Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg wants to create a digital library of free course materials for California college students. The proposal, unveiled earlier this month, is bound to be popular with students grappling with rising tuition and fees at California's public colleges and universities. But the plan faces multiple obstacles. Some professors worry the e-books won't meet their standards, the publishing industry wants to ward off a competitive threat, and the proposal would come at no small cost to the state's chronically burdened budget. The Sacramento Democrat plans to introduce legislation next
(Press Release) Jeff Shelstad, CEO and Co-Founder of Flat World Knowledge, the largest publisher of free and open college textbooks for students worldwide, will present a case study on his company's bold approach to disrupting the $8 billion U.S. college textbook market, at the Publishing Business Conference & Expo, on April 4, in New York City.
Open-source college textbook publisher Flat World Knowledge has announced agreements with Barnes & Noble College Booksellers and NACS Media Solutions (NMS) to distribute its textbooks to more than 3,000 college bookstores in their respective networks for the 2010 fall semester.
Startup publisher Flat World Knowledge has secured $700,000 in new funding from independent investors, bringing its total funding to date to $1.4 million. The company, which was launched in August by textbook-publishing veterans Jeff Shelstad and Eric Frank, publishes free, open-source college textbooks online, with the option to purchase alternate formats of its content, including print and audio, and other study aids. Shelstad, who serves as chief executive officer of Flat World Knowledge, says he was “pleased” with the amount of funding raised. “Our investors recognize that higher education is one of the few markets that actually benefits from recessionary economic environments,” he says.
Nyack, N.Y.-based Flat World Knowledge, which launched this month, publishes free and open college textbooks online, with the option to purchase alternate formats of its content, including print and audio, and other study aids. While offering university-level course material gratis on the Web is not a newfangled idea in the higher-education realm, there are big differences from previous efforts—there’s no advertising within the text pages, nor is there a trial period with hidden fees. There isn’t even any registration required for users. Flat World Knowledge is a publishing company, not an aggregator of other publishers’ titles, says Eric Frank, co-founder and chief marketing officer.