Defending the publishers

The recent article, “A textbook case of extortion” (February 5) fails to accurately describe the realities of the textbook market.Publishers understand student concerns about college costs and have responded by offering more textbook and course material options then ever before, including lower-cost options such as abbreviated and nofrill editions, custom books and thousands of ebooks.Publishers go to great lengths to make universities aware of these textbook options and of the corresponding price information. Faculties have access to price and product information through publishing marketing representatives and online resources. A quick Internet search using a textbook’s ISBN (International Standard Book Number) or a text’s title andauthor will yield hundreds of price and product information sources.As for new editions, the market – not publishers – determines when a new revision is necessary.Eighty percent of college instructors say it is important that textbooks used in their courses be as current as possible.Ultimately, publishers share the common goal of student success and are committed to working with all stakeholders to make this a reality.For more information, please visit,Stacy S. SkellyAssistant Director for Higher Education Association of American Publishers