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Old 10-01-2012, 03:50 AM   #16
wizwor
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Amazon same day delivery will really shake up this monopoly.
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Old 10-01-2012, 12:14 PM   #17
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Amazon same day delivery will really shake up this monopoly.
Not on used books, which Amazon doesn't handle directly. New books might well be discounted, but they'll still be damned expensive.
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Old 10-01-2012, 04:32 PM   #18
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Not on used books, which Amazon doesn't handle directly. New books might well be discounted, but they'll still be damned expensive.
Some orders for used books are "fulfilled by Amazon", which is over the line or arbitrarily close to "handled directly".
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:42 PM   #19
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Yes, with a more decentralized open textbook, they should have less right?
They are setting up a nine person board to pick the fifty popular lower-level courses, put the books out to bids, and then choose one bid for each course. Sounds fairly centralized to me.

As I read it, professors can still assign what books they want. But if students already paid for a book through their tuition and/or taxes, they will be understandably peeved if their professor chooses a book other than what the state board dictated.

I guess the test of this will be what prices the bids come in at. If low, I'm wrong, and everyone else is right.

As far as I can tell, the winning bidders get paid by California, but have to make their books available to the world. This will put existing publishers in a tough position. Will they bid condensed versions geared to the community colleges? Or they could go the other way and bid versions stripped of most graphics, and thus more appropriate to Berkeley and UCLA. Dare the board declare a book proposal the winning bid and trust the author(s) to complete it? It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Can Wikipedia bid?
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:40 AM   #20
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They are setting up a nine person board to pick the fifty popular lower-level courses, put the books out to bids, and then choose one bid for each course. Sounds fairly centralized to me.

As I read it, professors can still assign what books they want. But if students already paid for a book through their tuition and/or taxes, they will be understandably peeved if their professor chooses a book other than what the state board dictated.

I guess the test of this will be what prices the bids come in at. If low, I'm wrong, and everyone else is right.

As far as I can tell, the winning bidders get paid by California, but have to make their books available to the world. This will put existing publishers in a tough position. Will they bid condensed versions geared to the community colleges? Or they could go the other way and bid versions stripped of most graphics, and thus more appropriate to Berkeley and UCLA. Dare the board declare a book proposal the winning bid and trust the author(s) to complete it? It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Can Wikipedia bid?
So they are going to educate by the lowest bidder? Shouldn't they be focusing on quality?
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:31 AM   #21
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So they are going to educate by the lowest bidder? Shouldn't they be focusing on quality?
You obviously have zero experience with government procurement...
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:53 PM   #22
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So they are going to educate by the lowest bidder?
Technically, I think it is up to the board what criteria they use. However, cynical as I am about this, it's inconceivable they will choose on price alone.

Despite posting with great assurance that I know what I'm talking about, you will undoubtedly agree with me that I may not. One confusion I have is that there already are free open source textbooks for many common courses. Most professors do not assign them. Why should they? If students can't afford the books, they can use reference copies most college libraries keep on reserve. We would gladly buy textbooks for our youngest now in college, but with a few exceptions that can be bought used for a couple dollars, he insists we not waste the money.

The budget for the California initiative is $25 million, or about $500,000 for each of the projected 50 books. Maybe I'm wrong, but I doubt this is enough to get books much better than the ones which are already free. We will see.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:04 PM   #23
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Technically, I think it is up to the board what criteria they use. However, cynical as I am about this, it's inconceivable they will choose on price alone.

Despite posting with great assurance that I know what I'm talking about, you will undoubtedly agree with me that I may not. One confusion I have is that there already are free open source textbooks for many common courses. Most professors do not assign them. Why should they? If students can't afford the books, they can use reference copies most college libraries keep on reserve. We would gladly buy textbooks for our youngest now in college, but with a few exceptions that can be bought used for a couple dollars, he insists we not waste the money.

The budget for the California initiative is $25 million, or about $500,000 for each of the projected 50 books. Maybe I'm wrong, but I doubt this is enough to get books much better than the ones which are already free. We will see.
Well since we are talking about education, wouldn't it be simpler to just pay 500K to the most popular book already offered in each course and then just upload the text for everyone to access? Also what about updates??

What I mean is why start from scratch when there are decent books already available.

Last edited by Giggleton; 10-03-2012 at 11:07 PM.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:08 AM   #24
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At current textbook prices, $500K only equals 3-5000 sales for a given textbook. No publisher is going to sell the copyright for even the most "obsolete" text that cheap.
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