J's Page

For when I need more than 140 characters to finish a thought on marketing, media or message.


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In case you doubted the world is going straight to Hell: Exhibit A.

Among the subheds on the Snooki story:

“  ‘I lost my sex drive.’ ”

Let’s hope it stays lost.

 

“Wine in the delivery and a boob job!”

And they say responsible motherhood is dead.

 
I rest my case.

Snooki pregnant with Devil's spawn


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NOOK Color about to get cooler

Source: Barnes & Noble

I meant to post this a few days ago, but life interrupted. Better late than never.

In the interest of all things e-textbook-related, a roundup of the NOOK Color April update reports that has everyone in a tizzy.

The NOOK Color at a glance:

    Height: 8.1 inches
    Width: 5.0 inches
    Depth: 0.48 inches
    Weight: 15.8 ounces
    Price: $259

Also of interest in the wake of the Wi-Fi-only Xoom release: A February article from Tech Republic on how to hack the NOOK Color into a full Android tablet. As the story responsibly notes,
if you do this, you will void the warranty. Proceed with caution.

EARLIER: A roundup of e-textbook developments and forecasts, as well as a student’s two cents on the shift in the industry.

EVEN EARLIER: The Wall Street Journal reported the publishing powerhouses were going to expand their e-textbook offerings.


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McGraw-Hill, Pearson invest in e-textbook developer

The Wall Street Journal and New York Times reported that textbook publishers McGraw-Hill and Pearson have invested in Inkling, the San Francisco-based e-textbook developer.

From The Wall Street Journal story:

Inkling declined to disclose the specific amounts McGraw-Hill and Pearson invested or the total funding it has raised so far. The start-up’s current investors– Sequoia Capital, Felicis Ventures, Kapor Capital, and Sherpalo Ventures–also took part in the financing.

EARLIER: A roundup of e-textbook developments and forecasts, and a student’s two cents on the shift in the industry.

EVEN EARLIER: The Wall Street Journal reported the publishing powerhouses were going to expand their e-textbook offerings.


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Something to thumb through: More e-textbook news

In response to visitors’ interest in The Wall Street Journal story on e-textbooks, I’m now covering textbook publishers’ response to industry demands. As a marketing student who spent a child’s ransom on textbooks this semester, and the semesters before that, I understand the need to find a lower-cost alternative to traditional textbooks. And although I’m tablet enthusiast who is always eager to see what added value emerges as the technology becomes more sophisticated, I’m a compulsive highlighter, note-scribbler and paper-clipper, all of which makes me feel like I learn more. So it’s likely I’ll be slower to adopt e-textbooks.

I doubt I’m the only student who feels this way about textbooks, but as the industry shifts, students’ purchasing habits will have to change. In the spring issue of College Services magazine, Jade Roth, of Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, discusses the slowth growth of the e-textbook market — which she attributes to technological and content limitations — and the surge in purchases last year.  Roth reports B&N campus bookstores enjoyed a 3000% increase in e-textbook sales last year — the same year 14% of students reported buying an e-textbook. Roth cites e-readers’ improved functionality and integration among the reasons more students — and faculty — are turning to e-texts.

What’s not mentioned — and I understand why; the author works for B&N — is the 900-pound industry disrupter: the release of the iPad last April. Suddenly the world was introduced to a slick and pretty tablet from a company that can do no wrong. Apple’s halo is super shiny, and it’s understandable that more people — including students, despite iPad’s price tag — would flock to a tablet computer. And if we couldn’t afford an iPad, maybe we went with a NookStudy or a Kindle as e-reader sales doubled in 2010.

In the wake of the iPad/e-reader explosion, social learning outfit Xplana has revised its five-year projections for the e-textbook market. Rob Reynolds blogs that the Xplana report predicts “eventual dominance of digital (textbooks) over print an inevitable outcome within five-seven years.”

Meanwhile, Reuters tells us that the Association of American Publishers reports January e-book sales (not just e-textbooks) jumped to $69.9 million compared with $32.4 million in January 2010 — 115% increase.  Reuters reports adult hardcover and paperback sales dropped in January, but sales in the higher-education category, which includes college textbooks, were down only a bit: $382 million from $387.6 million in 2010 — perhaps further proof that the skyrocketing e-textbook market is far from maturity.

RELATED: This just in: The Associated Press is reporting Borders is closing an additional 28 stores.


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McGraw-Hill, Pearson PLC to grow e-textbook lines

The Wall Street Journal reports publishing powerhouses McGraw-Hill (NYSE: MHP) and Pearson PLC (NYSE: PSO) are working with an interactive textbook startup to offer more higher-education titles on tablets. Pearson is in “advanced discussions” with app-maker Inkling, while McGraw-Hill has already signed an agreement.

From the story:

McGraw-Hill said its top 100 undergraduate titles and its medical-school curriculum would be converted to a digital form with interactive features over the next year. Vineet Madan, vice president of McGraw-Hill’s higher education division, called the move “just a first phase” in its plan to create more engaging learning experiences.

Considering how hard I am on textbooks, I’m not sure I welcome the move to e-textbooks — despite being a tablet enthusiast. I need to highlight, draw arrows, paper clip, paper clip some more, and use Post-it notes on every other page.

Also, it’s doubtful my tablets would recover very well from spilled coffee/Red Bull/Diet Pepsi, etc.