(Continued from 1)
How Does the Price Break Down?
Although it is difficult to pinpoint exact numbers on
a text, the National Association
of College Stores provides a dollar break down reflecting
the market. The information was collected from college
and university bookstores and textbook publishers across
©2002 National Association
of College Stores, Inc.
|New $50 Textbook
|Revenue given to college or university for academic
programs, student activities, capital improvements,
|Employee salaries and benefits
|Earnings and other direct expenses including taxes,
equipment, maintenance, repairs, etc.
What Can I Expect to Pay This
The price of textbooks continues to rise as noted in
a recent study by the New
Mexico Commission of Higher Education. Several factors
come into play including advances in technology with
higher production prices and faster turnover of editions.
Online outlets like Efollett and Classbook.com
offer some reduction on prices of new books as well
as listings for used texts which average about 25% less
than new. Forrester
Research estimates that about 10 to 15 percent of
textbooks will be purchased online by 2003, so more
students are logging in and buying. Internet access
means that students can buy direct at outlets like College
Book Service, swap books with programs like College
Book Swap, or buy/sell used books at eBay. The bottom
line is that textbooks are expensive and prices continue
to rise; however, students today have more options and
can, in many cases, save on texts on a short-term basis
by going online.
What About the Future?
Technology has reached a stage where material can be
stored and accessed online. This means that textbooks
can be published and updated on the Internet. For example,
many medical texts including Grays Anatomy can be viewed
or downloaded at Doctor's
Reference Online. In the future, students could
buy all or portions of books online as needed. Some
materials would likely be free like Grays while others
would include a charge with login to access.
Overall, prices would be lower, updates faster, and
access less limited (since you could log in anywhere).
Cyndi Allison is a lecturer in the communications
department at Catawba College and a freelance writer
for national magazines.
For more information on how to get a better return
when selling your textbooks, see Textbook