If you haven’t seen an eBook before, here’s an image from what mine looks like:
One of the nice features of Cengage‘s eBooks is that you can highlight, as I’ve demonstrated in the image, and take notes. So two major barriers to using an online resource instead of buying a hard copy have been nicely addressed. Yes, you can’t take the eBook to the beach very easily, but I’m not sure people (other than serious brain geeks like myself) read neuroscience at the beach
And here’s the best part. The whole thing is SEARCHABLE. That’s not something you can do with a hard copy, no matter how good the indexing can be. In terms of trade-offs between enjoying a hard copy and reading online, this search feature tips the scales for me.
Not only is this eBook option much cheaper than a hard copy, but you have all the resources (quizzes, animations, etc.) that go with the book all in the same place. I was very impressed.
As an author, I’m also encouraged by the innovations publishers are using to reduce the costs of textbooks to students. By reducing the used book market (our industry’s version of Napster), authors will be fairly compensated for their work. We won’t be stuck making sizeable, involuntary, non-tax-deductible contributions to the campus bookstores, who make obscene profits on our work, pay us nothing, and charge the poor students top dollar.