SOURCE: Flat World Knowledge

Flat World Knowledge

September 09, 2011 11:18 ET

Flat World Knowledge Signs eText Agreement With Indiana University to Dramatically Reduce Textbook Costs

IRVINGTON, NY--(Marketwire - Sep 9, 2011) - Flat World Knowledge, the largest publisher of expert-authored and peer-reviewed open college textbooks, announced today that it has signed a university-wide licensing agreement with Indiana University (IU). The agreement will dramatically lower costs and expand access to course materials, while transforming reading into a true anytime, anywhere personalized experience for students.

Flat World is one of four publishers selected to participate in IU's new eTexts Initiative. Under the agreement, students at each of IU's eight campuses will have unlimited access to their Flat World materials in a wide range of digital formats, along with a print-on-demand option.

"Flat World's unique approach to content provides students cost-saving options in all formats for any device," said Brad Wheeler, IU vice president for information technology and CIO. "And faculty are free to edit the course materials to better fit their teaching requirements."

eText Fee Model
Starting in the 2012 spring semester, faculty will be able to assign Flat World digital course materials under the IU eText fee model. Students will be charged $19.95 for unlimited access to digital textbook formats and interactive study aids, including an online version; print-it-yourself PDF; ebook for an iPad, Kindle, Nook or Sony Reader; and audiobook for an iPod or MP3 player. A low-cost print-on-demand option is also available directly from Flat World Knowledge for students who prefer a physical book. Like all of Flat World's content, the e-texts are free of digital rights management (DRM) restrictions and never expire.

"This is an exciting opportunity to expand our presence in Indiana and bring the benefits of our model to thousands of IU students and faculty," said Jeff Shelstad, CEO and co-founder, Flat World Knowledge. "Through similar agreements with universities in other states, we've been able to help reduce textbook spending per student, per course, by 80 percent. As a result, we're seeing significant improvements in student course completion rates."

Dr. Fredricka Joyner, associate professor, business administration and organization behavior, Indiana University East, was an early advocate of Flat World.

"Flat World understands what works for today's faculty and student population," said Dr. Joyner. "My students love having all the cost-effective format choices. They also benefit from having access to the textbook from the first day of the semester, no matter where they are."

A sustainable model for the future
In the past year, Flat World has implemented licensing agreements at Virginia State University, Baruch College, the University System of Ohio, and other academic institutions. The institutional licensing model represents an economical, convenient and environmentally-sustainable way to deliver course materials, while giving faculty more control over the content they use in their courses.

Flat World's MIYO (Make It Your Own) online editing platform allows professors to easily edit the textbook by revising, deleting or rearranging chapters and sections; adding new content, such as videos and web links; uploading Word and PDF documents; and annotating sections. Once a professor's changes are saved, MIYO automatically reformats and instantly publishes the new version across a wide range of formats.
The IU agreements evolved from a formal RFP purchasing process that followed two years of pilot-testing and substantial input from students, faculty, textbook publishers, and authors.

About Flat World Knowledge, Inc.
Founded in 2007, Flat World Knowledge is the largest publisher of expert-authored and peer-reviewed open college textbooks for students worldwide. Committed to making higher education more affordable and accessible, our textbooks are available in a wide range of low-cost print and digital formats, including a free online version. To date, Flat World textbooks are used at over 2,000 colleges in 44 countries. Backed by top venture capital firms, Flat World Knowledge was named one of the information industry's "30 to Watch" in 2011, along with Apple, Facebook and Google, by Outsell, Inc. To learn more, visit; follow us on Twitter @flat_world; and on Facebook at

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Carole Walters
    Flat World Knowledge
    914-740-8072 ext. 7505
    Email Contact