Textbook Prices: The Horror! Mark Long & Grace Arsiaga TSTC Publishing Texas State Technical College System
Ever-Rising Textbook Prices <ul><li>Retail prices have risen at twice the rate of inflation over the last 20 years </li></...
Possible Solutions <ul><li>Force textbook publishers to lower prices </li></ul><ul><li>Force faculty to adopt fewer books ...
Potential Dilemmas <ul><li>Regulating textbook publishers’ pricing will be difficult, if not impossible </li></ul><ul><li>...
The TSTC Solution <ul><li>Started in-house textbook publishing division in May 2004 with first titles released on 2005 </l...
The TSTC Publishing Team <ul><li>PAST: Publisher, Editor, Graphics Specialist, Departmental Secretary & Interns  </li></ul...
Project Acquisition Process <ul><li>Is there a real need for a new text in this subject area? </li></ul><ul><li>What are i...
Editorial Development <ul><li>Freelance editors work with the authors </li></ul><ul><li>Editorial interns from Baylor Univ...
Graphics/Page Layout <ul><li>Each semester TSTC provides interns from Advertising, Design & Print Technology </li></ul><ul...
Printing Process <ul><li>TSTC Printing Production prints proof copies </li></ul><ul><li>Proof copies are examined and fina...
The Publishing Financials <ul><li>TSTC Publishing is a for-profit venture, not a service department </li></ul><ul><li>Esta...
Points of Sale/Distribution <ul><li>Adoption sales to college bookstores </li></ul><ul><li>Direct sales through e-commerce...
The Incentive to Sell <ul><li>Adoption/bulk sales beyond base print run for one location </li></ul><ul><li>A pricing struc...
Who Makes Money? <ul><li>Authors are paid a royalty or a lump sum on work-for-hire projects </li></ul><ul><li>Bookstores—T...
Utilizes Faculty Resources <ul><li>Writing books give faculty professional credibility </li></ul><ul><li>Selling books giv...
Utilizes Existing Campus Resources <ul><li>Printing Production </li></ul><ul><li>Business Office </li></ul><ul><li>IDEAS C...
Intern Benefits <ul><li>Baylor journalism & English interns </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Production experience and clips for port...
TSTC Branding <ul><li>TSTC Publishing provides quality products in defined niche: technology subjects </li></ul><ul><li>Ke...
Current Situation <ul><li>Rate of Revenue Growth </li></ul><ul><ul><li>$15K in FY 2006 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>$115K in...
Future Initiatives <ul><li>Preliminary recommendations of Tom Woll, publishing consultant, who did an overall assessment o...
Keys to Successful Start Up <ul><li>Write comprehensive business plan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Collecting money for products ...
Contact Information  <ul><li>Mark Long, Publisher  </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Grace Arsiaga, Proj...
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College Textbook Prices: The Horror! The Horror!

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TSTC Publishing\'s presentation at the 2008 NISOD (National Institute for Staff & Organizational Development) conference in Austin, Texas, that details the formation and development of Texas State Technical College\'s in-house textbook publishing division

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College Textbook Prices: The Horror! The Horror!

  1. 1. Textbook Prices: The Horror! Mark Long & Grace Arsiaga TSTC Publishing Texas State Technical College System
  2. 2. Ever-Rising Textbook Prices <ul><li>Retail prices have risen at twice the rate of inflation over the last 20 years </li></ul><ul><li>Constant repackaging of books & ancillary materials causes problems for faculty, students, and bookstores. </li></ul><ul><li>Instructional programs are more specialized than ever before with off-the-shelf books not filling their curriculum needs </li></ul>
  3. 3. Possible Solutions <ul><li>Force textbook publishers to lower prices </li></ul><ul><li>Force faculty to adopt fewer books and do so more infrequently </li></ul><ul><li>Utilize custom printing and/or POD (print on demand) for smaller, more variable print runs as well as providing an additional revenue stream for schools </li></ul>
  4. 4. Potential Dilemmas <ul><li>Regulating textbook publishers’ pricing will be difficult, if not impossible </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty want more choices for classroom materials, not fewer </li></ul><ul><li>Custom publishers and/or POD publishers offer limited quality control (both content and design) can wind up costing authors/schools money </li></ul>
  5. 5. The TSTC Solution <ul><li>Started in-house textbook publishing division in May 2004 with first titles released on 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Retail prices typically between $40-$60 </li></ul><ul><li>Published 30+ titles since then with 10-15 new titles per year </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology textbooks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Developmental education & soft skills textbooks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology forecasts & newsletters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technical career guides </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Content evolves with technology/instruction </li></ul>
  6. 6. The TSTC Publishing Team <ul><li>PAST: Publisher, Editor, Graphics Specialist, Departmental Secretary & Interns </li></ul><ul><li>PRESENT: Publisher, Project Manager, Departmental Secretary, Interns & Freelancers </li></ul><ul><li>FUTURE: Publisher, Project Manager, Sales/Marketing Specialist, Departmental Secretary, Interns & Freelancers </li></ul>
  7. 7. Project Acquisition Process <ul><li>Is there a real need for a new text in this subject area? </li></ul><ul><li>What are internal/external sales projections? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the timeframe for completion? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>% of materials already developed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>% of materials to be developed </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Editorial Development <ul><li>Freelance editors work with the authors </li></ul><ul><li>Editorial interns from Baylor University copyedit and proofread multiple times </li></ul><ul><li>Author gives feedback/approval of edited text </li></ul><ul><li>Quality control—both content and presentation—throughout is highest priority </li></ul>
  9. 9. Graphics/Page Layout <ul><li>Each semester TSTC provides interns from Advertising, Design & Print Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Interns (& work study) create illustrations, prepare photos, and design covers </li></ul><ul><li>Freelance designers do page layout to then hand off to project manager for review </li></ul>
  10. 10. Printing Process <ul><li>TSTC Printing Production prints proof copies </li></ul><ul><li>Proof copies are examined and final changes made </li></ul><ul><li>Print run ordered </li></ul><ul><li>Quantity of print run determines whether to use print on demand (less than 1000 copies) or offset printing (more than 1000 copies) </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Publishing Financials <ul><li>TSTC Publishing is a for-profit venture, not a service department </li></ul><ul><li>Establish royalty & other payment policies </li></ul><ul><li>Transparent bookkeeping procedures </li></ul><ul><li>Work in tandem with school’s business office </li></ul>
  12. 12. Points of Sale/Distribution <ul><li>Adoption sales to college bookstores </li></ul><ul><li>Direct sales through e-commerce site </li></ul><ul><li>Online sales through Amazon.com and Ebooks.com </li></ul><ul><li>Trade sales through the distributors Ingram, Baker & Taylor, and Follett </li></ul>
  13. 13. The Incentive to Sell <ul><li>Adoption/bulk sales beyond base print run for one location </li></ul><ul><li>A pricing structure that isn’t built around selling one copy at a time at author’s expense </li></ul><ul><li>No costs—up front or hidden—to authors </li></ul>
  14. 14. Who Makes Money? <ul><li>Authors are paid a royalty or a lump sum on work-for-hire projects </li></ul><ul><li>Bookstores—TSTC owns theirs—receive a 20-25% discount on bulk orders </li></ul><ul><li>Printing done through TSTC Waco Printing Production </li></ul><ul><li>TSTC interns generate contact hours while lowering production costs </li></ul>
  15. 15. Utilizes Faculty Resources <ul><li>Writing books give faculty professional credibility </li></ul><ul><li>Selling books gives faculty financial benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Classes benefit from faculty nuts & bolts approach as opposed to “kitchen sink” theory </li></ul><ul><li>Increased collegiality through face-to-face, personal interaction throughout development, production, and sales processes </li></ul>
  16. 16. Utilizes Existing Campus Resources <ul><li>Printing Production </li></ul><ul><li>Business Office </li></ul><ul><li>IDEAS Center </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintenance of Web and e-commerce sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multimedia development </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Intern Benefits <ul><li>Baylor journalism & English interns </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Production experience and clips for portfolio </li></ul></ul><ul><li>TSTC Advertising, Design & Print interns </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Generates contact hours </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Class substitution in degree plan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Production experience and portfolio pieces </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Potential to enter freelancer pool </li></ul>
  18. 18. TSTC Branding <ul><li>TSTC Publishing provides quality products in defined niche: technology subjects </li></ul><ul><li>Keeping prices low reflects TSTC’s commitment to affordable education </li></ul><ul><li>Through its publishing efforts, the college gains nationwide exposure </li></ul><ul><li>Pro bono work strengthens ties to the community </li></ul>
  19. 19. Current Situation <ul><li>Rate of Revenue Growth </li></ul><ul><ul><li>$15K in FY 2006 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>$115K in FY 2007 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Projected +$145K in FY 2008 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Projected +$200K in FY 2009 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Projected to be self-sustaining FY 2010 </li></ul>
  20. 20. Future Initiatives <ul><li>Preliminary recommendations of Tom Woll, publishing consultant, who did an overall assessment of TSTC Publishing: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Add full-time sales/marketing person </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stay within clearly defined product lines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Longer editorial lead time in conjunction with parallel development of ancillary materials </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Keys to Successful Start Up <ul><li>Write comprehensive business plan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Collecting money for products & services is not the same as making a profit </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hire the right staff & add staff strategically </li></ul><ul><li>Find “low-hanging fruit”: existing projects and/or current ad hoc publishing at school </li></ul><ul><li>Build and maintain author, client, vendor relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Commitment + Consistency = Credibility </li></ul>
  22. 22. Contact Information <ul><li>Mark Long, Publisher </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Grace Arsiaga, Project Manager (Development & Production) </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Find out more about TSTC Publishing on the Web at: </li></ul><ul><li>http://publishing.tstc.edu </li></ul><ul><li>Or read TSTC Publishing’s Book Business Blog at: </li></ul><ul><li>http://tstcpublishing.wordpress.com </li></ul>

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