There is a question all of us have when we start a new semester in our college experience. Why are textbooks so expensive? The answer that publishers want you to believe is that it is much more expensive to produce a text book than it is to produce one of your favorite books from a bookstore. I find it hard to believe that when a company produces a textbook in bulk that it costs 10 times more than a regular book. Textbooks have charts, graphs and there is a lot of time that goes into them initially, but these companies are making new editions almost every year with very little change in the textbook.
What is their justification? Publishers will use the price that students pay for used books as a basis to price their textbooks. The problem here is that students don’t get to always pick the edition or the textbook for the class. The professors are the ones that do that. So, unfortunately this puts a lot of power in the hands of the publishers which makes it difficult for students to even purchase a used textbook.
Here’s some interesting figures. The National Association of College stores stated that about 33 cents per dollar goes into the production of the textbook and 11.8 cents for the authors royalties. Why are textbooks so expensive? Because publishers regulate what to sell textbooks for.