Just in time for the new school year, an eTextbook company called Kno has started offering digital textbook rentals for K-12 textbooks thanks to a new deal with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, one of the largest K-12 textbook publishers.
Kno’s K-12 textbook rentals last for 1 year and cost $9.99 or less. They work on the Apple iPad, web browsers, and soon Android and Windows 7 too.
Previously only available for college courses, Kno’s eTextbooks contain interactive features like 3D models, “SmartLinks”, flash cards, quizzes, notes, and videos in addition to the regular textbook content.
These K-12 editions aren’t meant to be textbook replacements necessary because that decision would be on each school. These are being marketed more like textbook supplements.
“Even if the schools have not adopted digital textbooks, we wanted to give parents the option to have their kids’ same textbooks available at home,” said Osman Rashid, CEO and Co-Founder of Kno, Inc. “With digital books priced at $9.99 or below, parents can now finally stop their kids from carrying their heavy backpacks to and from school for less than $60 for the school year by supplementing classroom materials with interactive textbooks that can be used at home and on the go.”
It will be interesting to see how well these new K-12 eTextbooks catch on moving forward, especially given the fact the prices are somewhat reasonable. At least for now anyway. I did notice the press release said “Introductory Rental Prices From $9.99 or Less”.
Jim Savitz says
As a parent who has spent plenty on secondary copies of high school text books this is outstanding!
What happens in the paperworld is you buy the textbooks on Amazon.com in good used condition for $35 to $50 or more each and then at the end of the school year you resell the books via Amazon.com and get back around 80 percent of what you spent, if you’re lucky.
Most sales occur in the fall usually to home schoolers. You have to spend time with order fulfillment and if the book you purchased winds up being discontinued, then you’re just plain out of luck and give the book to Goodwill at a total loss.
This kind of arrangement will make parents very happy and it would be a good idea if they could come up with a rental model for schools as well so our students can have current textbooks.