Why textbooks are so expensive

How’s this for a recent email from a college textbook publisher:

Dear Professor Greene,
Greetings from Cengage Learning’s Political Science team!  We would like to invite you to our first ever Political Science Symposium, which will take place in beautiful and conveniently-located Asheville, NC at the luxurious Grove Park Inn on Feb. 8-9, 2013.  The symposium is a unique experience for a select group of educators, and you have been chosen to receive an all-expenses-paid trip to this event…
Sessions end in the early afternoon on the 9th, and Cengage is happy to provide hotel accommodations from Feb. 7th through the 10th, so that you can stay on and enjoy Asheville for the weekend!  Once you are registered, we will be in touch regarding booking your airfare and hotel.  Explore what there is to see and do in Asheville here: http://www.exploreasheville.com/
Yeah, that’s right, they are paying a bunch of political scientists to stay up to three nights here (plus travel costs):
All in the hopes said political scientists will adopt Cengage textbooks.  And since nothing in life is actually free, how is this being paid for?  Well, the cost of Cengage textbooks, of course.  If I didn’t have a family to worry about, I’d take them up on this.  One of my friends will be enjoying Cengage’s largesse this weekend (he does have a family to worry about, but doesn’t care).

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

4 Responses to Why textbooks are so expensive

  1. Mark says:

    Wow. That sounds awesome. Maybe you could recommend a certain grad student at UNC to go in your place. I’m VERY open to using Cengage textbooks for my classes.

  2. Bob Andron says:

    Well, you’re just not THAT dedicated, now, are you?! How can you pass up something like this!?! You better be careful…you may never be able to run for political office unless you play the mindless game of “never turn down a good offer.” And when “they” read some of the stuff you write, you may not make it as a Pastor either! Darn good thing you have tenure!

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