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NoNewTexts commented on a post in r/Professors
sarilou 14 points

I had the opposite experience that as a professor, the bookstore strongarmed me. I wanted the old edition of the text because it was cheaper and in a single volume. The bookstore refused my order unless it was the new edition. I said no BUT they submitted the new edition order anyway. When I found out what happened, I tried to change the order BACK to my original but couldn’t augment the order because I wasn’t the one who completed the form! When I took the email exchange to the higher ups, I was told that since the new edition was ordered to just use that. So I just provided my old edition as a library reserve and wrote the syllabus for both old and new pgs for readings. But BAH!!!

NoNewTexts 2 points

The textbook industry is a total sham. And new editions are one of the major predatory tactics publishers use to drive up prices. It's inane how you were forced to use a new edition for your course.

We've done a bit of research into it. Comparing prices of thousands of textbooks, we found that new editions cost on average over 250 percent more than the previous edition.

Might be worth sharing:

NoNewTexts 2 points

Tools: R, ggplot2. Source: Online retailer prices.

The college textbook industry is a scam. Every few years publishers release a new edition of a textbook. This makes the used copies obsolete and allows them extort students of hundreds of dollars for a new textbook. And while most students have a sense that new editions are more expensive, to our knowledge, there isn’t much data available quantifying just how much this industry tactic ends up costing students.

Leveraging the wide availability of online prices, we set about answering this question by collecting prices on the latest and previous editions of 10,000 different sets of textbooks. You can read up on our full methodology and analysis here. But if you’re a student looking to save by buying an older edition, you might have second thoughts. Even while new editions rarely have substantive changes, sections and problems may be re-arranged making it difficult to follow along with your course. And publishers know this.

Here, at NoNewTexts, we’re using data to call out the textbook industry on their greed. Developing OCR and text analysis algorithms, we've systematically reviewed hundreds of textbooks to meticulously document changes between different editions. We’ve analyzed tens of thousands of pages and matched hundreds of thousands of problems to help you find the right edition for your course. Consider buying older editions of textbooks to find new savings. We’re here to help.

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