Monday, September 15, 2008

What if College Professors Charged Nothing for Textbooks and Made Them Available for Free Via the Internet?

In the September 15, 2008, issue of New York Times, there is an interesting article about the future of college textbooks sales.  Here is an excerpt from the article:

In protest of what he says are textbooks’ intolerably high prices — and the dumbing down of their content to appeal to the widest possible market — Professor McAfee has put his introductory economics textbook online free. He says he most likely could have earned a $100,000 advance on the book had he gone the traditional publishing route, and it would have had a list price approaching $200.

“This market is not working very well — except for the shareholders in the textbook publishers,” he said. “We have lots of knowledge, but we are not getting it out.”

. . .

In true economist fashion, he has allowed two companies, Lulu and Flat World Knowledge, to sell print versions of his textbook, with Lulu charging $11 and Flat World anywhere from $19.95 to $59.95. As he said on his Web site, he is keeping the multiple options to “further constrain their ability to engage in monopoly pricing.”

For the entire story, see "Don’t Buy That Textbook, Download It Free" in the September 15, 2008, issue of New York Times.

DAB

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/nonprofit/2008/09/what-if-college.html

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Comments

What a wonderful idea! As I progressed through my collegiate career textbooks got more and more expensive, while the buy back prices dwindled. I believe that maybe schools should include the prices of required texts in tuition, or at least as an additional fee such as the equipment fee, so that those pursuing academics would have a better idea up front of what their actual costs will be.

www.charitynetusa.com/blog

Posted by: Melanie Guin MNM | Sep 16, 2008 6:52:03 AM

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