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MacmIllan Announces Modifiable eBook Editions of Textbooks


Macmillan announced on February 22, 2010 that it was introducing new software called DynamicBooks, which would let college professors curate ebooks for their own courses. They could add paragraphs, bring in extra sources, links, and updates—without having to consult with the original author.

According to the New York Times, students will be able to purchase the books at their local university stores, as well as and through CourseSmart, an e-textbook seller. The company is also working with Apple so students can access the books on the iPad. In August, they will offer 100 titles.

"The modifiable e-book editions will be much cheaper than traditional print textbooks. “Psychology,” for example, which has a list price of $134.29 (available on Barnes & Noble’s Web site for $122.73), will sell for $48.76 in the DynamicBooks version. Macmillan is also offering print-on-demand versions of the customized books, which will be priced closer to traditional textbooks.  

"Fritz Foy, senior vice president for digital content at Macmillan, said the company expected e-book sales to replace the sales of used books. Part of the reason publishers charge high prices for traditional textbooks is that students usually resell them in the used market for several years before a new edition is released. DynamicBooks, Mr. Foy said, will be “semester and classroom specific,” and the lower price, he said, should attract students who might otherwise look for used or even pirated editions" (, accessed 02-23-2010).

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