[Overview] Are Textbooks so Expensive?

For the first post, we are going to give out a simple overview situation of the problem(i.e. unaffordable uni text book)

(img source: http://cdn.theatlantic.com/static/mt/assets/business/AEI_Textbook_Inflation.jpg)

From this diagram, we could see that the text book price is obviously much higher than other categories’ books.

At the same time, according to Student Monitor’s data, during the 2010-11 school year, students spent an average of $534 on books.  Hence, a recent Student PIRGs survey shows that 70% students have skipped buying textbooks because of their cost.

(img reource: http://www.bookstore.mcmaster.ca/wstore/mcm/images/courseware/textbook-prices.gif)

The Breakdown of Where Your Text Dollar Goes

The diagram shows the textbook publishers receive approximately 80% from the sale of each text.  And approximately 15% from the sale of each textbook is used to fund operations.  Regarding to this circumstances, the 80% is something that could not be reduced.  Therefore, the price could only be reduced by adjusting the 15%, which is introducing the e-version of textbook.






Rent textbooks to save money$$$ and the planet

Why you pay outrageous prices for a textbook you will only use for one quarter or semester?

Why you don’t rent textbooks to save money (50-70% off the new price) ?

Chegg is a website that can help you save money and the environment! According to the Chegg site, it stated that more than 20 million trees a year are destroyed to make books! http://www.chegg.com/ Therefore, to helping the planet by reusing books, Chegg will plant a tree for every book rented from their site.


This picture shows the price for a textbook renting in chegg website, big surprise right?!!!!


The campus bookstore

is another website for textbook rental. It is the first on-campus bookstore in Australia to provide textbooks for rent. Now you can find lots of books there and rent them online.



Make Textbooks Affordable


As we know, the price of textbooks is extremely high for university students. According to studentpirgs organisation, it states that students spend an average of $1,200 a year on textbooks, and prices have been rising more than for times the rate of inflation for the past two decades.

Publishing companies have been raking in huge profits while engaging in bad practices that drive up costs: issuing new editions that make used books hard to find, bundling textbooks with unnecessary CDs and pass-codes, and more. They get away with it because students don’t have a choice.Students have to buy what they are selling, even if the price is outrageous.

However, since extremely high price of textbooks for university students, it may affect the learning outcome of students who cannot afford the textbooks. Additionally, printing too much textbooks also affect our environment.

Therefore, Make Textbooks Affordable is a campaign which raising the public awareness of the unaffordable price of university textbooks and advocates the message of make textboosk affordable through using e-textbooks and textbookretals among Australian Universities.

Texts can be published online with low-cost and it is more convenient for students to read their textbooks through different digital technologies such as smart phones, ipads, and laptops. Reduction of printings will contribute to protect our environment as well.