When you run some of the biggest and best presses in town, it’s hard to imagine them ever going silent. Brian Kibby of McGraw-Hill, well known textbook publisher, would be happy to shut them down tomorrow if the need arose. He doesn’t want to pay the costs of printing, paper, and distribution. He just wants to push the ebook industry into the future.
Kibby has worked in textbooks for most of his career. As the group president, he has seen the movement from “dead tree” to augmented learning experience that purports to connect the net with the standard learning experience. However, new technologies are placing McGraw-Hill – and a number of educational competitors – on a path towards completely bookless learning. This reduces costs on the one hand and improves retention on the other. It is, in short, a win-win… if it works.
Kibby and I talked about the future of ebooks, the current status of ereading on campus, and whether I can still return my old textbooks that I forgot to sell in college.