Textbooks Up Their Game
Maybe the iPad will move digital college textbooks out of theory and into practice.
Although electronic book sales have exploded, digital college textbooks have been slow to get off the ground, in part because of high prices and hardware concerns. Now, a former Apple Inc. (AAPL) employee, Matt Mac Innis, is trying to shake up the market with a new approach that taps into the iPad’s strengths.
His tech start-up, Inkling, is introducing its first four full-length interactive college textbooks using its software platform, which is designed specifically for Apple’s iPad—a marked departure from e-textbooks that are almost entirely just text that has been digitized. Inkling is one of a number of companies helping textbook publishers rethink their titles for the iPad, eager to exploit its color, video, and touch-screen capabilities.
The four digital titles— McGraw-Hill Cos. best sellers in biology, economics, marketing, psychology—are expected to become available via the iTunes App Store beginning Friday. Prices will start at $2.99 per chapter and $69.99 for entire books, for a limited time. Thereafter, chapters will be $3.99 and books will start at $84.99.