Professors and publishers both at fault for expensive textbook market

The selling of used instructor’s textbooks for students highlights a flaw in the college textbook market. The reselling of instructor’s textbooks creates issues not only for college students, but also for the original book publisher.

Professors who sell their instructor’s books to wholesale companies should reconsider their actions. There is a profit involved for professors, especially if they sell a textbook they received for free. But while selling the textbook appears to be an insignificant move, repercussions are felt throughout the market, and it directly affects college students who already have to pay high tuition costs. Textbooks add another expense to an already steep higher education cost, and resold instructor’s edition textbooks lead to increased textbook prices as publishers raise prices to compensate for the free editions.

Likewise, book publishers are guilty of creating issues in the college textbook market. Publishers should review the practice of giving teachers and professors unsolicited free samples in a seemingly cavalier manner. Book publishers don’t receive any compensation when their free copies are resold, and by giving away so many textbooks, resources are wasted and publishers’ profits fall.

Web editor Maricruz Salinas for the editorial board.