A new report, released today by The Make Textbooks Affordable Campaign, presents new case studies of how the college textbook publishing industry deliberately undermines the used book market and inflates prices. Based upon surveys and interviews of bookstore managers and university faculty across the country, the report – “Required Reading: A Look at the Worst Publishing Tactics at Work” – identifies specific textbooks that employ types of publishing tactics, and illustrates how they inflate the cost of textbooks for students.
A new report by the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) confirms previous research conducted by the Student Public Interest Research Groups (Student PIRGs) into textbook prices. The GAO report, requested by Congressman David Wu last year, found that textbook prices have risen at twice the rate of annual inflation over the last two decades, an average of 6 percent each year since 1987-1988, compared with overall price increases of 3 percent per year.
As a prominent publisher continues to issue “new” editions of textbooks that are not significantly “new”, hundreds of college physics and mathematics professors issued a joint call to action. The call to action was sparked by the latest research from the Student PIRGs that found that new textbook revisions reduce the availability of used books, which are 45% cheaper than new books.
College textbook prices have increased at nearly four times the rate of inflation for all finished goods since 1994 and textbook publishers engage in practices that artificially inflate textbook costs, according to a new study by the Student PIRGs. With textbook costs already high – an average of $900 a year, or a fifth of tuition at a public four year university – the Student PIRGs called on publishers to stop needlessly inflating textbook costs.
University professors and students from around the country came together today to release a new report which finds that textbook publishers engage in a number of market practices that drive up the price of textbooks for students.