualizations and info-graphics. The idea is to take information from assessments and put it into a format so that teachers can more easily make a student’s progress understandable to parents. It’s also in a format too that students themselves can understand. The site plans on taking student data and turning it into personalized infographics for each family.”

Claim Your Textbook Spend on Your Taxes

“According to the National Association of College Stores“keeping track of their course material expenses could save college students and their families up to $2,500 annually.  Under The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and extended by the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, a tax credit of up to $2,500 each year has been authorized for out-of-pocket higher education expenses for course materials, tuition, and fees for 2009 through 2012.  Forty percent of the credit is refundable”.”

Student Loan Debt Surpasses Credit Card Debt

“The amount of student loans taken out last year crossed the $100 billion mark for the first time and total loans outstanding will exceed $1 trillion for the first time this year. Americans now owe more on student loans than on credit cards, reports the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the U.S. Department of Education and private sources. Students are borrowing twice what they did a decade ago after adjusting for inflation, the College Boardreports. Total outstanding debt has doubled in the past five years — a sharp contrast to consumers reducing what’s owed on home loans and credit cards.”

Inkling Pushes Platform by Publishing Cookbook

The Professional Chef. The book is a textbook, one written by the Culinary Institute of America and used in culinary schools everywhere. But it’s also a cookbook that anyone can use. Cookbooks are, as a genre, an interesting blend of instruction manual and DIY learning tool.”

Guru Round Up: This Weeks Industry News

Adaptive Learning Platforms Knewton & Grockit Get Boost to Funding

“Last week, the test prep company Knewton announced that it had raised $33 million, bringing the total amount raised by the company to $54 million. And today, another test prep startup Grockitannounces its latest fundraising: $7 million, bringing its total investment to over $24 million. Clearly there’s big money in test prep. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry, fueled in no small part by the pressures on students to do well on SATs, GMATs, LSATs, and the like.”

America’s Top Schools Are Still Mediocre Against International Peers

“We developed the Global Report Card (GRC) to facilitate such a comparison. The GRC enables users to compare academic achievement in math and reading between 2004 and 2007 for virtually every public school district in the United States with the average achievement in a set of 25 other countries with developed economies that might be considered our economic peers and sometime competitors. “

Online Schools Making a Difference Graduation Rates of at Risk Teens

“The International Association for K–12 Online Learning, which goes by the acronym iNACOL, estimates that 82 percent of school districts now offer at least one online course. Thirty-two states have virtual schools where online offerings range from one class to an entire high-school curriculum, according to an annual report on online learning published by the Evergreen Education Group, a Colorado consultancy. At the Florida Virtual School alone, students collectively took 220,000 classes online in 2009–10 (see “Florida’s Online Option,”features, Summer 2009). Twenty-six states have at least one full-time online school, and perhaps 225,000 youngsters were full-time online students this year, says John Watson, editor of the Evergreen report.”

Can Charter School Success Work In Traditional Schools?

“It’s difficult, but a new study suggests, it’s also doable. Harvard economist Roland Fryerpublished research last week showing that the education policies that have succeeded in charter schools can also increase test scores in traditional, public schools.
Fryer looked at “No Excuses” charter schools, places like the Harlem Promise Academy and KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) schools, to get a sense of how they had made such big education gains in low-income communities. He boiled it down to five “best practices,” including longer school days, better teachers and data-driven education, that emphasized education gains.”

Bundle Discount, Now Available From CollegeBookRenter

“Every student is looking for new ways to save on their books.  Today we’re featuring our new “bundle discount”.  Bring us your book list and we will give you an automatic additional discount when you rent 3 or more books at one time.   CBR is known to have the most competitive prices on individual books, but when you bundle your order, you save even more. ”

Guru Round Up: This Weeks Industry News

Amazon Turns the Kindle Into a Local Library

“Amazon threw down the gauntlet against terrestrial competitors today by announcing that Kindle and Kindle app customers can borrow and purchase Kindle books from more than 11,000 local libraries in the United States.”

Google’s Ngrams gets a New Competitor: Bookworm

“A new tool, called Bookworm released by Harvard’s Cultural Observatory offers another way to interact with digitized book content and full text search. Bookworm doesn’t rely on the Google digitization efforts, but rather uses books in the public domain. It is also less concerned with tracking the history of a word or phrase, but rather helps enable searches of other library metadata, including genre, author information, publication place and date.”

The Learning Black Market

“In simple terms students personal use of the internet is generally very effective for their education but they are nervous that their practices are not valid and don’t reveal them to their tutors. The messages or lack of messages from educational institutions on these practices is generating a learning black market which masks the sheer scale of these new modes of engagement.”

Paying Students Pays Off

“South High students said Mr. Nystrom and his colleagues had transformed the culture of a tough urban school, making it cool for boys with low-slung jeans who idolize rappers like Lil Wayne to take the hardest classes.
They were helped by the National Math and Science Initiative, a nonprofit network that provided laboratory equipment and special training for teachers and organized afternoon tutoring and Saturday sessions. It also paid $100 each to students who scored a 3 or above on the A.P. exam— and to their teachers, who can also earn additional rewards. Because 43 of his students passed the exam this year, far above his target, Mr. Nystrom will add a $7,300 check to his $72,000 salary.”

College Offers Discounted Tuition to Early Applicants

“Starting next year, Seton Hall University will try to ease that follow-up blow for early applicants with strong academic credentials, giving them two-thirds off the regular sticker price for tuition, a discount of some $21,000. For New Jersey residents, who constitute about 70 percent of Seton Hall’s undergraduates, that would make the cost equivalent to that of Rutgers University, the state’s flagship public institution; for those from out of state, the private school would be much cheaper than the public one.”

Guru Roundup: Bringing You the Industry’s Need-to-Know News

Financial Edge: Who Will Dominate The Electronic Textbook Market?

“Two of the biggest book retailers in the U.S., Amazon and Barnes and Noble, both offer electronic textbook rentals. The service doesn’t always offer cost savings compared to purchasing a traditional textbook, but it does offer convenience. If you’re not sure where to shop, consider how the two companies compare on pricing, rental terms, portability and other factors . . .”

Geek.com: Plastic Logic 100 eReader offers a shatterproof way to replace textbooks

“Being a textbook can be tough. It’s a hard knock life getting chucked into backpacks and lockers, after all. It’s also tough being a kid that has to lug around 20 pounds of assorted books all day long while trudging up and down the stairs (or around campus) at school. The dead-tree drudgery could soon be at an end, however, if the Plastic Logic 100 eReader catches on . . .”

Publishers Weekly: Ukazoo Books to Quadruple Number of Stores

“It’s not only Books-A-Million that is benefiting from empty Borders locations with fixtures in place. On Tuesday online third-party bookseller Ukazoo Books signed a lease for a former Borders Express store in Southgate, Mich. It plans to close on a second Borders Express in the Philadelphia area and will open a new store in its Toledo, Oh., warehouse, according to Edward Whitfill, general manager for the retail stores. Ukazoo, which was founded a decade ago by brothers Jack and Seth Revelle to sell their college textbooks, opened its first bricks-and-mortar store in the Baltimore suburb of Towson four years ago. Taken together, the new stores will quadruple its on-the-ground presence . . .”

MarketWire: Flat World Knowledge Doubles Growth, Outpaces Digital Textbook Trend

“Flat World Knowledge, the largest commercial publisher of free and open college textbooks, today announced 7 out of 10 of its student users will be consuming digital textbooks during the new academic year that begins this month, far ahead of the industry curve. The publisher also announced that the overall number of students using its textbooks has doubled, compared to last year. For the 2011/2012 school year, 300,000 students at more than 2,000 colleges are expected to access its textbooks across a wide spectrum of digital and print formats . . .”

BusinessWire: Inkling Launches Version 2.0, Brings the Collective Wisdom of Every Student to the Textbook

“Students often say they learn more from each other than from their textbook. But what if students could tap into the knowledge of their peers from right inside their book? Today, Inkling, the leading platform for interactive learning content on iPad, announced the release of version 2.0 for iPad. Now, each Inkling textbook channels the collective wisdom of every student who has used it, anywhere in the world. Students can collaborate, search and study more effectively than ever before . . .”

Comparing Prices for the Top Used, New and e-book Retailers

Last week, we launched CampusBooks’ new e-book search service, and with it,findings comparing the availability of the top 1000 textbooks at each of those e-book merchants (see what Mashable had to say about it, too). This week, we took it one step further, and compared what everyone actually cares about: pricing.

We compared prices for the top 1000 textbooks from CampusBooks’ rental, used, and new options, finding the average price. We also then found the prices from our seven e-book retailers. The results? Whether you pick e-books, old-school books, or both, if you don’t compare, it’s going to cost you.

Specifically, 92% of the time, used and rental textbooks were the best deal-but before you run out to rent your textbooks, keep in mind that these prices were already aggregated from our entire list of over 40 merchants on CampusBooks. Picking just one rental or used site won’t yield the same results.

And even if you went with just used or rental, you’d be missing out on the opportunity to save serious money the other 8% of the time. In one instance, a book was a whopping $50 cheaper as an e-book version.

Still, comparing just between e-book retailers proved that even in that realm, while CourseSmart dominated in availability, the best prices were spread across the board. The three retailers with the highest likelihood of having the cheapest option were: CourseSmart (32.6%), Kno using the exclusive coupon only on CampusBooks (29.4%), and Barnes & Noble  (26.5%).
Continue reading

Guru Roundup: Special eTextbooks Rentals Edition

Business Wire: CampusBooks Finds Just 18% of Textbooks Available on Amazon’s Kindle Rental

“CampusBooks.com compared pricing data for the top 100 college textbooks against Amazon’s new Kindle Rental service, and found that Kindle Rental often has the best prices, but only 18% of the titles. Renting a Kindle book for the advertised 30-day period yielded the highest savings, often in the double-digits over traditional rental, used and new textbooks, but only five of 100 titles were available for the month-long range. The other 13 titles available had minimum periods of 60 days, and the savings were less. However, if students were to rent via Kindle for a whole semester (120 days), only half of the time was Kindle Rental cheaper than buying and selling a used book . . . ”

Time Magazine Moneyland: Educational Financing: How Much Will Students Really Save Using Amazon’s E-Textbooks?

“It’s a very frustrating part of the college experience. You pay more than $100 for a textbook, haul it home and then never open it. You turn it in at the end of the semester and get a pittance back. Heck, even if you read the book, it’s hardly a bargain. Thankfully for broke college students everywhere, Amazon is changing up the model by offering e-textbook rentals.
With the launch of Kindle Textbook Rental this Monday, the company says students may be able to save as much as 80% off textbook prices. For a fee that in some cases is about 50% of the cost to buy a used textbook or own the Kindle edition, students can rent a book for a minimum of 30 days. At the end of the those 30 days they can extend the rental for as little as one day for an additional cost or choose to purchase the book . . . ”

Yahoo News! Digital Trends: Saving Cash on College Textbooks: E-Book Rental Services Compared

“Can e-textbooks and accompanying rental services change the college publishing market? They can certainly try. Students are becoming more and more familiar with electronics and comfortable using a variety of OS platforms, and manufacturers know this. Amazon is the latest to offer an e-book rental service catering to students, but it’s hardly the first and has plenty of competitors vying for college kids’ hard-to-come-by dollars. Promises of savings and instant-accessibility are just a few of the temptations e-readers are throwing at academics, but here’s a breakdown of how a handful of these services compare . . . ”

Fierce Mobile Content: How Amazon’s Kindle Is Poised to Revolutionize Textbooks

“Because I spent my college years doing a lot of things I probably shouldn’t have been doing, I’ve retained precious few memories of my time in the hallowed halls of higher learning. One thing I do remember with absolute clarity: College textbooks are damn expensive. But when students head back to campus this fall, they’ll find a new, more affordable and more flexible option to the traditional bookstore shopping spree. Amazon.com this week launched Kindle Textbook Rental, enabling students to lease e-reader versions of tens of thousands of textbooks for as much as 80 percent off the list price . . . ”

Guru Roundup: Bringing You the Industry’s Need-to-Know News

Business and Industry News and Findings

First, the biggie that’s on everyone’s mind:

New York Times DealBook Blog: Calling Off Auction, Borders to Liquidate

“The Borders Group said Monday that it would liquidate, shutting down the 40-year-old bookseller after it failed to find a last-minute savior. Though it is not a big surprise, the move will still strip the publishing industry of shelf space that is becoming increasingly scarce as brick-and-mortar stores continue to founder. Borders said it would proceed with a proposal by the private equity firms Hilco and the Gordon Brothers Group to close down its 399 remaining stores. That liquidation plan will be presented on Thursday to the federal judge overseeing the company’s bankruptcy case. The company will begin closing its remaining stores as soon as Friday, and the liquidation is expected to run through September. The chain has 10,700 employees…”

Zacks Investment Research: Amazon to Acquire Book Depository

“Amazon.com Inc. has announced that it will acquire UK-based online bookseller, The Book Depository International. The acquisition will add over six million titles to Amazon’s already large stock of books. The cost of the transaction was not revealed and the acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. It is unclear whether The Book Depository will retain its individuality and continue to operate as a separate website or if it will be folded into Amazon.com. But in any case, Amazon will reduce its competition in the e-commerce market as the Book Depository is one of its major rivals…”

Digital Journal: Digital Textbooks Prove More Expensive

“Don’t be fooled by the digital hype this back-to-school season: a recent study by CampusBooks.com shows that as cool as high-tech gadgets and digital textbooks seem, they are costing students far more than buying and selling old fashioned, hard copies. CampusBooks, the top textbook price comparison website online, compared the prices of the 25 most popular college textbooks during the spring semester of 2011. Seventeen of the 25 books had e-book options, and in every case but one, the up-front cost of an e-book was cheaper than buying the print version. However, e-books have no resale value. After factoring in the average buy-back prices of printed textbooks, only one of the e-book versions were cheaper than buying and eventually reselling the used print version–and the savings were nearly always in the double-digits…”

Continue reading

Guru Roundup: Bringing You the Industry’s Need-to-Know News (Tech-Talk Edition)

Content and Publishing

PR Newswire: AcademicPub™ Signs Leading Publishers and Sets Key Distribution Partnerships

“AcademicPub, the higher education unit of SharedBook Inc., made a three-part announcement underscoring rapid adoption of the service since its April 2011 launch. According to Caroline Vanderlip, CEO, SharedBook Inc., entered into two new publishing relationships, including one with industry-leader Springer Science + Business Media, and two new distribution partnerships. These innovations will ease the ability of educators to create content and obtain AcademicPub products. Additionally, a new academic advisory board has been created to help guide the unit through an accelerating period of customer growth. ‘We are moving on multiple fronts, a necessity in a higher-ed market as dynamic as this one,’ said Vanderlip . . .”

Campus Technology: Open Textbook Groups Join Forces

“The colleges in 15 states and one Canadian province that make up the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources (CCCOER) will now be able to tap into the collection of open textbook resources compiled by the international group of institutions that make up the OpenCourseWare Consortium (OCW Consortium) and vice versa in a new partnership. The community college consortium, which represents 200 schools, has become an associate consortia member of OCW Consortium, and its advisory board will effectively act as a voice for the two-year colleges within the global consortium’s organization . .

Digital Devices

Campus Technology: Is the iPad Ready To Replace the Printed Textbook?

“After trying out the Apple iPad for a short period–about three weeks — three out of four college freshmen said they’d be willing to purchase an Apple iPad personally if at least half of the textbooks they used during their college career were available digitally, according to the results of a classroom poll at Abilene Christian University. According to Scott Perkins, coordinator of mobile learning research in the Adams Center for Teaching and Learning at the Texas university, a similar willingness to purchase the devices was borne out among participants in semester-long pilots, which included both graduate and undergraduate students . . .”

Guru Roundup: Bringing You the Industry’s Need-to-Know News

This installment of the roundup contains some big news, so let’s start there and focus this post on business, corporate, and industry doings. I hope everyone has a safe and fun holiday weekend!The big news:

Publishers Weekly: Nebraska Book Co. Files for Chapter 11

“NBC Acquisition Corp., parent company of Nebraska Book Company, the country’s third largest operator of college bookstores as well as a major wholesaler of college texts, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday morning in what it says is part of a plan to recapitalize its debt. According to its filing, the December 31 maturity of a $200 million loan has raised concerns among some publishers about NBC’s ability to finance its back to school textbook and merchandise purchases, and the company was unable to reach a refinancing agreement with all of its lenders without filing for Chapter 11…”

NASDAQ: Barnes & Noble 4Q Loss Widens On Higher Expenses; Online Sales Surge

“Barnes & Noble Inc.’s (BKS) fiscal fourth-quarter loss widened on higher expenses, though the bookseller posted higher revenue thanks to surging online sales. The nation’s largest bookstore chain said it wouldn’t offer an earnings or sales estimate for its new fiscal year because of the takeover offer made last month from Liberty Media Holding Corp. (LCAPA). Liberty’s offer valued the chain at $1.02 billion and is under review by a special committee. Shares were recently off 4% to $19.30 in premarket trading as the results missed analysts’ expectations. The stock has more than doubled in the past three months…”

TechCrunch: Amid Reports Of IPO Plans, Chegg Acquires Lecture Note Marketplace Notehall

“We’re hearing that online textbook rental service Chegg has completed its third acquisition today, snapping up lecture notes and study guides service Notehall for an undisclosed amount of cash and stock. Chegg, which has received over $219 million in financing and hit revenues in the ballpark of $130 million in 2010, is also reportedly“deep in talks” with bankers regarding its plans to go public…”

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: