In yet another instance of educational publishers responding to complaints about the high costs of textbooks, Pearson Education and O'Reilly Media have teamed up to offer lower-cost digital editions of print textbooks. Subscription access to these editions will be offered through, a new Web unit of, an online co-venture between the two companies. The program also includes an affiliate program for college bookstores that gives stores the opportunity to receive a percentage of the subscription fee by offering students Web access to sign up for the program. is aimed at college students and will launch this summer. The service claims to offer as much as 50% in savings on the price of a textbook. The site will offer subscription access to more than 300 textbooks from Pearson and O'Reilly Media. The Safarix Web books offer the same content as the print editions and are enhanced by full-text search, a Web browser, the ability to take notes, bookmark and print, and other digital functionality.

SafariX is the latest service to be added to the online PearsonChoices, which offers students a suite of lower-cost alternatives to full-price print textbooks.

PearsonChoices also offers text and Web combinations, custom texts and Alternate Print Editions.

Pearson Educational president Will Ethridge readily acknowledged the "recent public concern over the rising cost of higher education," and said these concerns have "reinforced our strategy that has been years in the making." He called SafariX an "innovative way of adding further value and choices," and emphasized that Pearson was "working closely with student groups, faculty, authors and bookstores to identify practical responses to the escalating costs of higher education."