Wiley Custom Select: iTunes for Textbook Chapters

Mark Logic customer John Wiley & Sons last week announced the launch of a new product, Wiley Custom Select, a new custom textbook publishing system based on MarkLogic Server.

Wiley’s press release, Announcing Wiley Custom Select: Next-Generation Custom Publishing Application, Powered By Mark Logic, says:

Using Wiley Custom Select, instructors can “build” customized higher education course materials that fit their exact pedagogical needs, in a simple three-step process that takes just minutes to complete. The custom publishing application enables users to easily find the content, personalize the material and format, and submit the order.

John Wiley & Sons is a $1.7B publisher, growing at around 25%, with a strong presence in STM, professional/trade, and educational publishing.

The press release continues:

Wiley Custom Select simplifies the process and increases the possibilities of building course readers. Instructors can search and select content from an extensive collection of Wiley titles, arrange chapters in any order, and upload their own material. They can then customize and personalize the format, choosing print or eBook, black and white or color printing, soft or hard cover binding, and individualized title page and cover copy. Finally, they have the ability to preview and submit the fully assembled text, review the instant price quote, and submit the order. If the instructor chooses print books, copies will arrive at the campus bookstore within a few weeks, ready for purchase by students. If the instructor chooses the eBook format, the custom project will be available online as a Wiley Digital Edition even sooner.

“Wiley Custom Select, powered by Mark Logic’s XML Server, is a dynamic tool that ensures that textbooks and learning materials are relevant to coursework—a key factor for students to achieve success and get good value for their investment. It also offers instructors a seamless and user-friendly service,” said Iam Williams, Director, Custom Learning Solutions, Wiley Higher Education.

This is not the first custom textbook system that we’ve worked on and I doubt it will be the last. I think these systems are incredibly useful in the academic context because they:

  • Allow professors to mix and match chapters from different books when teaching a course.
  • Enable mixing and matching that eliminates the need for students to buy 3 different $175 books and only use 1/3rd of each, ergo increasing utilization of content and reducing student costs.
  • Reduce and/or eliminate the need for professors to create photocopied “readers” that typically violate copyright law and fail to reward authors for their work.
  • Help book publishers by reducing cannibalization from the used-books market
  • Create real books, not Frankenbooks, that integrate chapters from multiple sources
  • Typically enable online syllabus sharing so professors can see each others “playlists” of chapters for various courses

In fact, in many ways, the easiest way to think of custom textbook publishing systems are as “iTunes for chapters.” They’re wonderful. And I’m happy Wiley has just launched a great one based on MarkLogic Server.

One response to “Wiley Custom Select: iTunes for Textbook Chapters

  1. Thanks for sharing interesting information. Wiley custom select a new custom textbook publishing system is incredibly useful in the academic context.

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