By leveraging our relationships with major print-on-demand vendors as well as the University of Michigan Library’s Espresso Book Machine, MPublishing can produce small runs of professional-quality textbooks at a lower cost to students and with faster turn-around times than traditional publishers. In the fall of 2012, MPublishing partnered with Open Michigan to produce a workbook and lecture notes for Professor Brenda Gunderson’s introductory statistics course, allowing students to purchase copies of the two volumes from the Espresso Book Machine, as well as making a free copy of the materials available online. Over 750 students (roughly half the course’s total enrollment) placed orders, resulting in sales of nearly 1,500 books.
Thanks to our expertise in creating well designed digital texts, MPublishing can create textbooks in a range of formats and configurations, including HTML, PDF, EPUB, AZW, and iBooks. UM School of Information Professor Chuck Severance has worked with MPublishing for several semesters to produce print copies of his remixed textbook Python for Informatics. This openly-licensed work is made freely available on his website and can be purchased as a hard copy from the Espresso Book Machine. This has proven to be a quick, flexible, low-cost solution for the students, and makes it easy for Professor Severance to revise and update the book each semester. MPublishing also converted this textbook into iBooks format for the iPad, which enables an interactive multimedia experience of the learning material, including functionality such as highlighting, flashcards, and a glossary.
Sometimes the best textbook isn’t the newest one a subject. Several years ago, MPublishing worked with UM Mathematics Professor Stephen DeBacker to reprint an important work in the field, Calculus and Linear Algebra, which was now out of print and often selling for $100.00 or more online. The book was written by two former UM faculty members who gave Professor DeBacker permission to reissue the book so he could use it in his mathematics course. Using MPublishing’s existing electronic and print publishing workflows, we were able to make a new reprint edition freely available online–including as a downloadable PDF–and for sale on Amazon for a reasonable cost.