Don’t yawn. This is critical stuff for publishers who rely on textbooks as a source of revenue and for the students who are less and less willing to pay big bucks for those textbooks.
A couple of weeks ago, I did a story for the Chronicle about plummeting textbook sales at university presses. It caught the attention of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which has done a follow-up. As they kinda sorta admit, it borrows freely from my reporting (and also from my Chron colleague Jeff Young’s coverage of textbook piracy).
Still, I’m glad to see this issue get picked up by mainstream papers, because ithe impact goes far beyond the murkier realms of academe, and it’s only going to get more interesting as students and professors figure out more ways to get around the old publishing models. More thoughts on that TK, as we say in the trade.