Peonage for Textbook Authors


Via Professor Mike Klymkowski, here’s “Afraid of Your Child’s Math Textbook? You Should Be,” a long, thoughtful piece by Salon blogger Annie Keeghan on the state of the textbook business. It’s not a pretty picture.

Keegan describes in detail the consolidation of the industry into a few huge publishers and the market forces that impel them to push sales and volume over accuracy and coherence. For writers it means a pay cut. For students, something even worse. This has to change.

2 thoughts on “Peonage for Textbook Authors”

  1. As someone who worked for next to nothing at his community college bookstore to make a living between classes it always strikes a nerve to be reminded of how crooked the whole business is. It always seemed environmentally wasteful to have a new version every year with minor differences that tanked to resale value of the previous book. Add the obligatory CD-ROM extras (which I don’t remember ever having to use) that once opened meant no resale would be possible at all and you really feel like you are being taken for a ride. No wonder it’s harder for kids to get into education anyone smart would see the problems and stay far away!

Comments are closed.