The Association of American Publishers Presents: Textbooks And Publishers For Dummies

By Brian Frosti on August 19, 2014
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Image via exploreyourdegree.com

As the summer winds down, college-bound students begin the transition from home life to school life.

Whether you’re heading off to school for the first time, returning for senior year, or anything in between, there’s always one part of a new semester that every student dreads: textbooks.

They’re expensive, they’re heavy, and you don’t need most of them anyway, but they’re a necessary evil in the life of a college student.

Some students buy them all as soon as the course list comes out; others wait until they can judge which ones are absolutely crucial. But no matter what your philosophy is, getting those book is always a hassle.

But never fear! This year, the Association of American Publishers has you covered with “11 Things You Don’t Know About Textbooks and Publishers.”

This list is full of useful insight into the process of creating and selling textbooks. These tips and tricks will show you how to get the best deals on the resources you need as well as explain how the overall process can be understood and exploited.

For starters, the Association of American Publishers points out that “textbooks” are no longer subject to a fixed definition. There’s ebooks, self-printing and single chapters available to fit your every need. These options come at a wide range of prices if you know where to look, so be sure to check out CourseSmart and get pointed in the right direction.

The list then moves on to clear up some misconceptions and provide some insight into the industry. First off, there are no free books, regardless what any advertisement may tell you.

Secondly, the rising cost of books is not just your imagination. The textbook industry demands millions of dollars and hundreds of man hours to create a new textbook, so with the growing popularity of rental and used books there has to be an increase in the prices of new editions to account for the lack of demand.

But despite rising prices, student spending on books has remained fairly flat. This may seem like a good thing but if prices are going up and spending isn’t increasing it means students as a whole are not arming themselves with the best materials for the job.

As the Association of American Publishers points out, anyone invested in their education shouldn’t simply be looking for the cheapest books out there. Inexpensive is nice, and the Association of American Publishers has plenty of ideas about how to find the right books at the right price, but no student should be going through their classes with books that are just “good enough.”

Any student who wants the most out of their classes this coming year, or any year, should look into the Association of American Publishers’ “11 Things You Don’t Know About Textbooks and Publishers.

Because what you don’t know can hurt you.

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