Bookboon mentioned in Handelsblatt: How we are changing the publishing industry.
Bookboon was recently mentioned in an article in German Handelsblatt. Read the article below and learn a little bit about how Bookboon is changing the academic publishing industry.
The attack of the book revolutionist
The E-book publisher mixes up the industry – by giving titles away for free
Thomas Buus Madsen is not handing out pamphlets. Nevertheless, the 36-year-old Dane, who has his office in London’s financial district Canary Wharf, would like to start a revolution. The revolution the Dane is planning has nothing to do with politics, but another centuries-old institution: the book trade.
The co-founder and COO of the E-book publishing house Bookboon, that Madsen built up together with his brother Kristian from their parents publishing house, publishes thousands of books a year, but the crucial detail is missing on all of its publications: the price tag.
Everything is for free. The publishing house from Denmark has specialised in free text and business books in PDF format. The free offer is financed through advertisements on every fourth page in the books. Readers don’t pay anything but have to live with advertising matched to the content. Bookboon’s books are targeted to IT, economics or engineering students. „We expect 50 mio downloads worldwide for this year“, Madsen tells Handelsblatt in London.
Over 1400 texts for business people and students are currently offered by book-revolutionist Bookboon. Besides textbooks for students, the publisher also has books on business topics such as language, marketing and management in its portfolio. “Their future employers are paying for the student’s textbooks,“ explains Madsen. Eon, RWE and PCW are advertising in Bookboon’s German textbooks.
This concept is met with goodwill by the German association for publishers. “Giving away E-Books for free is a totally legitimate model which we don’t have a problem with“, says Christian Sprang, legal adviser at the German association for publishers. “We support the introduction of new opportunities in the industry.“ However, Madsen thinks he is more than just exotic. “Our goal is to become the market leader in the academic textbooks industry.“
They have fronted an attack on established competition, where the university library in Copenhagen is partly to blame. Maybe everything would have turned out differently if Madsen didn’t already find it tricky to get hold of textbooks back when he was a student – the important books were never available. Fellow university mates of the two brothers started photocopying from important primary literature books and selling these pages in front of the classroom.
This is how the idea for Bookboon came about: students were supposed to have free access to books, not pay for them! This concept has been working for years, as the download numbers have proven.