Ingram Buys Digital Textbook Distributor CourseSmart

Ingram 3405811164_d49a982c6e_m[1]Content Group announced on Monday that they had acquired one of their competitors.

CourseSmart, a company which had been founded in 2007 to provide teachers with digital course materials, is going to be merged with Vital Source Technologies, Ingram’s digital textbook wing.

CourseSmart is one of the leading digital textbook providers for students, and they stock over 40,000 titles. Their next largest competitor, with 4 million users, was Vital Source.

There’s no word of the sale price, but I have been told that CourseSmart has been up for sale for a couple years now. It was owned by a consortium of textbook publishers, and they’ve been keeping it going by pumping money into it year after year. They almost sold it to Kno last year, but that startup would not have been able to shoulder the obligations or the debt load. And then Kno went bankrupt, putting the kibosh on the deal.

CourseSmart’s strengths in inventory, instructor sampling and analytics will be integrated with Vital Source’s reader platform and global, scalable distribution network. By combining the two organizations, Vital Source will offer the world’s largest digital curricula catalog and provide better digital content solutions for the higher education community.

image by Ed Yourdon

Nate Hoffelder

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Nate Hoffelder is the founder of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. fjtorres3 March, 2014

    So, its a stampede to the educational market, huh?
    Going to get real crowded real fast…

    1. Nate Hoffelder3 March, 2014

      Yep. Inkling and the other independents had better look for a buyer. And this doesn’t bode well for Nook Media, does it?

      1. fjtorres3 March, 2014

        Well, now…
        Maybe the pivot towards education will help them find a buyer if there’s an educational ebook gold rush.

  2. […] the failure of Kno and the closure of Coursesmart, the consumer focused digital textbook market has been showing every sign of fizzling, and now […]

  3. […] A print-textbook incumbent just bought one of the more aggressive e-textbook platforms, which sold itself partly due to disappointing revenue. Possibly the most aggressive such platform, in fact; certainly the name the Loon heard most often. […]

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