Question: Why Are Textbooks So Expensive?

Textbooks are costly because publishers release expensive new editions each year, undermining the used-book market, says Alex Neal, CEO of

“Since the publishers don’t make any money off used-book sales, their business model is to make the old editions obsolete and force you to buy a new book,” he says.

Why are academic books so expensive?

Academic books are expensive. The reason for this is because they are very niche, and publishers don’t expect to sell more than a few hundred copies, if that. That way, the publisher makes their money back on their investment in the book.

Why do textbooks have so many editions?

Textbooks can be issued in a new edition because of better information. Sometimes, however, they’re issued in new editions every few years because it’s the only way to keep the book selling in the face of competition from the used book market. For textbooks, this number is far, far lower.

What is the most expensive college textbook?

Highest Priced College Textbooks

  • Acta Philosophorum The First Journal of Philosophy: $1,450.
  • Encyclopedia of International Media and Communications: $1,215.
  • Management Science An Anthology: $850.
  • History of Early Film: $740.
  • Biostatistical Genetics and Genetic Epidemiology: $665.
  • Companion Encyclopedia of Psychology: $600.

What is the average cost for college textbooks?

That allowed students to spend as little as $31 per course on materials, compared to a national average of $153 per course, according to the study. Over the course of a year, the average college student spends more than $1,200 on books and materials, according to the College Board.