A Lesson in E-Literacy
E-newsletters also are a strong opportunity for branding and exposure for paid products, but only if the frequency of the e-newsletter is regulated and it contains information that is usable beyond products being sold, says Rosalind Iiams, director of marketing for Primary Concepts. “I offer informational content [in e-newsletters] that’s different–—you need content and links to scholarly articles and downloadable activities that make your newsletter more than an ad,” she says. “You have to make it about branding and showing your knowledge of a serious curriculum.”
Online Communities: Fostering Used-Book Sales
Dave McConnell, president of Hillsdale Educational Publishers, which specializes in Michigan-focused books, suggests textbook publishers may need to make some changes to continue to be profitable. “For the sake of efficiency, you’d like to limit how often a new edition comes out, but there’s tremendous pressure to have the very latest book,” he says. “At the same time, how many new editions can you make on the speeches of Abraham Lincoln? Do his speeches somehow change over time? Does he make new ones?”
College students also can take advantage of the logic that some new editions may not change much from earlier editions. Many are using online message boards to sell the older (used) editions to other students, allowing the buyer to avoid the high cost of buying the new versions and the sellers to recoup at least a portion of their initial investment.
Last year, in the first comprehensive study of used-book sales, industry organization Book Industry Study Group reported that revenues from used-book sales in the United States had topped $2.2 billion in 2004, representing more than 111 million copies sold and 8.4 percent of total consumer spending on books. Jeff Hayes, vice president and general manager for InfoTrends and principal analyst for the study, had commented on the results, saying, “The rapid growth of the general trade used-book market is a direct result of the Internet eliminating much of the friction in the buying and selling process. Used books are now a factor in the business equation for publishers and booksellers.”