A Step-by-Step, SeamlessOnline Integration
Imagine you’re a medical student and, like all students, you’re facing major textbook expenses.
Enter Thieme Medical Publishers Inc., New York, a unit of Thieme International. Last year, this 27-year-old medical textbook publisher put its books for medical students online and is using the Internet to grow its business. The publisher wants to triple or quadruple its revenue from this market segment over the next three years, says Brian Scanlan, managing director of Thieme International, a division of the Stuttgard, Germany-based Thieme Publishing Group, founded in 1886.
While the Thieme Publishing Group is a $150 million company, Scanlan declined to disclose revenue contributions and market share information for Thieme Medical Publishers. The medical publishing operation is currently assessing the progress of its 2004-2006 three-year plan and developing a new three-year plan for 2007-2009, for which the focal point will be the medical-student marketplace, says Scanlan.
One of its major pushes is through an e-book library for medical students, which covers both the basic courses of the first two years of medical school and the clinical rotations in the third and fourth years. There are now 35 books in the library, with more being added each month. “It is a one-year license that costs the medical school $15,000 to $20,000 for up to 400 students,” Scanlan says. “Students pay for the use of these online electronic books [as part of] their tuition.”
To say the library has been well-received would be an understatement. “At the current rate of penetration, we should have 80 percent to 90 percent of the medical schools in the U.S. and Canada signed up within two years,” says Scanlan. “Outside the U.S. and Canada, there is also great interest.”
Thieme publishes more than 500 new titles annually, 90 of which are international English-language titles. These titles include the newly published “Thieme Atlas of Anatomy” series, which is divided into print and online in three areas—general anatomy and musculoskeletal anatomy, the neck and internal organs (scheduled for release in June), and the brain and nervous system (scheduled for release in January 2007). This series will also include a version combining all three of these atlases and flashcards online, and as a downloadable PDA product for medical students.