Publishing industry analyst Bill Rosenblatt wrote for Publishers Weekly that higher education is the publishing segment undergoing the most disruptive changes today.

“It’s certain that the textbook market of 10 years from now will bear little resemblance to today’s market, even if we don’t know exactly what it will look like,” Rosenblatt declared.

Now that many college text materials are available in digital form, publishers and universities are implementing new models for distributing and charging students for them. These new models aim to help more students afford to attend college in their chosen fields of study.

Earlier this fall as part of the 2022 Copyright & Technology Conference, I moderated a panel discussion, Making College (Textbooks) Affordable, that examined the hopes and challenges publishers and universities face over these new business models, and how open-licensed or public domain materials can contribute to the goal of making college more affordable for more students.

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Among the innovations offered on campus are Equitable Access,” in which all students pay the same flat fee per semester for all their text materials regardless of major, and Inclusive Access, in which publishers distribute materials digitally to all students under various subscription and billing options.

Joining me for the program at the Fordham Law School in New York City were Steven J. Bell, Ed.D., associate university librarian for research and instructional services at Temple University in Philadelphia; Jim Best, Assistant Director of Merchandising & Inventory Planning at The Cornell Store, the official campus store of Cornell University; Laura Stevens, Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Cengage Group, one of the world’s largest education technology companies; and Lily Todorinova, Open Educational Research/Undergraduate Experience Librarian at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.


Author: Christopher Kenneally

Christopher Kenneally hosts CCC's Velocity of Content podcast series, which debuted in 2006 and is the longest continuously running podcast covering the publishing industry. As CCC's Senior Director, Marketing, he is responsible for organizing and hosting programs that address the business needs of all stakeholders in publishing and research. His reporting has appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, The Independent (London), WBUR-FM, NPR, and WGBH-TV.
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