CourseSmart UK, which was opened by the U.S-based CourseSmart in early 2012, is partnering with Blackwell’s to sell digital textbooks and resources to college students through Blackwell’s stores and Web site.

The deal will allow Blackwell's to supply digital textbooks around the clock as well as offer CourseSmart rental e-textbooks (for 180 or 360 days) for up to 50% off the list price. CourseSmart currently serves over 3.3 million users worldwide and represents 90% of U.S. core higher education course material. CourseSmart is available at around 1,000 American campus bookstores, which represent a “significant” proportion of CourseSmart’s sales, the company said.

Based on that experience CourseSmart was eager to find a U.K. partner who could offer its materials to students, said Fionnuala Duggan, managing director, international for CourseSmart. “As CourseSmart has experienced in the U.S., booksellers have always been an essential part of the distribution process. Through working with booksellers we can make sure that the full range of the new eTextbook functionality is available to all students on any budget," she said, noting such features as search, note taking and bookmarking. "Regardless of the device, users are delivered the same access, page appearance and numbering they would have with a print book," Duggan said.