Friday, October 29, 2010

Behold, It Lives! Frankentext!

Flat World Knowledge co-founder Eric Frank:
There’s nothing like a dissatisfied market to create opportunity for new players and new models. Imagine, if you will, a cottage with a sign on the door in big letters that reads, “OPEN.” An Old Man in dark glasses, who looks suspiciously like Gene Hackman, motions Frankentext inside and offers him a bowl of hot soup. The Monster sits down and picks up a book. It seems like any other commercial textbook — professionally developed, peer-reviewed, and written by a renowned scholar. But something is different. Most startling, the book costs 80% less than a traditional textbook.

Frankentext looks inside. Instead of a copyright “All rights reserved” notice, he sees a funny symbol, “This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.”

The Old Man explains:

“This is an open textbook, published by Flat World Knowledge, my son. It’s a new model that lets professors choose the book, and students choose the format and price. Flat World is not a publisher of online books. They are an open textbook publisher which automatically publishes books in multiple, low-cost formats. ... "