Renting books online has been savings college students thousands of dollars each year, but can a new etextbook alternative, McGraw-Hill’s Create, begin to unseat an online textbook rental?
Over the last few years online textbook rental companies like Chegg, BookRenter, and CampusBook Rentals have been saving college goers lots of money, and the desire for electronic textbooks has not caught hold. Much of this reason is that etextbooks are not competitively priced, especially against used textbooks – and there is no way to transfer or sell back those electronic textbooks. However, today McGraw-Hill Higher Education is launching a new service, Create, that will allow college instructors around the world to quickly design custom etextbooks.
Create is an innovative platform that allows teachers to draw from over 50,000 sources and create custom ebooks, currently in English, Italian, Spanish with more languages to come in the future. Professors now have access to a vast library of resources to pull together custom content specifically tailored for their course or local region. While a textbook rental will save you money on attending college it doesn’t allow for content to be easily changed and updated like electronic textbooks. The current library for Create includes over 25,000 case studies from Harvard Business School, 11,000 humanities and philosophy readings, 5,500 various articles, and over 4000 textbooks published by McGraw-Hill.
Generally within an hour of creating their custom school book content a professor is emailed an electronic copy of their textbook, or a printed copy in less than five days. Through a partnership with Blackboard, Inc. professors can upload the custom content for college attendees to review or purchase online. Because the newly created school book is in electronic format information can easily be added or modified instead of forcing a new edition to be created as would be the case with a printed textbook rental. Custom publishing is one of the fastest growing segments of the education market, growing at a rate of 25% annually and tools like Create will only help it gain in popularity.