From Paid Content:
The traditional textbook publishing model, based on dead trees and middlemen, can force students to shell out hundreds of dollars for a stack of photocopies. Now, two law professors are showing how easy it can be for academics to offer an alternative at a fraction of the price.
Eric Goldman and Rebecca Tushnet are both trademark experts and popular bloggers. This week, they offered a new package of course work called “Advertising and Marketing Law: Cases and Material” for sale on Scribd for just $10.
. . . .
[From a professor’s blog] Compared to 99 cent or free eBooks, a $10 downloadable book may sound expensive. But, compared to the typical law school dead-trees casebook, $10 is a ridiculous bargain. Many print casebooks of comparable size cost $150 or more. … While we could easily justify a higher price than $10, we’re not exactly philanthropists.
Here’s how I see the math: a $150 casebook may have a $110 price wholesale (or less). At 10% royalties to the authors, Rebecca and I would share $11. At the $10 download price, Scribd takes $2.25 a download, leaving us author royalties of $7.75. So discounting the retail price 93% perhaps reduces our royalties by less than 30%. Let’s hear it for disintermediation! Plus, just like any demand curve, the lower price point should lead to higher sales, which may, in fact, make our approach profit-maximizing.
Link to the rest at Paid Content