Bookboon.com took a common Internet-age e-commerce idea – advertiser supported content – and has applied it to the college textbook industry. While increasingly attention is being paid to the high cost of tuition, and the subsequent problem of college debt, there’s much less focus on the financial strain placed on students by the high prices of their required academic materials. In contrast, textbooks offered by Bookboon, covering the fields of engineering, business and information technology, are free to students and are paid for by discreet ads bought by employers who might be interested in recruiting the students after graduation.
For many students, it is a struggle to make ends meet while financing their studies. Expensive textbooks, which need to be bought every semester all over again, put their pocketbooks under a lot of pressure. Online publisher bookboon.com is determined to put an end to this by offering textbooks for free.
According to data provided by the College Board, it costs on average nearly $1,200 to purchase year’s worth of college textbooks and those costs have been growing steadily.
“We want to make it possible for students to go through university without having to spent money on textbooks at all. Our business model lets future employers pay the students’ textbooks”, says Thomas Buus Madsen, COO from bookboon.com.
Bookboon’s etextbooks are authored by college professors from around the world who are considered experts in their fields. Careful author selection is one of BookBoon’s hallmarks since only good writers can produce textbooks that are not only readable and informative, but also academically rigorous enough to satisfy university committees that are in charge of book selections.
Even the advertisements that are placed in the books and pay for their production and distribution can serve as a valuable tool to the students. For their ad sales, BookBoon is mainly targeting respected employers and recruiting professionals which can ease the graduates’ transition from the classroom to the workplace.
“The ads are targeted at specific students. If you are a Senior in Engineering, you will see your potential future employers telling you about future career opportunities”
Last year, 11 million people downloaded one of 800 IP, Engineering or Finance textbooks currently available through BookBoon, and the company expects the number to triple this year.
Bookboon’s service could prove invaluable to students already suffering from severely pinched pocketbooks. The company’s entrance into the market is especially timely in light of the fact that more and more colleges are now looking to transition from traditional paper-and-ink textbooks to the electronic medium.