Monday, August 10, 2009

CourseSmart Application for iPhone

CourseSmart, has just released its first iPhone application, allowing students to download etextbooks to their iPhone.

An important note, though, is that while the CourseSmart etextbook version is typically cheaper than the hard copy textbook, the "e" version expires after 180 days.

On the plus side, there's something wonderful about the instant nature of acquiring the etextbook in this manner.

But on the flip side, there's something unsettling about the almost "instant" nature of losing the etextbook purchased in this manner.

To ensure students get the most residual value (ie, ability to hold onto for later use, or re-sell) for their textbooks, it would be wise to remind them of the existence of the expiration date so that they can make an informed decision when deciding which textbook version to buy.

More info listed here on ReadWriteWeb:

Monday, August 3, 2009

Bookstore Blogging

Are you thinking about starting up a blog for your store (or perhaps improving an existing one that you have let go "stale"?)

Check out video interview with Dustin at McNally Jackson in NY talking about their The Common Reader blog. Three simple questions -- three simple answers.

(Direct link to YouTube video)

The POV that this interview and blog takes is that of a general interest bookstore. Thus, it's a useful tool for those campus stores with a general/trade book section.

But you might also consider how you might adapt the same principles here into your campus store blog to incorporate textbooks, giftware, computer accessories, etc. IE, "Staff picks" work in most product categories, not just general books.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Book VS Kindle

If your campus store offers USED TEXTBOOKS to help save students money on the continually rising cost of textbooks, you'll likely get a huge kick out of the following video.

Yes, the video is a bit longer than it needs to be to make the point, but it does make an interesting point.

While ebooks have a huge advantage in being able to allow you to carry a huge volume of books in a single portable device (either a dedicated reader or your smart phone of choice), the residual value and the consumer's ability to loan, re-sell or give-away the hard copy "dead tree" version of the book still has some distinct advantages.

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