Publishers Work Hard To Keep Textbook Prices Low

To the editors:

Your recent article on college textbook prices (“Book Costs Send Students Online,” news, Sept. 25) failed to provide an accurate view of textbook costs and options. While it is important for students to comparison shop when purchasing textbooks, publishers are also doing their part to reduce part of the costs of higher education.

Today, publishers are offering a variety of options for textbooks and instructional tools at a wide range of prices. Some of these cost-saving innovations by publishers include online texts and e-books, one- or two-color editions, and abbreviated, soft-cover editions. The new and expanding range of technologies are helping more students pass their courses, stay in school and graduate sooner, saving them time and money while improving their success rates.

In addition, faculty members are the ones choosing the textbooks, based on what they believe is best for their students’ education. According to a recently released Zogby International study, professors are requiring the materials they believe can help their students succeed—new textbooks and supplemental tools—which suggest professors believe the price of success outweighs the cost of failure.

As the cost of higher education continues to escalate, America’s publishers are helping students get the most out of their tuition dollar by responding to changing needs and helping them do their best. Thanks to industry innovations and new technology, publishers are providing students with more choices, better learning tools, and more ways to save.


Washington, D.C.

September 27, 2006

The writer is assistant director for higher education at the Association of American Publishers.