How to Survive Business School: Create Your Own Free Textbook

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By Christopher Lotito

How to Create Your Own Free Textbook With Project Gutenberg and Zamzar

Classics, Philosophy, History, Political Science, Law, and Business students all have something in common: it is likely that during their course of study they will be required to read some or all of Plato's classic work, "The Republic."  Few books are so common to the college curriculum as this one, but there are a handful, including Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Beowulf, and sundry others.

Remarkably, these books still sell in college bookstores for 10, 20, and on occasion as high as $30.  While it's no secret that many of these books are equally available free from the library or the Internet, these solutions are often inconvenient for the busy student.

Using Project Gutenberg, or in fact most other providers of free ebooks online, as well as the free file conversion service Zamzar, it is possible to get copies of these books on your Kindle, iPhone, iPad, Nook, or computer easily and at no cost.

The key to all of this is -- Zamzar is a free file conversion service that requires no sign-up or credit card.  Unusable files go in via an upload box and in less than an hour, the correct file format, which you've previously selected, gets emailed to you.

Project Gutenberg actually has "The Republic" in a format for both the Kindle ereader (Epub) and the Kindle Fire (mobi), but what if you need that file as Microsoft reader format (lit) or just plain old Adobe PDF?  Just download "The Republic" to your computer (epub is a good format to start from), upload it to the Zamzar website, and select the format you want from the drop down menu.  Enter your email address, then just wait for your custom download link to arrive.

If you are looking for something very specific, unlike the public domain literary works that are so frequently assigned, don't despair!  In the past few years, education has increasingly embraced the idea of open textbooks, textbooks which are released to students for free so that anyone can learn.  One of the best sources of these is  Boundless offers 20+ free generic textbooks on a variety of subjects which you can download as a PDF (then upload to Zamzar for conversion).  What's really cool though is that Boundless also offers a $20 alternative to your textbook (most of them) which is designed to fit the same chapter layout as the $200 version your professor recommended.  Grab that, head on over to Zamzar, and you're really ready for class -

One more link for open (free) textbooks -

...and another free file conversion website -

  At ChristopherLotito.Org, subscribers will find all the information they need to educate themselves and their families about the issues that effect their lives.  A Drew University graduate, Christopher Lotito is a 10 year veteran volunteer within his municipal government in Pequannock, New Jersey.  Lotito is also an accomplished local author and possesses a great depth of knowledge in both New Jersey history and flood control issues which he puts to use as an independent researcher.

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