[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

RE: [seul-edu] open textbooks

So how about cutting out the middleman?

Publishers will *never* give in to an open documentation license if that
kind of money is at stake.

States who adopt texts at the state level should immediately see the
benefits of copyleft textbooks, and subsidize the development of such.
Methinks it would be cheaper for a state to subsidize the initial creation
of a copyleft electronic textbook than to pay publishers for each and every

-----Original Message-----
From: Ray Olszewski [mailto:ray@comarre.com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 17, 2000 10:52 AM
To: seul-edu@seul.org
Subject: Re: [seul-edu] open textbooks

At 10:03 AM 10/17/00 -0400, Doug Loss wrote:
>As you say, however, the problem will be getting people to create and
>the texts.  What's the incentive for regular textbook writers?  I doubt
>profit-oriented, as I can't conceive of a best-selling 2nd year world
>text.  Still, people write them.  

Are you kidding, Doug? A successful textbook is ENORMOUSLY profitable; I
know a few people who have made what we would all call fortunes by writing
texts that were widely adopted. 

My personal knowledge is of people writing college texts, plus one who did
primary-grade math materials. But publishers spend enough to get textbook
adoptions, especially in states that adopt at the state level (e.g.,
California, Texas) that the profitability must be enormous ... either for
the author as royalties or for the publisher who pays the author a fixed

If a given text is used by (say) 10% of 11th-grade students, that's probably
a half million copies ... is that enough to make a "best seller" or not?

There may be other reasons why people write high-school texts, but don't
dismiss money (and the *chance* for really big money) as one of them.

------------------------------------"Never tell me the odds!"---
Ray Olszewski                                        -- Han Solo
Palo Alto, CA           	 	         ray@comarre.com