News and Insights on College Textbooks, Course Materials & Bookstore Services

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Seven Factors Impacting College Textbooks and Bookstore Sales

Adapted from our white paper, Reducing Textbook Costs through Transitioning to an Online Bookstore. Click here to download a free copy. 

Recent studies have shown that many college students are opting not to buy any or all textbooks or course materials for at least one of their courses due to high prices, leading to students being less prepared for class and negatively impacting their academic performance.  In addition, studies show that many students are selecting courses based upon the cost of the textbooks. Left unchecked, these factors may undermine the fundamental mission of many colleges and universities.

If your college or university is experiencing this trend, it’s important to consider the factors that might be contributing to poor student utilization of your bookstore service.

As a first step, audit of your current textbook and bookstore service and consider all the elements that might be contributing to either high material costs or low student satisfaction. Some areas to consider:

  1. Does your bookstore have enough access to low-cost used books and rentals?

  2. What percentage of your courses have used books and what is their relative cost versus the used peer-to-peer marketplace

  3. What percentage of your students are using your current bookstore? (Read our blog post, “Is Your Campus Bookstore Missing Textbook Sales?”)

  4. Are high commissions and guarantees impacting the cost of your textbooks?

  5. Is space at a premium on your campus? When evaluating the performance of your bookstore, do you factor in the opportunity cost of the space you allocate for textbooks?

  6. Do your faculty have access to adoption tools that show them the real cost of book ownership and provide high-quality alternatives?

  7. Is the online site that supports your bookstore the best in class?

For more information on these questions and other key best practices in driving textbook affordability and bookstore utilization, request our free white paper Reducing Textbook Costs through Transitioning to an Online Bookstore.

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