Letters to the Editor

Publishers invest in students

The article "Big bucks for books" (Aug. 6, Page B-1) fails to mention how publishers are investing in America's students without the help of state subsidies and how faculty and students have more options for textbooks and learning materials at a wider range of prices than ever before.

Faculty can choose from a variety of lower-cost options and customized texts. These alternatives, along with a wide range of new educational technologies, are saving students time and money while improving their success rates. Today's students are intelligent, demanding and discriminating consumers who, due to increased competition and the Internet, have more choices than ever before.

It is important to remember that the market, not textbook publishers, determines when a revision is necessary. With 80 percent of college instructors saying it is important for texts to be as current as possible, publishers must continue to update their texts to stay competitive. Yet, the average length of time between editions remains four years.

Textbooks are an important investment in a student's higher education experience, and publishers are working to provide faculty and students with a variety of educational options. For more information, please visit www.textbookfacts.org.

STACY SCARAZZO SKELLY

assistant director for higher education, Association of American Publishers

Washington, D.C.

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