Flat World Will No Longer Offer Free Access

When it comes to being “Free” in education it seems its always too good to be true! Free products and services typically means the company has yet to figure out its business model. See below.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2013, Flat World Knowledge will no longer provide students free access to its web-hosted textbooks.

“While free access goes away, our mission to be fair and affordable remains as strong as ever,” said Flat World CEO Jeff Shelstad. “You are probably wondering how this business decision will impact the bookstore.”

The company will continue to offer the All Access Pass (AAP)—which includes all digital versions of its textbooks, including e-book files for Kindle Fire and iPad, a PDF, audio where available, the full HTML e-book functionality, and digital study aids—to its bookstore partners for the same $28 as before and will sell the AAP via its web site for $34.95.

Flat World textbooks are being used in more than 4,000 classrooms at 2,000 schools worldwide. About 100 titles are currently available.

The company is making direct calls to many of its bookstore partners. If your store wants more information about the decision, e-mail bookstore@flatworldknowledge.com with the best time for an outreach team member to contact you.

“Flat World Knowledge has been at the forefront of the open education resource and free course material movement,” said Mark Nelson, NACS Chief Information Officer and Vice President, NACS Media Solutions. “A number of our members work with Flat World Knowledge or have its adoptions on their campus, so this will likely be of interest to multiple folks in the industry.”