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Inkling adapts school textbooks for iPad

updated 03:50 pm EDT, Fri August 20, 2010

McGraw-Hilll, Wiley, Cengage books forthcoming

A new developer, Inkling, is bringing a variety of high-profile school textbooks to the iPad. The first four are from McGraw-Hill, and described as best-sellers in biology, economics, marketing and psychology; these should be available today, at an early cost of $3 per chapter or $70 for an entire book. In the near future prices should be hiked to $4 and $85, respectively.

In digital form the books have been enhanced with a number of multimedia elements, such as quizzes, video lectures and 3D models. Interface features make it possible to highlight text, access Google or Wikipedia, and create notes that can be shared with other students in real time. Inkling is noted to have signed deals with other major publishers, including Wiley and Cengage, although when their books might be released is unknown.

College textbooks have reportedly been slow to sell in the digital realm. The titles can still be expensive in spite of foregoing paper, and are dwarfed further by the cost of the hardware itself. Inkling founder Matt MacInnis, however, insists that there should be a "blossoming of touch-enabled tablets," which should drop their price over the next couple of years. "Our bet is that those tablets will change the way people consume content," the ex-Apple worker comments.








by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    UI enhancement

    Textbooks also need to come up with a good UI for studying. Textbooks aren't read cover to cover, and when you study, you often flip back and forth to several sections of the book, highlight portions, take notes, etc.

    The UI for doing that better be well implemented for sales of digital textbooks to really take off.

  1. malax

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Bzzzzz, try again

    Schools and students aren't interested in paying MORE for electronic version of books. Imagine what a flop iTunes would have been if they had debuted with albums priced at $20 each.

  1. wr11

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    Whoa I had to double take that price

    Not rocket science - way way way too expensive.

  1. djbeta

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    surprisingly..


    Those prices are probably discounts over what a student would pay!!!! Have you been to a college bookstore lately? The prices are ridiculous.

  1. umijin

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Not so expensive

    Actually, $70 is cheaper than a new textbook these days, particularly for biology texts. My students would go for a digital version, most likely.


    Yo - MacNN - What's up with not giving us a link to the company or original press release so we can see exactly what titles will be offered?

  1. trenchcoat77

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Book in picture

    The book illustrated (The Micro Economy Today) sells for $109 in the print version (and that's a paperback.) So $70 is definitely cheaper. The main problem is that because of DRM, the student can no longer sell the used textbook after the semester. This adds up to many more sales for the publisher. The publishers could definitely decrease the costs of e-books quite a bit, and because of increased sales, maintain their profits.

  1. drbenru

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Selling used version...

    For a lot of students buying a used book, or selling a used book at the end of the semester is not so much a desirable option as a necessity to rein in skyrocketing costs of education.

    The book industry should learn from the Music industry and realize that DRM does not equal more control but rather an increase in piracy.

    If you think electronic books are not doing so well just do a google search for any book title plus the keyword pdf. You'll see just how many books that are not officially sold electronically are already being traded in pdf format all over the place.

  1. facebook_Jingjing

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Aug 2010

    -4

    I wouldn't

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    Via Facebook

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    -4

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    Via Facebook

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    -4

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