Apple's e-textbooks cost $14.99 or less, major publishers already on board

Posted:
in iPad edited July 2014


Digital textbooks available for iBooks 2 on iPad will come at a significant discount over regular paper-based books, with prices at $14.99 or less from major publishers like McGraw Hill and Pearson.



Titles announced at Thursday's media event from Pearson include Algebra I, Biology, Environmental Science, Geometry. These titles are used by more than 4 million high school students.



McGraw Hill is also on board, Apple's Phil Schiller revealed. They are offering Algebra I, Biology, Chemistry, Geometry and Physics titles as of today on the iBookstore with iBooks 2.



In addition, DK Publishing launched four books on Thursday: "Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life," Natural History Insects," "Natural History Animals," and "My First ABCs" for young children.



Also on the iBookstore is "Life on Earth" from the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, with the first two chapters available as a free download. Future chapters will be made available as they are completed at "a very aggressive price."











A video accompanying Thursday's announcement noted that children today use largely the same tools for learning that were available in 1950. With iBooks 2 and the new iBooks Author, Apple hopes to change that by making dynamic and inexpensive digital textbooks for the iPad.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 41
    c-rayc-ray Posts: 40member
    There seems to be several mentions of high school textbooks. I thought high school students did not normally purchase textbooks, rather the school district provided them. Has this changed ?
  • Reply 2 of 41
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    I can see Apple having an 8GB iPad 2 — in a couple months —*that cost $349 and is only available to the Education Store like their low end iMac.
  • Reply 3 of 41
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    I can see Apple having an 8GB iPad 2



    The very existence of even ONE of these textbooks proves this wrong.



    That Life On Earth book? I'm downloading it. They say it's two chapters for free right now, right?



    It's a gigabyte.



    No way does an 8GB iPad make ANY sense.
  • Reply 4 of 41
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    The very existence of even ONE of these textbooks proves this wrong.



    That Life On Earth book? I'm downloading it. They say it's two chapters for free right now, right?



    It's a gigabyte.



    No way does an 8GB iPad make ANY sense.



    Ouch! 8GB would be anemic for a semester's course load, but so would 16GB, with 2 chapters at 1GB.
  • Reply 5 of 41
    The textbook industry is the most profitable section in the book publishing industry. With textbooks often costing 100+ dollars each, publishers make fat profits from them.



    If publishers stand to lose their profits from selling textbooks cheaply, then they will not go along with Apple.



    After all, textbooks on Amazon in eBook form for the Kindle are STILL EXPENSIVE - often costing the same as the physical textbooks themselves.
  • Reply 6 of 41
    Currently, education is going downhill in the U.S.



    California Schools, for example, no longer teach handwriting! They only teach students to write their signature.



    How stupid. How shocking.



    It is through the lost of traditional teaching methods - which are still taught in other higher achieving countries which means every other country except the U.S.A. - that our students fail.
  • Reply 7 of 41
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jameskatt2 View Post


    If publishers stand to lose their profits from selling textbooks cheaply, then they will not go along with Apple.



    Looks like they've gone along already.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jameskatt2 View Post


    California Schools, for example, no longer teach handwriting! They only teach students to write their signature.



    Wait, handwriting at all or just cursive? Because a lot of places are (stupidly) phasing out cursive.
  • Reply 8 of 41
    h2ph2p Posts: 331member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    That Life On Earth book? I'm downloading it. They say it's two chapters for free right now, right?

    It's a gigabyte.

    No way does an 8GB iPad make ANY sense.



    Perhaps Apple will go the other way... have a high RAM version (for education that doesn't have a camera to minimize the offensive photos from kids). Didn't Apple just buy a RAM maker? (I can't find the article in AI).
  • Reply 9 of 41
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Looks like they've gone along already.







    Wait, handwriting at all or just cursive? Because a lot of places are (stupidly) phasing out cursive.



    Literally the only time I've ever written cursive was when I had to learn it in school in 3rd grade.
  • Reply 10 of 41
    i got excited when i saw textbooks for $15 or less... then got mad when they are only for K-12... There needs to be something done about college textbooks.. $200+ for some college textbooks is a global scam.. i had a professor who WROTE a textbook himself... sold through one of the big companies for $127 and he got only $2-3 for every textbook sold..... WHERE IS THE $$ GOING?
  • Reply 11 of 41
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jameskatt2 View Post


    If publishers stand to lose their profits from selling textbooks cheaply, then they will not go along with Apple.



    What are you talking about?



    The three biggest publishers, responsible for 90% of all sales have already partnered with Apple.
  • Reply 12 of 41
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by H2P View Post


    Perhaps Apple will go the other way... have a high RAM version (for education that doesn't have a camera to minimize the offensive photos from kids). Didn't Apple just buy a RAM maker? (I can't find the article in AI).



    Apple purchased a Ram Designing/Engineering company, the company they purchased is fabless.
  • Reply 13 of 41
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by H2P View Post


    Perhaps Apple will go the other way... have a high RAM version (for education that doesn't have a camera to minimize the offensive photos from kids). Didn't Apple just buy a RAM maker? (I can't find the article in AI).



    You mean NAND. RAM is memory. NAND is hard drive space.
  • Reply 14 of 41
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jameskatt2 View Post


    The textbook industry is the most profitable section in the book publishing industry. With textbooks often costing 100+ dollars each, publishers make fat profits from them.



    If publishers stand to lose their profits from selling textbooks cheaply, then they will not go along with Apple.



    As others have said, it sounds like the publishers are already going along with this.



    Since we're talking high school books and not college, I have a feeling the publishers are really not making much off of those book sales and I can understand why.



    I'm not sure how your school was, but my school would reuse the same books until they fell apart. Obviously that's more than one year. So at $15 a piece, say the book was $100, that would be 6 years to recoup the lower cost, and I can see most schools keeping the books more than six years.



    Something makes this more appealing than selling the hardcover versions, and I think it's the fact that they would make money per student, per year, and not just when the schools decide their current books are too destroyed to keep using and decide to buy more.
  • Reply 15 of 41
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,530member
    I've been trying to download the physics textbook for some time now. It's verrrry slow! I would imagine that Apple's store is being bombarded right now, as so often happens when they do something new.



    As the the post about students having to buy these books, yes, they can do that, but I believe that something was mentioned about a voucher that students could get that would allow them to download the book.



    There must be some way to make this cheaper for school systems. From my own experience, I can say that schools do pay a lot for these texts, and need to replace a fair number of them every year because of destruction and loss. You lose or destroy their book, and you pay for it. But they can keep the books for years, on average. Still, costs are high, and a lot of storage room is needed, room that schools would rather use for classrooms.



    But if each book here is bought, new, every year, costs will also be high. I'm wondering if schools will get discounts for the number of seats they are buying for. Nothing was mentioned about that.
  • Reply 16 of 41
    haggarhaggar Posts: 1,568member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    Ouch! 8GB would be anemic for a semester's course load, but so would 16GB, with 2 chapters at 1GB.



    Solution: Multiple iPads for each person, like on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  • Reply 17 of 41
    gustavgustav Posts: 827member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    You mean NAND. RAM is memory. NAND is hard drive space.



    No, NAND is a type of logic gate. NAND flash is a type of flash storage, but there are plenty of others. I've never heard anyone refer to flash storage as simply "NAND". That'd be even more stupid than people who call bluetooth headsets "bluetooths."
  • Reply 18 of 41
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by c-ray View Post


    There seems to be several mentions of high school textbooks. I thought high school students did not normally purchase textbooks, rather the school district provided them. Has this changed ?



    For public schools it is tax money used by the schools to buy them and loan them to the kids. Private schools often make the parents buy them (mine certainly did).



    These books could end up the same way.



    Also note the 'high school' with the pricing as well. You can bet that collegiate texts will adopt the form but not the pricing. I suspect they will be in the $50-75 range. Which is still a bargain.
  • Reply 19 of 41
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jglonek View Post


    I'm not sure how your school was, but my school would reuse the same books until they fell apart. Obviously that's more than one year. So at $15 a piece, say the book was $100, that would be 6 years to recoup the lower cost, and I can see most schools keeping the books more than six years.



    That's pretty much every school that is funded with tax money. Textbook changes are voted on, even just a new edition and they will use them until a copy falls apart and then try to keep using it another year with bandaids wrapped around it.



    The real money for these companies is collegiate textbooks where they can pull stunts like usage contracts that force the teachers to adopt any new edition of the text (which the publishers then do every 2-3 years), put half the material in supplements etc. Laws against building course packs culled from various sources without paying use fees (which they will never give if it is anything out of a textbook) help that lock in as well.
  • Reply 20 of 41
    h2ph2p Posts: 331member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by joelsalt View Post


    Literally the only time I've ever written cursive was when I had to learn it in school in 3rd grade.



    Don't take notes much, eh?
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