Why Textbooks Cost So Much
College textbooks seem to be ridiculously expensive. There are many reasons why textbooks cost so much these days. At an average of 6 percent inflation on college textbooks per year, they get more and more expensive. In modern schooling it is the “norm” for students to spend huge amounts of money for these books. Supposedly it’s the “cost of the education” with an upwards of close to a thousand dollars a year for text books. What is behind the money for these books? Who is coming out on top?
There are many reasons why textbooks cost so much and some of the reasons are extremely complex and political. I can not cover all of the reasons why, but we will give enough information as to why textbooks cost so much so you can get a decent understanding. We also support college and universities in that they need to make revenue to support students and education so we do want students to support bookstores, but saving money in college is also important for students these days.
One of the main reasons why textbooks cost so much is because of how they are produced and who they are produced by. In a simple exclamation, it costs a lot of money to produce college level books with all the research and time it takes to put the textbooks together and publish the books and then produce the books and pay the publishers as well. Some textbooks will have hundreds of publishers to acquire the intended knowledge level of books. The amount of books that are produced also depends on how many of the books are ordered.
Many textbooks have not changed much over the years.
Calculus and writing has not changed that much in the past decade but news textbooks come out anyways because of the economic system and the need for publishers to make profit at the end of the year. This adds to why textbooks cost so much but is just part of the whole problem.
How many books are ordered depends on how many professors pick the book to use in their class. Some professors care about the expenses of these books and some do not. Some professors use loose leaf books for binders to try and help with these expenses. Other professors will assign students to a book they authored themselves allowing them the benefit of the sales.
When these books are made companies are never sure how many books they will sell making how many they need to produce something they need to factor into their overall sales. Since companies have a hard time determining what books will be sold and how many they have to charge a lot for the books they do sell to cover the cost of all the books allowing them to hold onto some of their profits.
As students dive deeper into their major of choice, their particular field becomes more and more specialized. These classes will start to demand specialized books on that material. As a student gets further in their degree the price of books will become more expensive every year in.
Some of these prices are also determined by how many desk copies are sent out. Companies can only sell books if they have professors who want to use them. To capture their interest a company will send out a “free” desk copy of the books. The cost of sending out all of these free copies is transported directly to the students in the sales of the book.
Publishing companies also put a value on textbooks by assuming that they will be used for several years and without going into too much accounting talk, they want the price to reflect what the students get out of it. Publishers want to figure out the best price by distributing it over years in a manner that makes them the most money. They wish to distribute the cost of the years that the text will be published. This is one additional part of why textbooks cost so much and adds to the cost of textbooks over time and the cost is always passed onto the students paying for these college textbooks.
Another reason they charge so much for the books is because they know students will resell their books. The company will only ever make money off of the first sale of the book. Since the book will be good for a few years students will try to get some of their money back and sell the book.
The company automatically takes these losses from the first sale of the book to help with their losses in the overall resale of the book. This only adds to why textbooks cost so much in the first place. Another way companies try to curb these sales, is to turn out “new editions” every few years of the same books. This makes all the used books in circulation obsolete.
The conclusion of these reasons why books are so expensive are part of a vicious circle that won’t end because the price of college textbooks are so high that students will look to other places to buy their books from. The companies lose a lot of their profits because students will resell their books to other students and stores causing them to up the price of the books they sell.
Also, the knowledge that is taught by professors every year is expanding daily. The knowledge that is intended to be learned in a four year degree is exponentially greater than what was expected ten years ago. As the demand for knowledge increases by the year so will the price it will cost to put the text books together. This cycle won’t end any time soon without government interference. So there are a lot of reasons why textbooks cost so much but there are ways of saving money. Learn more about how to find cheap textbooks.