Apr 082008

In your April 7 article on open textbooks, you wrote, “CSU business finance professor Tim Gallagher has already submitted a textbook he wrote to be put onto a free download site.”

Some of your readers have inferred from this that I uploaded my textbook to a Web site that allows anyone to make their materials available for others to download. This is not the case.

My textbook is a copyrighted work, published by a new company called Freeload Press. This is a for-profit company that makes textbooks available in many academic areas at no cost to students. My book is available in PDF format on the company’s Web site. The company makes money through advertising placed in the downloadable file documents containing the book, and on its site. Adopting professors are supplied, at no cost, with all the supplemental materials expected in a principles textbook. Some call the Freeload Press approach a Google-like business model.

The first three editions of my book were published by the traditional publisher, Prentice Hall. I was looking for a better way to deliver my book to students and learned about Freeload Press and their new business model. I asked Prentice Hall to return to me the legal right to publish my book (which they did) and signed a contract with Freeload Press to publish the fourth edition.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to clarify the material presented in Monday’s interesting article on the open textbook campaign. I applaud the efforts of students who are seeking a better model for providing textbooks at a reasonable cost.

Tim Gallagher

Professor of Finance

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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