According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (US), college textbooks prices have increased 88% since 2008.Textbook publishing is traditionally dominated by the major publishers (Thomson, McGraw-Hill, Wiley, Houghton- Mifflin and Pearson) which accounts for about 80 percent of all college textbooks published.The average text book cost is between 800-1200 dollars( depending on their schools and programs)  per year for each college student, which are their major expenditure for the college education.

As journalist Noam Cohen explained in The New York Times:

A final similarity, in the words of R. Preston McAfee, an economics professor at Cal Tech, is that both textbook publishers and drug makers benefit from the problem of “moral hazards” — that is, the doctor who prescribes medication and the professor who requires a textbook don’t have to bear the cost and thus usually don’t think twice about it.


Here we are not going to dig out why textbooks are pricey, as publishers are like all the other corporates, they need to profit from the book sales, the campus bookstores also need to cover their own operational cost, and the students barely have chance to purchase the books directly from publishers.

Institutions and stake holders have constantly been looking for measures to try to lower this financial burden for the students: professors and instructors are encouraged to check the price of the textbooks before they assign them to the students, and try to recommend multiple books for the courses; the book rental program is often run by the campus store , students are also actively trading their used books to help themselves. Besides that, publishers are creating electric version of the textbooks to lower the cost by 1/3 comparing to print copies. Many open education resources are adopted by the professors and lecturers for the teaching as well.

Each approach has its own limitations apparently,

  • sometimes professors are restrained by the choice of textbooks available on the market,
  • a rental program works best only when the books are returned in a good condition ( in that case, students are not allowed to even take a note on the pages if they do not wish to purchase it at the end) and no newer editions promoted by the publishers;
  • faculty has less incentives to opt to open textbooks if they are authors of print books with the publishers.
  • the global pandemic has added the extra challenge for circulating the print books among students.

Whereas also due to the Pandemic, digital textbooks and internet bookstore are becoming more and more popular these days. Together with open textbook initiatives which are endorsed by renown universities and professors, ePUB textbooks stand out quickly in the digital learning environment.

ePUB books are not only about innovations with a few hyperlinks, a creative writer can enrich it with extra videos, audios, interactive elements to examine or let the students self- check the learning result at any time. The readers/students will access it from their own devices and feel free to highlight, annotate, tag anywhere they like to enhance the learning experience. The new editions can be updated from the author’s side, and the reader will receive the reminder every time there is an update.

The learning journey is long, and it cannot always be free, but the open access communities are striving to contribute by providing high quality textbooks for the learners to access the educational resources at low or even ZERO cost. KNiTO as one of the members, have been proudly working with renown academic publishers/universities to provide free and affordable academic books for the learners. There are over 300 ( the number is continually growing) open textbooks on the shelf for university and high school students to access. And with its unique ePUB 3 only educational books feature, KNiTO Store is becoming the No.1 choice for the learners to look up for the educational resources.

Don’t let the soaring textbook price hinder your higher education, find affordable ePUB 3 books at: