Textbook Specialist Aims for Digital-Only Near-Ish Future

By Gary Cutlack on at

Educational book publisher Pearson is about to expend less effort and resources on printing enormous textbooks, as it's pivoting to offering primarily digital options that it thinks are way better anyway.

The remaining textbooks of the near future will be rented rather than purchased too, and these physical versions will be updated less frequently; so those using them will be learning out-of-date facts and wrong science, and will grow up thinking dinosaurs had scales, erroneously telling their children that Pluto is a planet and believing that smoking is good for energy and vitality.

The publisher's boss John Fallon said: "Over half our annual revenues come from digital sales, so we've decided a little bit like in other industries like newspapers or music or in broadcast that it is time to flick the switch in how we primarily make and create our products."

Reading between the lines a little it seems like this is an effort to halt the sale of secondhand educational textbooks, and instead move to a future where students are lumbered with a subscription model in return for access to all the latest and newest thinking. [BBC]

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