Welcome To The Free Online Textbooks Guide

Category: Textbook Publishers

This page categorizes all of the textbook publishers we have written about. Giving our readers rich, informative background history and useful textbook company information like official website links, product and service descriptions, and pictures.

Modern Textbook Stores are Now Digital, Convenient, and Cheap

Textbook publishers, along with the entire textbook industry, are undergoing an evolution in today’s ever changing economic and technological climate. Increasing tuition and textbook costs along with a slowed economy, have driven many students to seek alternative options such as purchasing a used rather than new book and seeking low cost online versions. And with the increasing popularity and availability of electronic or eBooks, many students are opting for a cheaper digital choice. Technologies such as e-readers, computers and even cell phones and tablet devices are capable of instantly downloading less expensive versions of their paper counterparts.

Within the publishing industry, textbook publishing is a world unto itself. Most publishing houses do either trade publishing or educational publishing, though some larger publishing conglomerates are known for both. A commonality amongst textbook companies’ are there primary focus on educational publishing; and within that genre, a smaller portion specialize in certain types of academic publications (i.e. textbooks on specific subject matter like history or math, or even scientific journals).

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

There are many textbook companies and publishers operating today, and several are conglomerates of offshoot textbook companies which deal in specialized niche markets. For instance, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is probably one of the most recognizable names in textbook publishing today. However, this company actually encompasses dozens of companies which specialize in special aspects of educational publishing. For example, two well known textbook companies, Holt Rinehart and Winston and McDougal Littell, were combined in 2007 under the parent company of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to become Holt McDougal, which specializes in grades 6-12 educational publishing. They publish textbooks in the fields of language arts, math, science and health, social studies, and world languages. Heinemann is another one of the textbook companies located under the HMH umbrella. It is considered to be a leader in the publication of professional resources for teachers in grades kindergarten through college.

Read more about Houghton Mifflin textbooks.

Read more about McDougal Littell textbooks.

Read more about Holt, Rinehart and Winston textbooks.


Another large parent company of several smaller “imprints” is Pearson. Pearson encompasses, among others, the textbook companies Scott Foresman, Prentice Hall, Addison Wesley, Allyn & Bacon, and the Penguin group. Like Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Pearson acquired all its holdings through acquisitions and mergers over the years of its existence. Scott Foresman publishes primarily math, science, and reading textbooks for lower grade levels, while Prentice Hall, Addison Wesley, and Allyn & Bacon are all considered higher education publishing brands. Penguin publishes some fiction and non-fiction trade books, but also specializes in classic fiction which is read widely in English literature classes. Peachpit Press is another holding of Pearson, and it specializes in the publication of web design, desktop publishing, and general computing textbooks. Another technical manual company held by Pearson is Sams Publishing, which is a successful computer book publisher with over 500 titles in print.

Read more about Pearson textbooks.


McGraw-Hill is another educational publishing monopoly, whose imprints and products include Glencoe, Random House Schools and Colleges, J.D. Power & Associates, and more. Glencoe specializes in math books. McGraw-Hill Education is the section of the McGraw Hill Companies’ educational products and services. The company handles an extensive network of digital educational tools.

The McGraw Hill Companies, which includes both college and high school textbook publications, is a publishing heavyweight seeking to bring technology to the high school classroom. In late 2010, they introduced an all-digital writing course called “Glencoe’s Writer’s Workspace" that incorporates video and online instruction. Participating in the pilot program were students at Paris High School in Paris, Texas. A video contest was included in which they were provided with digital cameras allowing them to film a 2 minute broadcast about their experience in the program. The winning videos were posted on YouTube. McGraw Hill plans to roll out the program to other schools across the country later this year.

Read more about McGraw Hill textbooks.

Read more about Glencoe textbooks.

The Truth Is…

Although the number of textbook companies in existence seems vast, truthfully most fall under the umbrella of large conglomerate publishers who have added to and diversified their holdings through years of mergers and takeovers. Each of the smaller offshoot companies specialize in specific types of textbooks, so for any given type of textbook, there may be limited options. The growing size of the educational publishing monopolies allows the companies to ask steep prices for their textbooks, as the number of competing titles in each category shrink.

Good News for the Future of Textbooks

But what may be good news for many students, is rapidly becoming a concern to traditional college textbook publishers. Attempting to compete with used and online sales, many publishers are offering bundled custom versions and lower cost loose-leaf books at competitive prices. Previously selling only printed paper versions of books, many college textbook publishers are also exploring ways to incorporate emerging digital technologies into their companies, such as digital textbooks. Publishers around the world are discussing strategies for increasing their digital market share by 2020. Driving these changes are sharp increases in eBook sales by providers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Google. Rising to nearly 10 million in revenue last year, sales of digital books are projected to triple by 2015. Many college textbook publishers have already increased their selection of titles in electronic versions and, to facilitate the new digital market, are hiring engineers, website designers and application, or app, developers.

John Wiley and Sons

John Wiley & Sons is a publishing company that offers materials covering a wide array of topics, catering to a myriad of readers. From Charles Wiley’s small print shop for law materials in lower Manhattan in the year 1807, the company has expanded to what is now a global leader in producing and providing academic… Read More »

Random House

Readers often like to find out other books that their favorite author writes. When they want to know who publishes their authors’ books, they can look inside the cover. People who want to write fiction and nonfiction books in a variety of genres will pick out a publisher to work with. Many authors write for… Read More »

Palgrave Macmillan

Palgrave Macmillan U.S.A. is a subsidiary of its parent company Macmillan Publishers Limited, a company based in England. Inheriting a strong scholarly background from its sibling St. Martin’s Press; Palgrave Macmillan USA has become an industry leader in producing scholastic texts and materials. The company produces over 5,000 active titles of trade, scholarly, college, and… Read More »


Macmillan is a worldwide publisher of many well-known brands and titles. Two brothers from the Isle of Arran founded the company in 1843. Daniel Macmillan handled the business end of the company, while Alexander recruited literary talents. The Macmillan’s were responsible for publishing such well-known authors as Lewis Carroll, Alfred, Lord Tennyson and Rudyard Kipling.… Read More »

W.H. Freeman

W.H. Freeman is a renowned publisher of science textbooks. In 1946, the company was founded by its namesake, William H. Freeman. Bill Freeman, a former salesman for Macmillan turned editor, partnered with Linus Pauling to publish his first textbook, “General Chemistry". This revolutionary publication became a pioneer in the textbook industry. It changed the standard… Read More »

Bedford/St. Martin’s

Bedford/St. Martin’s is a well-respected and well known publishing company that specializes in college humanities textbooks. They sell books in English, history, music, philosophy, religion and communications. Bedford/St. Martin’s is a publishing company that is part of Bedford, Freeman and Worth Publishing Group. This company is owned by Stuttgart, a German based publishing group. Bedford… Read More »

Worth Publishers

Worth Publishers was founded in 1966 by Robert Worth and his associates who came together with a purpose of creating college textbooks customized for students and professors. Worth Publishers focuses on three social sciences and these include: economics, psychology and sociology. Focusing on only these three assures users that the content is well written, up… Read More »

Adobe Press

The leader in highest quality training books for the design professional and visual communicator is Adobe Press, based in Berkeley, California. Books by Adobe Press are published by Peachpit Press, a leading publisher of technology books and part of Pearson Education. Adobe Press is a part of the Pearson Technology Group. The Pearson Technology Group was… Read More »


It is common knowledge that learning never comes to an end. This means for individuals that are keen on growth it is important that one continues to read and learn as much as possible. However, this learning process does not need to be done the old fashioned way as it can be undertaken using modern… Read More »


Heinemann had it’s start in London, founded by William Heinemann in 1890, it published translations of classic British literature as well as such authors as Rudyard Kipling and H.G. Wells. Through the intervening years, the imprint became known for publishing textbooks and instructional materials and thus began to place its focus on supporting and supplying… Read More »

Cisco Press

Cisco Press was founded in 1996, as a collaboration between Cisco Systems and Pearson Education a division of Pearson plc. Cisco Systems is a leader in networking for the Internet and Pearson Education is arguably the world’s largest educational publisher. This partnership has produced over 400 technical books by Cisco authorities and industry leaders about… Read More »

Sams Publishing

Sams Publishing is a company based in Indianapolis, Indiana that primarily publishes technical training manuals. Its parent company, Pearson Education, is an international publishing company that focuses on educational textbooks and media. Formerly Addison-Wesley Longman, Pearson Education was created in 1998 with the purchase of Simon and Schuster, which was merged with Addison-Wesley to create… Read More »

Peachpit Press

Computers are one of the biggest parts of the modern era and finding a career using them puts you leaps and bounds ahead of many in the job market. Peachpit Press is the perfect resource for you if you are interested in any path in the multimedia field. Peachpit Press is an aid for students,… Read More »

Penguin Books

Penguin books is one of the premier publishers of the world, and has roots dating back to 1838 when George Palmer Putnam and John Wiley for Wiley & Putnam in New York. The company evolved under different names and with different leadership for nearly a century. The first emmersion of the Penguin name happened in… Read More »

Holt Rinehart and Winston Textbooks

Though the company has changed and evolved over the years, Holt Rinehart and Winston Textbooks has become a staple in the education system. Holt Rinehart and Winston is a full line educational textbook publishing company. The textbooks offered by Holt Rinehart and Winston are as diverse as a child’s education. Their books span many subjects… Read More »

Allyn & Bacon

Allyn & Bacon is a company that publishes textbooks for university and college courses. Founded in 1868, and headquartered in Boston, it was an independent company for over a century. Then, beginning in the early 1980s, Allyn & Bacon was purchased successively by various firms, finally merging with Merill in 2007. Much of the material… Read More »

Pearson Longman

Pearson Longman, a division of Pearson Education, has long been recognized as one of the foremost publishers of language textbooks for middle and high school students, as well as adult learners of the English language. The textbooks of pearson longman cover a wide variety of topics within the realm of language skills. Categories for the… Read More »


Addison-Wesley Professional is a book publisher that produces textbooks, pamphlets, online reference guides and educational sourcebooks. They are one of the leading companies for publishing technical literature for engineers, computer programming and administrations. Addison-Wesley Professional’s writers tend to be leading experts in programming and developing, or else teachers, designers and proteges. While their main focus… Read More »

Scott Foresman

Scott Foresman has been publishing books for elementary education since 1896. There was not a single founder named Scott Foresman, but rather one Mr. Scott, and two members of the Foresman family. The initial product of the Foresman publishing company was a highschool Latin textbook, published in 1889. After forming the Scott Foresman partnership, one… Read More »


Everyone with a mind agrees, the quality of public education in today’s United States is appalling— and with such destructive trends as federal funding and “No Child Left Behind,” it shows no signs of improving in the near future. Fortunately for those parents who are seeking a quality education for their children, there is the… Read More »


Apologia Educational Ministries was founded in 1996, and has since helped many homeschooling families by producing high-quality, easy-to-use science curriculum resources. The company is above all else, a Christian organization, and they strive to stay true to their faith base while providing curriculum that is current and accurate. The program’s science materials are available for… Read More »

McDougal Littell Textbooks

McDougal Littell textbooks are used everyday by students and educators on campuses and in classrooms throughout the United States and other areas of the world. McDougal Littell textbooks have an interesting and slightly convoluted corporate history. In 2007, publishing company Holt, Rinehart and Winston merged with the publishing company McDougal Littell. During this time, Holt,… Read More »

Prentice Hall Textbooks

Prentice Hall textbooks are developed and distributed by Pearson Education. Prentice Hall is a publishing imprint that Pearson education commonly uses. Prentice Hall is headquartered in the Upper Saddle River area of New Jersey. Prentice Hall textbooks are developed and distributed for use by students in grades six through twelve. Aside from their focus in… Read More »

Houghton Mifflin Textbooks

Houghton Mifflin textbooks began soaring to popularity on campuses and classrooms in the early 1990s. During this time, textbook publisher Houghton Mifflin bought out the McDougal Littell textbook company as well as D.C. Heath and Company. At the time, McDougal Littell was primarily publishing educational materials for secondary school students. Houghton Mifflin primarily retained the… Read More »

McGraw Hill Textbooks

McGraw Hill textbooks begin appearing on campuses and in classrooms in 1986. The Economy Company was at the time the United State’s largest publisher of educational textbooks. So, when McGraw-Hill bought out this company in 1986, they instantaneously became the largest textbook publisher in the United States. “McGraw-Hill Publishing Company, Inc" changed their name to… Read More »

Pearson Textbooks

Pearson textbooks have been a staple in classrooms throughout the globe since 1998. Pearson textbooks are published through Pearson Education. Pearson Education began publishing educational textbooks in 1998. The Pearson company purchased the entire educational division of Simon & Schuster. Simon & Schuster was originally a part of Viacom. Pearson Education decided to combine their… Read More »