Author Topic: Pearson to phase out printed textbooks  (Read 976 times)

Fambo Number Mive

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Pearson to phase out printed textbooks
« on: July 16, 2019, 09:45:00 AM »
Quote
The world's largest education publisher has taken the first step towards phasing out print books by making all its learning resources "digital first".

Pearson said students would only be able to rent physical textbooks from now on, and they would be updated much less frequently.

The British firm hopes the move will make more students buy its e-textbooks which are updated continually.

"We are now over the digital tipping point," boss John Fallon told the BBC.

"Over half our annual revenues come from digital sales, so we've decided a little bit like in other industries like newspapers or music or in broadcast that it is time to flick the switch in how we primarily make and create our products."

The firm currently makes 20% of its revenues from US courseware, but has been struggling as students increasingly opt to rent second-hand print textbooks to save money.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-48998789

I'm not sure how renting would work - do they get posted them from Pearson and post them back when they have finished them?

the

Re: Pearson to phase out printed textbooks
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2019, 12:49:05 PM »
Withdrawing from the print industry to focus on their brass hand oil

Re: Pearson to phase out printed textbooks
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2019, 12:52:54 PM »
Books will be like VHS and Vinyl in about 20 years then?

Very weird.

Fambo Number Mive

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Re: Pearson to phase out printed textbooks
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2019, 02:04:48 PM »
Just academic textbooks, I assume.

I think books will always be around as VHS tapes were consumed in the same way DVDs are, whereas books offer upsides that ebooks can not (e.g. they can't be deleted).

imitationleather

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Re: Pearson to phase out printed textbooks
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2019, 02:17:12 PM »
This can only be a good thing. Academic textbooks are a fucking ballache.

As long as they're a bit cheaper, because the only good thing about them is that you can resell once your NVQ is done. Which you now won't be able to.

They won't be cheaper, though.

Re: Pearson to phase out printed textbooks
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2019, 02:26:05 PM »
Just academic textbooks, I assume.

I think books will always be around as VHS tapes were consumed in the same way DVDs are, whereas books offer upsides that ebooks can not (e.g. they can't be deleted).

I'm assuming if textbook publishers see fit to just bin physical books in favour of digital options then fiction and non-fiction publishers will follow suit. Kindle and Amazon Fire and other e-readers are quite popular.

Re: Pearson to phase out printed textbooks
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2019, 03:02:14 PM »
This can only be a good thing. Academic textbooks are a fucking ballache.

As long as they're a bit cheaper, because the only good thing about them is that you can resell once your NVQ is done. Which you now won't be able to.

They won't be cheaper, though.

well quite, looks like the point is to stop resale so that the publishers can capture as much money as possible.

Re: Pearson to phase out printed textbooks
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2019, 09:31:46 PM »
There's more going on here. In educational publishing there's also the massive ball ache of curriculum change every couple of years these days. With physical books when courses get a massive overhaul you have to bin your unsold stock (that's tutors' books as well as student books) and basically publish a whole new book (rather than an updated edition). It also means that students can't sell old books on, so nobody wins. At least this way there's less use of natural resources etc.

It's worth pointing out that in general publishing, eBook sales are starting to plateau, physical books are holding steady (perhaps a little up over the last couple of years), but audiobooks have had a big increase thanks to open plan offices and headphone culture, no doubt.

Twed

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Re: Pearson to phase out printed textbooks
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2019, 10:20:47 PM »
This can only be a good thing.
It could be a bad thing if the publisher controls the consumer's access to the book (deleting, as Fambo mentioned, or revised in a way where you can't see the old version). Books with DRM are difficult to archive.

Re: Pearson to phase out printed textbooks
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2019, 12:04:20 AM »
I wonder how this'll work in terms of academic libraries? If you didn't think you'd need a textbook, you could always just check it out or get a reference copy when revising.

When I was in uni over 10 years ago, some academic texts (mostly publications rather than full books) you could access through the Uni network (or by using their proxy server), I can't see textbook providers letting that fly given basically any student savvy enough to set their browser up can get it gratis.

And as imitation mentions, another way of bilking money out of people who would've saved some cash and bought it secondhand.

Mister Six

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Re: Pearson to phase out printed textbooks
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2019, 02:59:42 AM »
It could be a bad thing if the publisher controls the consumer's access to the book (deleting, as Fambo mentioned, or revised in a way where you can't see the old version). Books with DRM are difficult to archive.

Can't you just use Calibre to save a copy that won't be archived? Takes about a minute to do.

Twed

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Re: Pearson to phase out printed textbooks
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2019, 04:02:01 AM »
I don't know. DRM can be a nuisance and sometimes it's just weak. *shrug*

Re: Pearson to phase out printed textbooks
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2019, 05:41:49 PM »
Even without drm, archiving obsolete formats is proving to be more troublesome than archiving books.

Although I suppose it's not too hard to reverse engineer book formats and source exists, etc.