Flat World textbooks no longer free

Textbook publisher Flat World Knowledge has been an early leader in providing free access to open textbooks, offering a business model that has traditional publishers scrambling to maintain their relevancy and preserve their customer base. FWK textbooks have been available to read for free on the company’s web site, or for a modest cost, downloaded in several digital formats or printed. Until today. FWK announced that their online textbooks will no longer be free. From Inside Higher Ed:

Flat World will continue to try to disrupt the textbook publishing market by making its books available for $19.95 — still well below the standard price for most textbooks — continuing the company’s “affordability and access mission” focused on students, Jeff Shelstad, Flat World’s co-founder and chief executive, said in an interview Friday. But while Shelstad stopped short of conceding that making free versions of its textbooks was undercutting the revenue the company earns by charging students and institutions for iterations with more bells and whistles, he acknowledged that the change would “make our business healthier.”

Read more at http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/11/05/flat-worlds-shift-gears-and-what-it-means-open-textbook-publishing#ixzz2BMT47Miu

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