Flat World Knowledge Tosses Free Reading

Flat World Knowledge Tosses Free Reading
  • Opening Intro -

    It has been said that the, "best things in life are free."

    For readers of Flat World Knowledge, the online textbook site, millions of college students spanning the globe have enjoyed free access to this website.

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Fee structure starts in 2013.

It has been said that the, “best things in life are free.” For readers of Flat World Knowledge, the online textbook site, millions of college students spanning the globe have enjoyed free access to this website. Come Jan. 1, 2013, what was free will no longer be, as Flat World transitions to a paid model.

Coming Change

Certainly, “free” may be great but it is an unsustainable business model. As the team has noted, “a change is necessary.” Beginning on the first day of 2013, Flat World will charge from $19.95 for students to gain and have access to a notebook, highlighting and related study aids. An All-Access Pass expands the base offering to include PDF downloads of the complete book and eTextbook formats. The VIP pass goes one step further, offering a black & white print version of the textbook.

Flat World is also offering print textbooks alone, retailing for $39.95 and shipped directly to your address. That price comes in far lower than what you would pay for most any hard copy textbook, with the typical bookstore cost retailing for at least $100.

100+ Titles

Founded in 2007, Flat World has served an important need, and is currently being used in more than 4,000 classrooms in at least 2,000 schools worldwide. At present, Flat World says that it has 115 titles, representing peer-reviewed textbooks from some of the top minds in academia.

Abandoning the free access model comes as Flat World weighs where it wants to take its business. In a press statement published to its website, the Flat World team noted that the free format is a, “…barrier to our long-term growth and ability to offer a fair and affordable model that works for all our customers.” Those customers include students, instructors and institutional partners from six continents.

Online Access

Students can purchase their level of access to the Flat World information online. Participating schools may also make this available in the college bookstore, an option that may be best for students receiving college aid. Check with your bursar’s office for details

Educators will continue to have free access to the website when they log in. The way that this works is an instructor creates a “My Flatworld” account to house the books she has adopted. This account enables educators to customize and download their copies, and order hard copies to be shipped to the school’s bookstore. Educational supplements are included with this arrangement.

See AlsoFree College Textbooks: Fad or Fabulous?

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