It's called dumping when foreign firms do it. I've never heard of the government prosecuting grocery stores or Target for selling loss-leader products to draw traffic.
I think anything that takes some of the financial pressure off of students is a good thing. I also think that skyrocketing textbook prices should be outlawed just like gas prices. An accounting textbook back in 1996 cost me $36 and I thought it was highway robbery even then. But there is no good reason for a textbook to cost $200. . .unless it's printed on human skin with human blood for ink.
That's too funny. IOW, bring your friends and family. How is this different from requiring the author to buy X number of copies? What if the friends change their minds? Come on, Gary, EVERY ASPECT of what you've described here and in other threads screams "vanity publishing." You have to pay to play (bring a grant). You have to assure the publisher of customers. And of course the reason for academic publishing is to expand the pool of knowledge, that's why academics are required to do it. Sucks that the general interest in the subjects of most of their academic papers and books is so low. That's why commercial pubs won't touch them.You're preaching what you don't know. Part of the submissions package of an academic press textbook is that the author has to identify pledges from other acedemics of specific courses the book will be assigned in.
Re dumping, Walmart and Microsoft are just two examples of companies who have been litigated against and slapped down for uncompetitive practices.
Re books costing less 30 years ago. 30 Years ago publishers weren't required to provide turnkey learning management modules (complete drop-ins for Angel and Blackboard). They weren't required to give the instructor Powerpoints of every chapter, test reference banks, syllabi, problem sets, a database of all the illustrations, comprehensive instructor guides (BTW, Gary, does your academic press do that?). Teachers actually did that stuff themselves. And publishers weren't shaken down by the schools to host conferences, breakfasts, dinners, cash awards, and similar goodies while their books were being considered for adoption (along with the 100 free books needed to consider it). Who do you think has to eventually pay for all that?
You're obviously stuck in your bitter prejudices (got turned down by an academic press, did you?). So, have at it.
Sounds like you're talking about high school texts anyway. That figures.
I've never submitted to an academic press. And I'm talking about college texts, which are the only texts I'm experienced with. My experience comes from teaching college 22 years, being on book adoption committees, the campus bookstore advisory board, from being published by Prentice Hall and Cengage and working with their editors and marketing departments, and having two popular texts that are adopted all over the country. You're right, though, I don't know anything about academic presses other than you have to pay to publish with them, their subjects are narrow and limited, and few, if anyone, adopts them besides the author. If you see that as "bitter prejudice," oh well.
Oh, and btw, I didn't have to ask anyone to sign a "pledge" to adopt my books. The publishers' marketing departments find the customers.
Last edited by L C; 03-09-2012 at 12:08 PM.
Hmm. I don't get any of that by googling "L C." I generally think of anyone with the background you describe as being an objective person. So you're just not ringing true with me. But that's OK. It's the Internet. And you admit that you don't know much of anything about academic presses.
You asked about my academic press. You can see the full listing of the presses I've worked with (which includes some of the Prentice Hall ilk) for yourself. I don't hide on the Internet. You can find out who I've worked for with no trouble. (google with a middle initial "D." There's an academic with the middle initial "E" who I get mixed up with.)
Last edited by Gary Kessler; 03-09-2012 at 12:48 PM.
If you are required to write and take books to publication to keep your job, the motivation is paying the mortgage, not vanity. When bitter prejudice fails, try simple common sense.