Textbooks Turn Digital

The days of heading to the local campus bookstore to purchase the books needed for the semester are long gone. It seems that many of the print textbooks are being removed from the book shelves. Welcome to Textbook 2.0 or simply “education keeping up with the real world”.  Over the next five years, digital textbooks are predicted to surpass 18% of combined new textbook sales for the Higher Education market. This will increase the digital textbook revenues to more than $1 billion and also take some of the weight off students carrying heavy books to class.

Growth of sales will be influenced by pricing, availability of content, and increasing online learning.  Digital textbooks are cheaper, saving students up to 60% off the print editions.  There will be a greater availability of content as the long tail of textbooks is fulfilled. Within the coming years publishers plan to increase the availability of digital textbook titles.  Online courses will also to continue to grow over the next five years; publishers will produce more online books to be integrated with those courses.  The books will provide interactivity through tools such as online homework, quizzes, and exercises.  It will also allow teachers to create interactive applications for students; most teachers think this will strongly improve their course content.

A Pearson Foundation survey concluded that students using tablets overwhelmingly prefer digital textbooks over print.  It is expected that about 20% of college students will own a tablet or iPad by 2012.  By 2015, digital textbooks are expected to account for 25% of the textbook market share.

Universities are predicted to drive sales of digital textbooks by requiring the use of a table.  Higher education will see a dramatic increase in digital sales.  Elementary and high school markets will not be far behind as they are also in the process of adopting the digital textbook.

Will you considering purchasing a digital textbook?

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