BookBoon Offers 1,500 Free Academic E-Books in 7 Languages

With the aim of offering an alternative to high-priced e-books, book publishing house BookBoon is offering around 1,500 titles of business e-books, academic books for university students, and travel guides to public for free. All e-books from the publisher are written exclusively by specialists and university professors from leading universities across the globe.

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BookBoon originated from Denmark and is currently headquartered in London. In Asia, the company has the sales office in ChinaIndiaHong Kong and Singapore, and publishes education related books for business professionals and students.

While traditional book publishers are still struggling to find a viable business model for e-books, BookBoon has come up with a different approach to distributing books electronically. The publisher believes that transitioning to e-books is inevitable, and that traditional publishers are being left behind, since the mainstream publishers are not adapting quickly enough. CEO Kristian Buus Madsen says the pricing model should likewise evolve. “We do not understand why e-books are barely cheaper than paper books when the overhead costs are so much lower. How can publishers explain this to their readers?”

The company can afford to offer e-books for free because of branding and advertising from employers and recruitment firms inside the books. “The ads are targeted at specific students. If you are a post-graduate in Engineering, you will see your potential future employers telling you about future career opportunities,” COO Thomas Buus Madsen reveals the secret.

Eleven million books were downloaded worldwide in 2011, 2 million of which are by Asians. E-books are increasingly becoming more popular. 50 million downloads are expected this year, with 6-8 million from Asia. To date, Asians have downloaded 1.5 million books.

On the rising trend of downloads, Madsen comments that readers usually read these on mobile devices. “Many business professionals and students have an e-reader or tablet, with our wide selection there is something for everyone. For the coming 12 months we expect that it will even grow further because e-reading is becoming more normal, especially among students and business people.”

The scenario is all too familiar: students profoundly struggling to make ends meet while financing their studies. Academic textbooks can be pretty expensive, and students need to buy new books every semester, which can put pressure on their pockets and checkbooks. BookBoon is determined to help lighten the load by offering 800 textbooks for IT, Engineering and Finance students without any charge.

“We want to make it possible for students in Asia to go through university without having to spent money on textbooks at all.  Our business model lets future employers pay the students’ textbooks,” Thomas explains.

The seven year-old publisher constantly monitors and evaluates the quality of books they release. “By carefully selecting our authors, we can guarantee the quality of our books. It is very important to us that our books meet the high academic standards demanded by universities,” Thomas continues.