SOURCE: Flat World Knowledge

Flat World Knowledge

September 08, 2010 13:01 ET

David Littlehale Named VP of Institutional Sales for Flat World Knowledge

Former McGraw-Hill Exec to Lead Expansion Into Higher Ed Textbook Licensing Market

IRVINGTON, NY--(Marketwire - September 8, 2010) - Flat World Knowledge, the leading publisher of commercial, openly-licensed college textbooks, today announced the appointment of David Littlehale as Vice President of Institutional Sales.

In this newly-created role, Littlehale will be responsible for developing institutional textbook licensing sales across the higher education sector, including traditional academic institutions, distance and adult learning programs, and for-profit colleges.

Prior to joining Flat World, Littlehale was Vice President, National Sales Manager at McGraw-Hill/Irwin for 15 years, where he led a sales organization of more than 120 employees. Under his leadership, the sales team earned a reputation as the gold standard in the industry, consistently outperforming its peers year-over-year.

"David will be instrumental in our efforts to further develop and strengthen our institutional textbook licensing business," said Jeff Shelstad, Flat World Knowledge CEO and co-founder. "With his outstanding track record and deep knowledge of the higher education publishing industry, we are confident that we can successfully build out this strategic new area and drive sustainable and profitable growth."

With the appointment of Littlehale, Flat World is accelerating its expansion beyond its standard open textbook publishing model into the nascent institutional textbook licensing market. Similar to the way colleges buy software licenses, a textbook site license offers a cost-effective and environmentally-sustainable way for traditional institutions and for-profit colleges to deliver textbooks at a significantly lower cost to students than conventional texts.

In August, Flat World announced a groundbreaking licensing agreement with the Virginia State University Reginald F. Lewis School of Business. Under the agreement, the university purchased seat licenses for students enrolled in eight courses in the core business curriculum. The $20 per student per course fee provides digital access to all learning content, including web, PDF, audio and e-reader versions for the iPad and Kindle, as well as online study aids. Students can also choose to buy a softcover textbook for $30.

The digital files do not expire nor are they digital rights management (DRM) copy-protected, allowing students to transfer the texts from device to device for as long as they wish. Students with print disabilities have access to the texts in BRF (Braille Ready Format) and DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) formats.

Flat World's expansion into the new textbook licensing market coincides with the rapid growth of its standard "free and open" textbook publishing model. The company signs leading scholars and authors to write textbooks that are published under an open Creative Commons license. The open license, combined with the company's highly-automated publishing platform, gives professors the freedom to customize the text by revising, remixing and adding and deleting content. And professors control when and if to change to new editions.

Students have the choice to read their textbook online for free or buy a low-cost PDF, audio, e-reader or softcover print version that best fits their learning preference and budget.

For the fall 2010 semester, more than 1,300 educators representing 800 colleges and universities have adopted Flat World's open textbooks. With a growing roster of authors and more than 24 published titles and 50 more in the pipeline, Flat World expects to publish textbooks for the 125 highest-enrollment college courses in the next few years.

Flat World Knowledge, Inc.
Founded in 2007 by senior textbook industry executives, privately-held Flat World Knowledge is a leading publisher of free and open textbooks for higher education. Written by the world's top scholars, Flat World books are peer-reviewed, and professionally edited and developed. Educators have the freedom to use the books as-is, or they can customize them to suit their course requirements. Students can access the books for free online, or purchase low-cost print-on-demand, PDF, audio and e-reader formats, as well as study aids at a fraction of the cost of traditional textbooks. Learn more about Flat World Knowledge at

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Carole Walters
    Flat World Knowledge
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