US Textbook pricing: where do we stand?

From SAGE US’s Kelley McAllister, Senior Marketing Communications Manager:

Those of us who work in textbook publishing in the US are used to a relatively standard reaction when we say what we do. “Hey, why are textbooks so expensive?” I can tell you, that’s a much easier question to answer when you work at SAGE.

Here, it’s simple. Our books cost 10-30% less than our competitors (sometimes even more than that!), because we emphasis both quality and affordability.

Publishing a textbook does cost a lot. It costs much more to create a textbook than it does to publish other types of books: textbooks are complicated, often with expensive visuals or content that needs to be checked and double-checked by academics for accuracy. Our books have to be current and meet quality control guidelines such as that of the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA). We make absolutely no money off any used/second-hand sales of a title, so many “sales” of our books don’t actually help our bottom line in any way.

We’re asking instructors and students to help us fight high-priced textbooks. If you’re an instructor, consider the cost your students pay and help encourage our pricing strategies by reviewing our titles and adopting them for your classroom if they meet your needs. If you’re a student, vote with your wallet, and help send a message by purchasing our lower-cost new books rather than a more expensive used book from another company. And don’t forget to take advantage of our open-access Student Study Sites, offered with many of our titles.

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