Looking to address several issues surrounding textbook publishing, Morgan Kaufmann, a computer book imprint at Elsevier, in August will release a new edition of a popular computer textbook; it will be sold around the world for the same price, $64.95. (Elsevier, like PW, is owned by Reed Elsevier.)

The textbook is the third edition of Computer Organization and Design: The Hardware/Software Interface by John Hennessy and David Patterson. The previous edition cost about $84.95.

Denise Penrose, senior editor at Morgan Kaufmann, told PW that the new edition "lends itself to this kind of strategy, [and] if it is successful, we will use it as a model that can be applied to other titles. "

Penrose said the release of a worldwide edition is intended to discourage the reimporting of lower-cost foreign editions of the book back into the U.S. market. She also said the company hopes the lower price will offset the popularity of used textbooks. Penrose said, "Tiered pricing strategies for different markets ultimately hurts everyone. By offering fair pricing on a worldwide basis, we can increase sales of new books and make updated texts available at more reasonable prices."

By designing it as a smaller paperback, the cost of producing the new edition was reduced. A significant amount of text, Penrose explained, was shifted to the CD-ROM to cut the size and manufacturing costs for the printed book.

Penrose acknowledged the pressure for lower-cost textbooks, but emphasized that the new edition is also a response to professors who want information organized in differing ways. She said that professors have been "really positive" about the book. The new edition will come packaged with a CD-ROM offering additional text, software, work projects, dedicated Web sites and an index.

The data on the CD is organized, she said, "to allow professors to teach the material in different ways. We're trying to create a package that works for everyone."