Textbook Prices

Better Essays
Topics: Textbook, Textbooks
College Textbooks: How are They Valued and Alternatives to Reduce the Cost Associated with Them
By Zheni Goodrich
Econ491-Seminar
March 30, 2013

College textbooks are one of the largest expense and a great concern for students. The work presented here is going to answer the questions about why textbook is needed-how is it valued by students and professors, as provide a review of alternative options that students have in order to receive the most cost- efficient outcome when purchasing textbooks. In today’s economy many students are struggling when it comes to purchasing their textbooks. per year according to the National Association of College Stores (Hilton III & Wiley, 2010). Also students spend approximately about 5.5 billion each year and this on textbook purchases made only at the college bookstores. Unfortunately there is a great amount of students who are not able to purchase their textbooks due to the high prices. When required to purchase their textbook many students will have to pay $100 or more. The question is if those prices are fair and can they be justified? Publishers are using different strategies to artificially increase the price of the textbooks and reduce the used book sales. Some of the things that many of them practice are adding on materials to the textbooks, or bundle them with supplies that are not required or needed during the course. Issuing new books with little and insignificant changes to them is also very common practice for the publishers which results in increase of the price that students have to pay. Another reason that should not be overlooked is the change in the textbook market. During the last years many of the big publishers have bought the smaller ones which made the market of the textbooks more oligopolistic. This allows the publishers to dictate the prices as well as reducing the variety and choice for textbooks. The problem of the high priced textbooks is well understood by



References: Carbaugh, R., & Ghosh, K. (2005). Are College Books Priced Fairly. Challenge , 48 (5), 95-112. Dimaria, F. (2011). New textbook publishing model for the internet age. hispanic outlook in higher education . Hilton III, J., & Wiley, D. (2010). A Sustainable Future for Open Textbooks? The Flat World Knowledge Story. 15 (5), 1-10. Making Your Opinion Count. (2013). Retrieved March 10, 2013, from Amplicate Web site: http://amplicate.com/hate/aplia Morris-Babb, M., & Henderson, S. (2012). An Experiment in Open Access Textbook Publishing: Changing the World One Textbook at a Time. Journal of Scholary Publishing . Polanka, S. (2011). The No Shelf Required Guideto E-book Purchasing. Library Technology Reports .

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