Akademos-TextbookX Trends Report Indicates Students are Increasingly Buying eBooks, But Trend Has Yet to Reach Critical Numbers

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Virtual Bookstore Services Provider Akademos Releases Summary of Student Textbook Sales and College Bookstore Revenue Trends

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We believe increases in eBook purchases point to an important trend--colleges and universities are increasingly forgoing textbook revenue in favor of passing those savings on to their students.

Digital textbooks have yet to reach critical adoption, however, data from Akademos, a leading provider of integrated online bookstores and marketplaces for educational institutions, shows a trend in that direction.

"I’m often asked by educators about eBook trends," says John Squires, chief executive officer at Akademos. "They want to know when digital textbooks are going to reach critical adoption. While we've seen an increase of more than 300% in eBook purchases over the last three years, eBooks still remain less than 5% of our overall textbook sales.”

The data represents buying trends over the last three years among Akademos’ partner schools as well as students via its direct-to-customer website, TextbookX. Key data points are as follows:

  • Used book purchases as a percentage of total sales remain steady, while new book purchases continue to decline as a percentage of total sales. Rental and eBook purchases appear to be cannibalizing new book sales.
  • Student purchases of eBooks have historically spiked deep into the Spring term, reaching their highest percentage of total book sales. This might suggest that students are purchasing digital textbooks late, for example in time for finals; or, that Summer term students are more likely to purchase eBooks than students of other terms.
  • Thirty-five percent of student purchases utilized financial aid during the Fall 2012 book ordering rush, unchanged from the prior year.
  • Customized course materials (CoursePacks), which allow professors to select just the materials relevant to that course and combine them in a booklet, are up 47% over the Fall 2011 rush period. CoursePacks provide savings to students by reducing the number of textbooks they would need to purchase, particularly when only a portion of those texts would be covered in a course. Additionally, Akademos provides the copyright clearances, making it easier for institutions to offer students a customized alternative solution to a number of expensive textbooks.

"While students do have some control over which books they buy and from where, our hope is that faculty, college CFO's, and other administrators will help increase buying options for their students, thereby decreasing course materials costs," said Ingrid Ramos Nakamura, vice president of marketing at Akademos. "We believe increases in eBook purchases and custom CoursePack usage, as well as decreases in new book purchases, all point to an important trend--colleges and universities are increasingly forgoing textbook revenue in favor of passing those savings on to their students and improving key educational outcomes."

To receive alerts about the Akademos-TextbookX Trends Report and other course material updates, sign up for the Akademos newsletter.

About Akademos
Akademos offers virtual bookstore services, eLearning solutions, and an innovative textbook marketplace to schools. Its comprehensive supply-chain solution and commitment to responsive personal service make Akademos a leader in providing affordable textbooks and digital learning tools for schools. Students can choose from new, used, rental, and eBook options while schools can reduce costs and increase operating efficiency. Faculty can search, discover and adopt new texts using the Akademos Textbook Adoption Tool at http://www.adoption.akademos.com. Akademos delivers the right course materials, at affordable prices, on time. Learn more about Akademos' direct-to-students ecommerce platform at http://www.textbookx.com and its offerings to partner schools at http://www.akademos.com.

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