Why Are Some Textbooks So Expensive?

If you are currently a college student or have been one within the last 10 years or so, then you know just how outrageous the price of some textbooks can be. In fact, it’s gotten to the point that The College Board suggests that students should budget about $1,200 annually for textbooks and other necessary course materials. $1,200! In today’s blog at MacawPress, we discuss a few reasons why we think the textbook market is so out of control. Keep reading to learn more and if you are interested in quality textbooks and academic material for a reasonable price, check out our textbook store today.

Big-Business Publishers

Probably the biggest reason textbook prices have gotten where they are is because of the titans of the textbook publishing industry. The textbook market is dominated by only a handful of textbook publishers like McGraw-Hill and Pearson namely. This handful of textbook publishers has near-complete control over the market since they essentially have a monopoly on the market. They can change the price of their textbooks as much as they’d like and since there is a lack of competition, there isn’t much students can do about it. Sure, they can decide to not purchase the textbook, but many college courses require a specific textbook and you will be at a significant disadvantage. In some cases, it may not even be possible to take the course if it heavily relies on the content of one textbook.

Type of Textbooks

Another factor to consider when discussing the rising prices of textbooks is the subject matter of the textbook. In general, textbooks that talk about science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or other quantitative fields are going to be more expensive. The mentioned fields are always changing and being expanded upon and when you purchase the latest textbook, part of the price is the research and development that went into the content of that book. If you are taking a course where the subject matter is continuously evolving, then you can expect to pay more for the textbook. Or, if you’re taking a course and the required material is say, Romeo and Juliet, that book has remained unchanged for countless years and will likely be obtainable at a much lower price.

Looking for quality academic material at a reasonable price? Check out the MacawPress online textbook store now.

You’ll Need More

Depending on how you approach your college education, you may have a higher or lower course load. Many students choose to take at least four courses, some take more. Let’s say you are in six courses in one semester. You’ll likely have to buy a different pricey textbook for each and every one. Some courses even require multiple textbooks. The sheer volume alone can contribute to the amount you’ll have to spend at the campus textbook store.

Some Professors Want the Latest and Greatest

There are some educators out there who are very conscientious and empathetic about the obscene cost of some textbooks and they make every effort to provide free or very low-cost textbook material Others, however, could care less and simply want everyone to have the same textbook and for that textbook to be the most current version — regardless of cost. If you are one of the cost-conscious professors of the world, check out the MacawPress online bookstore. We offer a variety of textbooks for hundreds of dollars less than the big-box publishers.

Planned Obsolescence

Remember those big-business publishers that run the industry? They make an effort to put out a newer version of the same textbooks with minimal changes and stop producing the older version so they can charge a premium for this recycled, slightly newer content. This way you can’t purchase the previous version of the textbook from other students since it’s no longer “the most up to date” version. While keeping content and up to date is actually a good thing, big-name textbook publishers are using it as a thinly veiled excuse to hike up prices.

Shop the MacawPress Textbook Store

At the MacawPress online textbooks store, we believe in doing things differently. Our textbook store was created to close the gap between academic research and the commercial world. We want to further the spread of knowledge and make groundbreaking research more accessible than ever before. Learn more about MacawPress and browse our online textbook store today.