My first textbook was published over 30 years ago. At that time students paid $14.95 for the book. That same book is in its ninth edition now and the list price to students is over $300. What happened? It is an interesting story, and if you started in publishing in the last 20 years, you may not know the whole story.
When my first book was published, my publisher set the retail price of the book; they told the bookstores what students would pay for the book, and they gave the bookstore a 20% discount on the retail price. A book with a retail price of $20, would sell to the bookstore for a net price of $16. (This is the same as setting the retail price as a 25% mark up above the net price.) But the bookstores were not happy with this arrangement, so they asked the publishers to change to what they called net pricing. With net pricing, the bookstore
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