MSU-B Making Big E-Textbook Push - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

MSU-B Making Big E-Textbook Push

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BILLINGS -

Up until fairly recently, college students have no choice but to carry heavy books to school for their studies. With the development of tablets and E-Readers, and its widespread use, the prospect of digital textbooks, or E-Textbooks, are starting to become a reality that is waiting to be explored.

"eBooks have represented less than one-half of one percent of textbook sales," said Chad Schreier, Director of MSU-Billings' Jackets & Company, which serves as the campus' bookstore. He said the school is now making a big push towards E-Textbooks.

"It's our first year that we have a concentrated marketing effort on eBooks, and it's also the first year that we're beginning to transition to a new, enhanced version," said Chad. He said the first generation of E-Textbooks were delivered via PDF formats, and that the new version will support a lot more functions.

"Universal readability, and the functionality for professors to self-publish, and to integrate more multimedia," said Chad. He said the E-Textbooks translate to savings for students.

"They're getting 50% off up-front, and they're getting access to it for usually 180-days," said Chad. In addition to savings for students, the campus bookstore will also benefit.

"As we sell the book, we pay for the book. There's no expense to bring it in, the expense to ship it out. Doesn't exist with the eBook for us," said Chad. In addition, Chad said E-Textbooks will also cost less in labor cost and storage.

Chad said the sale of E-Textbooks will bring some changes to longstanding college traditions. He said throughout the country, there is less emphasis on the end-of-semester book buyback session. This is because E-Textbooks automatically shut off access after a number of days, making it impossible to sell back.

In addition, the nature of college bookstores could change. Chad said Jackets & Company is redefining itself.

"In our store, the books take up a small section. If you look around, we carry not only school and art supplies, but huge selection of logos merchandise, a large convenience store, and we even sell and rent camping and outdoor gear," said Chad.

This story aired as a part of "Kenny's Tech Korner", local stories on technology by KULR-8's Kenneth Wong that airs on Fridays on the KULR-8 News at 10. If you have any technology questions or story ideas, please leave a message on the KULR-8 Facebook Page, or send Kenny an e-mail at kwong@kulr.com.

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