CourseSmart may expand into trade books

CourseSmart may expand into trade books

E-textbook rental specialist Coursesmart is considering expanding its offer to trade titles, the company has revealed, as it announced details of its retail offer to students.

The online e-textbook platform owned by publishers Pearson, Cengage, Macmillan, McGraw-Hill and Wiley told a London Book Fair lunch gathering it hoped to attract around 30 to 40 publishers in the UK to sign up to the platform, around the same number as in the US. However, to date, only its publishing founders have titles signed up to the platform, which will offer students the ability to rent digital textbooks for a set period of time, saving up to 40% off the price of buying the physical textbook.

Speaking during a debate at the fair, the US president and c.e.o. of Coursesmart, Sean Devine, said: “Our focus is in core textbooks. We may expand into trade titles, but core textbooks are our priority.”

He added that Coursesmart UK was on the cusp of a deal to enter a partnership with a UK bookshop, but declined to reveal which one.

Fionnuala Duggan, m.d. of CourseSmart International, said: “The world of textbooks is changing. Through the proliferation of tablets, handheld devices, laptops and computers, the academic world is moving online and interacting with students like never before. We are very excited to be at the forefront of this evolution.”