Please Vote: Exercises in TDPL?

BCS none at
Fri May 15 00:03:36 PDT 2009

Hello Nick,

> "BCS" <none at> wrote in message
> news:a6268ff5d238cba2e80afc1d36 at
>> Hello Nick,
>>> (and double the
>>> price (or more) from what would typically be reasonable)
>> I have been told (without supporting evidence) that the price of text
>> books is so high because about 10 times as many are printed as sold.
>> This is because they don't have time between when they know what they
>> need and when they need it, to print what they need. The other 90% of
>> the books you end up paying for get pulped.
> I find that difficult (though not impossible) to believe. Most of the
> academic texts out there are just new editions that have barely
> anything changed, and not much content that really needs to be
> particularly timely either

I'm referring to it going the other way, that the printing houses can't print 
and ship enough books between the time they known how many of what books 
they need and the start of classes to fill all the orders they get. So they 
have to have already printed and stocked everything before the orders come 

> (Because of that, BTW, I'm convinced the
> updates are primarily done to curb the second-hand market. I've had
> plenty of profs require the latest edition when the last few editions
> turned out to be nearly identical). And even those updates don't
> happen every single school year. The same edition is usually still the
> newest for at least a couple years in a row, usually more. If they're
> ending up with so much extra stock, why not just sell that stock in
> the following years instead of pulping and printing new?

It's not the ones that sell that they pulp, it the flops that no one would 
buy. Given than many (most?) books sold are "sure things", that paints a 
very sad picture regarding the failure rate of new textbooks. If my numbers 
are correct, then each year (or three) 9 times as many new text book offerings 
flop as the number of books that sell, new and old. 

> Or, if they
> really are ending up with 90% extra on such a regular basis,
> maaaaayyyybbeeee it's time to re-evaluate how many they choose to
> print? It just doesn't seem to add up. But then again, nether do most
> things regarding academia.

I'm probably repeating my self but, it's not that 90% of each title doesn't 
sell, it 90% of the titles offered don't sell and the rest sell out. Now 
if someone could find a better way to guess what new offerings would be flops....

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