Daylight Robbery

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Sparky49, Sep 21, 2012.

  1. Sparky49

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jul 16, 2011
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  2. Georacer

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    Nov 25, 2009
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    Say what you want about Greece, but you gotta love free university textbooks!
     
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  3. Sparky49

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jul 16, 2011
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    Nice!

    I feel sorry for the students who have to buy some of these books - I can just say, "too pricey, I won't get that!".

    At the moment, I'm very into buying my books by using the "Price + P&P: Lowest to highest". :D
     
  4. maxpower097

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2009
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    Because many of these books are very very low run numbers. As opposed to other more common math or other books that get printed in the millions, only 200 copies of this book were printed or so. Thats how I've found lots of these books charge so much. I've also heard of people making fortunes buying up old IC's and components. Then since certain machines require these IC's ect... They used to cost $1.23 they then charge $150.00 a chip knowing the other people have a huge machine that can't run without their obsolete IC that basically their the only ones selling.
     
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  5. Sparky49

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    Jul 16, 2011
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    But surely that's a terrible business model? When you're competing for customers, to sell a 500 page book for £150 when there are many which are less than a third of the price?

    Especially for a book serving as an introduction to a topic. For something that goes into a higher-level, which only a relative few might be interested in, I could understand that.

    If I ever wrote a book, and found out it would cost £150 each, I don't think I'd bother. Either that, or cut the costs and my profit margin. Does anyone really buy these books?
     
  6. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    The other thing you are missing. Writing a comprehensive text book is a heck of a lot of work. How to you get paid minimum wage (as a minimum)?
     
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  7. Sparky49

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    Jul 16, 2011
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    But how many books does one expect to sell when they are so overpriced?

    I would also presume that most of these authors are using book sales as a supplement. Most of the books I have I written by proffessor X, or by engineer who works at company Y.

    Also, if one were writing books as a full time profession, wouldn't you have to rely on bigger amounts of books (and lower prices) to compete with other existing books? It comes back to wether the consumer is willing to pay three or four times the amount for a book they could get similar information.
     
  8. Georacer

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    Nov 25, 2009
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    Sometimes authors strike deals with certain professors of certain classes, so that the professor suggest the said book as the only reading material for his class. He might go as far as appoint exercises from that book.
    The student, knowing no better and cheaper alternative has no choice but to buy the book.

    The professor then gets a cut from all the sales.
     
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  9. justtrying

    Active Member

    Mar 9, 2011
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    the moneymaker for publishers are new editions. Most introduction level books were written a long time ago and are used because they were proven to be effective. Publishers come out with a new edition every 2 years or so changing nothing except a few pictures and shuffling some paragraphs. This makes it tricky for new students if teacher is following the books strictly. Assigned questions can be numbered differently as well. But you can always by a used book, old edition for a fraction of the price.
     
  10. Sparky49

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jul 16, 2011
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    I agree, I've just discovered how good Ebay is!

    I've got a few books on a range of subjects coming, from optoelectronics to radio to logic design. The total came to less than a tenner including postage.

    There are some real bargains on Ebay.
     
  11. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    Students nowadays seem to be spending over $1k per semester for books. Schools have a way of robbing them on a daily basis, from food, to textbooks, to calculators and writing utensils, notebooks, etc. I hate to see this happen so frequently now. It seems that in order to get even a single year of post-secondary education, a student has to go into debt. There is something wrong with this country. I can only hope things will shape up for the future generations. They are our future, and if they can't afford a good education, this country will die. :mad:
     
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  12. Markd77

    Senior Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    Better than that, one of my professors wrote the book:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Heat-Transfer-Oxford-Chemistry-Primers/dp/0198562977
    We were all strongly encouraged to buy it, at least it was cheap.
     
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  13. Georacer

    Moderator

    Nov 25, 2009
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    Well, that case isn't that bad. Even if the book is sub-par, it will probably include all you need to know about that guys' class, plus the examples will be written the way he likes it.
     
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  14. JoeJester

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 26, 2005
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    is there a half.com in the uk? That's the ebay of books here in the U.S.

    We discovered it when my wife attempted to return a book to her college bookstore and they offered her 25 cents for a 100 dollar book.

    They said they couldn't pay more because they didn't know if the college would use the same book the following semester. Since finding half.com, she's bought and sold books there, with very little loss, as they normally sold for what she bought them.

    I've always recommended half.com to students. All they need is the ISBN number to make sure they got the correct edition.
     
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  15. Sparky49

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jul 16, 2011
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    I'll give them a quick google Joe.
     
  16. maxpower097

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2009
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    Many times most of the books are already bought. For instance by a university that plans on using it, or a corporation that needed one. Back in the early 80's my aunts friend left her job at GTE and went independent into writing technical books on how to use software. She ended up cleaning up and starting a huge biz from early 80's - late 90's and she retired.
     
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  17. cork_ie

    Member

    Oct 8, 2011
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    Hi Sparky,
    I have bought quite a lot of books from these people. Great value and a really first class service.Postage is free in mainland UK.

    http://www.worldofbooks.com/
     
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  18. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    A major point you are missing, at least in the U.S., is that we have completely crippled the market feedback forces for anything college related. The instructor's pick a book without having the faintest idea how much it costs and submit their selection to the bookstore as a required text. The students then generally believe that they HAVE to have that particular text, regardless of the price. If they were paying with the money they had earned from working someplace, they would push back pretty hard about the high price of books. But since a very large fraction of students are NOT paying with earned money, but rather with grants, loans, or even parent's savings, it is much easier to just sigh and sign the bill, especially when more and more schools are making it easier and easier to ring up a big bill at the bookstore and have the money deducted directly from your loan proceeds without you having to lift a finger. So not only is it money you didn't earn, it is money you never saw and, like income and payroll tax withholding, it is therefore not quite real -- at least not for many years until it comes time to start paying it off.

    People complain about the high cost of tuition but instead of saying, "No! This is too high! Lower the price or I will go to someplace that does," most people simply say, "I can't afford college unless the government helps me." So the government rushes in and "makes college affordable" by increasing the Pell grants and other forms of aid and by increasing the caps on student loans and by subsidizing the interest on them so that the 18-year old students that are taking on massive debt don't have to feel even a tingle of pain in the process. But the schools and the book publishers know this, so they know that they can hike costs at twice the rate of inflation for the last three decades (and in recent years significantly above that!) and that the government can be counted on to open the spigots even further.
     
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