I’ve blogged about textbook publishing before – and the ‘broken’ model that costs college students (or their parents) often thousands of dollars for product that barely (if at all) meets their needs. Professor Textbook is an indie textbook publishing model that we created out of our Dog Ear Publishing experience – and a great post at one of the blogs I follow on the state of the publishing industry discusses exactly the topic that is near-and-dear to anyone following the industry.
I believe that textbooks would even benefit from a more ‘distributed’ approach – with more control centered with those providing the instruction, and less ‘teach what we publish’ mentality. More and more professors are taking on the publication of their own textbook – and feel they are providing a more focused and quality learning experience for each of their students. Dona J. Young – a professor at Indiana University Northwest – did just that, producing two writing textbooks in less than a year. Her reasons were simple, “As a teacher, I am most effective when I develop my own materials tailored to my students’ needs.” and “What is most important, though, is that Professor Textbook helps teachers give students access to high quality books that are cost effective.”
Check out what Seth Godin had to say about the topic (thanks to Joe for putting this link in his blog) of textbook publishing. He goes far further than most would dare… but he makes all sorts of great points, even down to stating that textbooks should be free (not that I entirely agree with that point – I believe they are way too expensive, but I can’t quite wrap my head around free… unfortunately very few models actually support that – the biggest one being just normal human motivation…)
The independent publishing / self publishing route isn’t the only angle – as I discussed previously a number of organizations are pursuing a truly ‘open’ model of textbook publishing that really IS free. Check out the effort by Rice University, Connexions, and the Make Textbooks Affordable campaign.
Filed under: Joe Wikert, self publishing, textbook publishing | Tagged: Dog Ear Publishing, Joe Wikert, open textbooks, Professor Textbook, self publishing, Seth Godin, textbook publishing | Leave a Comment »