A fight over the price of textbooks
You see what Alex feels about Howard Dean? That’s how I feel about congresswoman-turned-publisher shill Pat Schroeder.
If you aren’t in college and don’t have college-aged kids, (or private-school-attending kids) you may not have noticed, but textbook prices have soared in recent years. There’s no reason for it, really, except that the publishers can make a lot of money selling $100 textbooks to college students. I asked a couple of students here, and the cheapest textbook they have is about $60. It’s a paperback.
This is exacerbated by something that again you may not have noticed. In the last five or ten years, it’s become commonplace for publishers to issue new editions every year or two, rather than wait four or five years as they once did. That way, students can’t buy used textbooks and/or can’t sell theirs back to the bookstore.
Crying Pat thinks this is just great:
But Pat Schroeder, president and CEO of the Association of American Publishers, said it was important to bear in mind that authors and publishers profit only from sales of new books, whereas bookstores profit each time they resell a book.
“It sounds like we’re the ones that buy them all back,” Schroeder said. “We don’t.
“There are many major publishers, and they’re all competing,” she said. “What they’re doing is what the professor ordered, and they say these [extras] are needed. They are the customer.”
It’s all the miracle of competition! That’s why the book that costs $10 to make costs $100! That’s why the CD that costs fifty cents to make can’t be sold separately! That’s why they change the text every year so they can guarantee ever bigger profits! It’s competition!
Sounds like Pat needs to read some economics textbooks. Maybe she can take out a loan.
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