Beginning Jan. 1 Flat World Knowledge, formerly the world’s largest publisher of free and open textbooks, will cease offering content for free, according to Campus Marketplace, the newsletter from the National Association of College Stores. Currently Flat World’s textbooks are in use in 4,000 classrooms at 2,000 schools worldwide.
The company has spoken to 200 U.S. institutions who have adopted Flat World’s books and about 190 accept the change as necessary for the publisher to remain in business. The decision is motivated by a need to reexamine and standardized the company’s revenue stream.
Flat World’s partner institutions have been paying various different rates for student access and the company wants to ensure that all the school’s using Flat World’s books are paying roughly the same amount. Because the company is committed to keeping as much content available for as low a price as possible Flat World’s popular “All Access Pass”—which includes all digital versions of its textbooks for e-readers and tablets as well as all the study aides—will remain available at the current price of $28 for college bookstores and $34.95 for consumers.
Instructors will still be able to customize textbooks for the classes and students will still be able to pick different content packages—different formats for textbooks and study guides.
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