If you have already purchased textbooks and are done with the semester and want to sell them the best way to find out how that works is to go to your college bookstore website if that is where you got them from. Each bookstore will have its own seperate policy. Why rent with your bookstore? Check your bookstore for details. How to Rent Shop by department, course, and section to find the materials you need for class. Click Books in the navigation to begin.

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Last week Salt Lake City based social networking site CafeScribe visited our NY office to demonstrate their service and explain their business model. These kind of meetings happen all the time and I usually sit politely through a series of PowerPoint slides which show how Site X or Product Y appeals to a myriad of users who are in our target demographic, and how these users would love to have access to our content.

Simply stated, CafeScribe is part Facebook , part Linkedin , with educational content being the lynchpin to its offering. CafeScribe has built a set of tools that interact with the electronic version of textbooks. Anyone, in a class, at a school, basically anywhere a particular textbook is used can share their own notes and look at the notes of others.

It even offers a rating system for students to rate the notes and highlight their peers — and is set up with a clever system of networking much like Linkedin. The way it works starts with a course and a text. After purchasing the book, students can invite friends to interact with them about the book — i.

Students can then begin interacting with the text and set the level of access to their work — be it to no one, everyone in the world, or several layers in-between. Furthermore, friends and people with access to the notes can rank the quality of the notes and the quality of the note provider.

Sorting and summary tools are also available which make it easy for students to access the content they want to review and even allows them to shoot back into the text to reread.

The tools are impressive and slick. As we all know, there have been a whole lot of impressive tools applied to electronic content over the years — yet college students have still resoundingly rejected pretty much everything thrown at them. So why do I think CafeScribe might just be the answer — especially when there are already several social networking sites focused on books, reading and learning?

Students need their textbook in most university courses and they have found dozens of ingenious ways to get those textbooks at below market price in order to save money. This has come in a variety of forms from the ubiquity of used books to the sharing of books in study groups to the bulk purchasing of illicit editions from low cost markets in Asia. Furthermore, students want to interact in communities.

This is proven over and over and over with seemingly endless stream social networking sites. They are swapping notes, asking each other questions and commenting on who is smart or not. This is the bricks and mortal precursor to CafeScribe. Finally, and most importantly, the network effect of a social networking site gives this service an enormous edge over anything else I have ever seen. Think about it this way — if this works it will be because student A told student B, who told students C, D, and E, and so on and so on and soon, through pure geometric progression, you have a network effect.

This service relies upon students finding it valuable and if that is achieved, there will be no stopping it. The fly in the ointment is of course the publishers — who have to give over their content. However, the folks at CafeScribe are very savvy and realize they have to get the books and make it easy for the publisher.

They have responded to this need by offering tremendously good terms and even offered to pay for any conversion costs that might occur. So, is this it? He lives in New Jersey with his wife and two children.

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I beg to differ. This program is a tremendous piece of crap. I used it in a class last semester. The program crashed three times in the first fifteen minutes of my timed finals. It continued to crash throuhout the test. The biggest disappointment of all is the FACT that you must be logged onto the internet just to read your assignments.

No more reading at convenient moments. No Sony or Kindle readers are in their plans. The list of issues go on and on.

Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. September 11 th Might the social networking site CafeScribe be the solution Higher Ed publishers have been waiting for? There are three reasons: Need, Want, and Network effect. I think it just might be. Subscribe to the OUPblog via email: Our Privacy Policy sets out how Oxford University Press handles your personal information, and your rights to object to your personal information being used for marketing to you or being processed as part of our business activities.

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Getting College Textbooks: College Bookstore Options

But students have yet to catch on to the digital book revolution with the same fervor. Where some see non-adopters, others see untapped markets, and thus large and small players alike have long been targeting the digital textbook niche. Here are some of the ways they're looking to get students to trade their print for pixels. CourseSmart was launched in as a joint venture with five publishers, including McGraw-Hill and Pearson.


6 Companies Aiming to Digitize the Textbook Industry






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