Case Studies

eCommerce & Online Reading Bring Consumers New Purchase Options

Situation (Challenge)

Professional Development Institute, Inc. (PDI), in conjunction with Price Waterhouse Coopers, is the publisher of the flagship title Petroleum Accounting. Previously only available in print form, as work began on the 8th edition PDI desired a way to make the title available electronically in addition to the print version. 

As a long-time print customer of Sheridan, PDI turned to Sheridan for a solution to create an eBook and make it available for purchase. In addition, they needed a way to protect the highly valued electronic version from unauthorized use while also ensuring a simple purchasing and reading experience for the purchaser.


Using Connect as a platform, Sheridan created an eCommerce site that connects seamlessly with PDI’s current website. Visitors to PDI’s site are presented with the option to purchase the print or eBook version made available through Sheridan’s eBook conversion services.

When a purchaser selects the eBook option, they are taken seamlessly to a site hosted by Sheridan where they can complete the purchase. To ensure the content is accessed by authorized users only, the eBook is made available for online reading. When a consumer purchases an eBook for online reading, built-in software allows the consumer to read the file directly in their browser. Consumers simply log in to access their eBook from any device with internet connectivity and begin reading.

Utilizing Connect’s coupon module, a third purchase option is available that bundles the print and eBook together. When a consumer selects this option, they are emailed a coupon code and link after purchase. Upon clicking the link, they are directed to the eBook hosted on the Connect site where they can enter the coupon code and are granted access to the eBook.


Utilizing Sheridan’s eBook conversion services and Connect platform, PDI can now offer Petroleum Accounting for sale in multiple formats to their consumers. By offering the eBook for online reading, consumers experience a simplified purchasing and reading experience while PDI can relax knowing the book is protected from unauthorized use.

“We have been a customer of Sheridan for many years, and they were our first contact when we decided to offer a long-standing industry text in electronic format” remarks Carol Perry, PDI Marketing Manager. “With the guidance of Sheridan’s personnel, we were able to create an electronic book with ease, a book that serves as a companion (or a stand-alone read) to our traditional, hardbacked text. Protecting content in an electronic format so that it could not be copied or shared without authorization, was extremely vital to our authors, and we are very happy with the results using an online reading option. Since the site opened for sales, our clients have reported no problems accessing and reading the book.”

Products and Services Used

  • eBook Conversion
  • Connect eCommerce Platform
  • Online Reading
  • Sheridan Print

Company Profile

About PDI

Professional Development Institute, Inc. (PDI) provides education, information, and training to professional on topics ranging from oil and gas accounting to financial management, private investigations, and legal and business skills. PDI is housed within the University of North Texas.


About Sheridan

Sheridan is a leading provider of print, publishing services, and technology solutions to publishers, associations, university presses, and catalogers. A division of CJK Group, Inc., Sheridan has nine U.S.-based production facilities; each location has a market specialty that supports books, scholarly journals, reprints, magazines, or catalogs.