Macmillan US makes textbooks ‘dynamic’
23.02.10 | Catherine Neillan
Macmillan in the US is launching a digital publishing platform and line of interactive digital textbooks that can be customised by professors. The new service will allow teachers to freely customise and modify textbooks and then offer them to students as either a digital text or a printed version of the new book.
Dynamic Books will launch on 1st August with 20 titles, which can be downloaded or accessed online or purchased in print-on-demand print editions, growing to 100 titles for the initial period. DynamicBooks uses Ingram’s VitalSource Bookshelf platform and Lightning Source print-on-demand capability.
Clancy Marshall, general manager of Macmillan’s new Dynamic Books subsidiary unit, told Publlishers Weekly that the platform had been developed over the last two years, by assessing students, professors and textbook authors. “Students are unhappy with the prices of textbooks, professors hate revised editions, piracy is growing and e-textbooks currently in the market aren’t really selling,” Marshall said. In price terms, a traditional print textbook costing $150 (£96) will translate to roughly $47 as a Dynamic Book edition, Marshall told PW.
Students can access the Dynamic edition online or download it to a laptop, an iPhone or the forthcoming iPad. The books will be available directly from Macmillan and the Dynamic Books website as well as through college bookstores. In the run up to the launch, the site will offer information, demoes and tutorials about the new format.