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In case you didn’t think…

…textbook publishers have the greatest scam going, here’s more evidence.

A friend of ours, a math tutor, is having some health problems and although she has done without the solutions manuals for years, she caved and bought a couple to help herself through it this year. 

The solutions books cost between $150 and $400 each (depending on whether you want a print copy or CD).

That’s probably because teachers aren’t buying them out of pocket:  it’s school boards, who don’t care about the expense.  In case you think of the money spent as an investment, the minute the company comes out with a new text in a few years, this solutions manual will be out of date, too.

newbook 001

I wish I’d taken the picture from the side so you could see how thin this thing was.  Ted was astonished when he picked it up from Batner for her on Friday.  He was expecting something a little more – well, substantial.  I probably could have told him otherwise.

Comments

  1. Just another perspective. A LOT of work goes into those solutions manual. As someone who has worked on textbooks, I can tell you, the pay is quite pitiful for the authors, and there is not a lot of room for profit. The items are limited run, and they certainly don't publish enough to lower the cost to consumers and still allow the authors to make any money at all.

    It's the same with all textbooks - they certainly will never sell the same numbers as best selling novels, so the unit price will always be quite high.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Alright, this post wasn't very nuanced. :-)
    However, Diane Ravitch has also worked on textbooks over a lifetime and has a TON more to say on the topic, and better, than I ever could. I highly recommend reading everything of hers you can get your hands on.
    I question the need to revise every five years... meaning my Grade 11er needs a brand-new Biology text which costs $100 (no used copies until next year) and incorporates almost ZERO new science.
    As for math, many homeschooled kids are quite happily using Ray's Arithmetic and other decades-old texts and learning tons.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Jennifer,
    I enjoy reading your blog via google reader and would like to invite you to participate in a homeschool meme.
    You can get the questions from our blog post here ~
    http://www.last-in-line.info/2011/09/homeschool-meme-chareen-from-every-bed.html ~ where I've tagged you. :D

    ReplyDelete
  4. I enjoy reading your blog via google reader and would like to invite you to participate in a homeschool meme.
    You can get the questions from our blog post here ~
    http://www.last-in-line.info/2011/09/homeschool-meme-chareen-from-every-bed.html ~ where I've tagged you. :D

    ReplyDelete

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