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New Digital Textbook Company Includes Audiobook Versions

The digital textbook market has a new entrant. Lead Winds has launched two digital textbooks on an online platform with chapter-by-chapter access to the written textbook, an audiobook version, videos that teach the chapters, slideshows and extra videos of students and instructors sharing study notes and tips for each chapter. The cost: $35 per student.

An instructor version of the same textbook includes everything the students receive, along with a test bank of questions, review and discussion questions, project ideas and a library of online resources.

The materials are customizable, according to the company. "We can't rewrite a whole textbook for you, but if you get with us with what you might need, we will do what we can to add what you need for you and your students," the website stated. Also, if students want a printed version of the textbook, Lead Winds said it would do a print-on-demand copy for $10 to $15. The company uses the Thinkific online training platform to deliver its materials.

Currently, there are two textbooks available: English Composition: The Exceptional Writer; and Public Speaking: The Exceptional Speaker. However, founders Brent Mayes and Thomas Harris said they're already at work on additional titles for 2019.

"This product is designed to meet the student's needs academically and financially. It fits visual, aural, verbal, logical and solitary learning styles. And, it is accessible on all devices, so the materials travel with the students and are present when needed," said Mayes, in a press release.

"One of the factors that separates Lead Winds from traditional textbooks are the learning resources that you do not find with most textbooks," added Harris. "We also break down the material to fit the YouTube generation better."

As for the name of their firm, Harris explained that "Lead Winds" refers to the change they hope to bring. "Wind is powerful, and it's a force of change. We hope to be a leading wind of change for the textbook industry, to drive down prices, and to make quality content more affordable for students."

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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