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March 5, 2007

Freeload Press Makes Textbooks Free

Freeload Press is a US company with a very noble mission: "liberating the textbooks so students from all financial backgrounds can use these important learning tools." They try to convince authors make their books available for free in exchange of a sum of money. Then Freeload Press takes the books and inserts ads at the end of the chapters. The online version of the book will be available for free as a PDF, while the print version will be much cheaper than the original.

Tom Doran, cofounder of Freeload, explains why he built the company: "Textbooks cost too much, and students increasingly are showing up to class without probably the most important tool they need to succeed in the course, outside of the lecture."

Many teachers will probably say it's unacceptable to promote commercial products in an educational book, but Freeload's limited success should be a signal that this model might work at a larger scale, if implemented in a clever way. Freeload's tagline ("Imagine a world where textbooks are free") could be replaced with: "Imagine a world where books are free".

{ Sample image, courtesy of Freeload Press Inc. }

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