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Publisher Woos Students to E-Books

A company in the digital textbook business is wooing new users by allowing students and faculty to try its books free for a week. Follett Higher Education Group's new "Try Now, Buy Later 2010" program, available through the company's CafeScribe site, allows registered users to access 5,000 titles in its online store. To use the books, students download MyScribe, a free application that runs on Mac OS X and Windows and provides the ability to read, search, highlight, bookmark, and annotate the e-textbooks, as well as share notes and discuss topics with peers online.

After the trial period, the student or faculty member can purchase the title at a discount over the cost of a traditional textbook, according to the company. All of the annotations made in the digital textbook during the trial period remain intact, and the digital textbook is the user's to keep.

"Almost all of my students are using the e-textbook option," said Brigham Young University Sports Psychology Professor Ron Chamberlain. "CafeScribe makes so much sense in so many ways--economically, environmentally, and logistically. It is a user-friendly format and convenient for the students to use."

Follett manages 850 bookstores and sells services and products to 1,800 bookstores. The company acquired CafeScribe when it purchased Fourteen40, the company that developed the platform, in 2008.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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