Digital textbooks to account for 1 in 5 textbook sales in 2014

digital textbook sales increasing
digital textbook sales increasing

A new study of digital textbook adoption estimates that in five short years the adoption rate will be high enough to disrupt the traditional textbook market. 2014 is the first year that Xplana, a social learning platform, estimates the sales of digital textbooks will reach a "tipping point" that leads to a shakeup in the publishing model and gives free open learning platforms a better chance at widespread adoption.

The study, which looked at information from several private surveys and studies concluded that in five years the sales of digital textbooks will reach 18% to 20% of total new textbook sales; a dramatic rise from the current digital textbook share of .5%. The study's author Roy Reynolds explains in an interview with Xplana that until these sales reach 13% or above, publishers will remain focused on the printed versions.

Given all of the coverage surrounding the iPad and other digital reading devices this year, students may assume that the transition will occur much faster; but there are plenty of hurdles for publishers to overcome before programs like Seton Hill's iPad for every student are rolled out nationwide.