A Textbook, What Is It Good For?

There is broad support for the notion that textbooks cost too much and yet few people really understand the intricacies of the textbook publishing industry, including its relationship to our educational systems, and why the products cost what they do.

Indeed, textbook publishing is one of the more misunderstood industries in the U.S. This is a natural consequence of being so similar to the rest of the publishing world and yet, at the same time, being so very different. It is also the result of contending with a closed, centralized industry that resulted in a de facto collaborative monopoly for the better part of fifty years.

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