The economics of textbook

    Andrea James has been talking about the economics of textbooks, and how the money is distributed. He reports that:

    1. Five conglomerates control 80% of textbook production.
    2. They sell their product to distributors/retailers, who in turn sell them to bookstores (on and off campus, including internet).
    3. Four wholesalers dominate textbook distribution, especially used > books.
    4. These four wholesalers operate about 1/3 of college bookstores. About 1/2 are university owned and operated, and the remaining 15% are independents.
    5. If a new book costs $100, wholesalers typically buy it back for $15 to $25 and resell it for $50.

    I knew that the retailers mark-up was about 100% (that is, from $50 to $100), but I was surprised at how much the wholesaler makes (from $15 to $50, that's over 300%. I doubt that the situation is that much different here in New Zealand.

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    Word count: 200 (about 1 minutes)


    Updated: 4 Jan '10 08:29

    Author: Peter Smith


    Section: blog

    Kind: page

    Bundle type: leaf

    Source: blog/2010/01/04/the-economics-of-textbook/