As former college professors, textbook authors and editors for major publishers, it was very evident that students were paying too much for textbooks, authors were not making enough on their royalties and the major businesses that own the publishers were making unwarranted profits. As we developed the textbook company it became obvious that the general public could also profit from high quality low cost books–so we expanded.
Relative to costs–as an example, a physical educaton activity series developed in the 1980s sold for $8 a copy and sold large numbers of copies. After several buyouts of publishers it now sells for between $54 and $63 a copy. Each book has been revised once since its original publication. Very few books sell now. Students do not have access to these excellent texts and authors make pennies per year.
The traditional print textbooks in health education now range from lows of $35, through the midrange of $60 to $120 and into the high range of several hundred dollars a copy. For physical activity books the prices range from $12 to $30. These costs obviously include the costs of: paper, printing, multicolor layouts, shipping costs for the delivery to schools and the shipping of the unsold units back in the publisher. Other costs include warehousing the texts, salaries for publishers’ representatives to visit schools, the 20%+ discount to bookstores and other related costs. Authors royalties generally run from 10 to 15%. The traditional books which were once revised every four years are now commonly revised every two years– and those revisions are usually very minor. Furthermore, it takes about a year to get a revised edition through the publishing process and to the student.
Because of the high cost of textbooks, enterprising students commonly, and illegally, make copies that they sell to their cohorts. This further cuts into the publisher’s profits. Then the used book market completely shuts out the original publisher from additional profits.
With the advent of digital e-books many of these costs can be eliminated and revisions can be done semi-annually if desired. The books are therefore much more current.
But e-textbooks offer much more to the student and the instructor. In text videos can give a far clearer idea of what is happening than can a diagram or a photo. Seeing a complete golf swing or tennis serve, viewing a moving diagram of blood flow in the heart-lung circulatory system, or watching an operation such as a heart by-pass procedure can be many times more valuable as a learning experience.
There are still the costs involved in marketing the books. There are several major companies that market e-books to higher education institutions for e-textbook publishers.
TOTAL HEALTH PUBLICATIONS is able to deliver inexpensively to the student. Because of our very affordable prices, students will buy the texts every semester because it is cheaper than buying a copied book. But also, most e-books are not copyable. The authors therefore will continue to receive their royalties every semester. The royalties average 20% per copy. Books that are appropriate for the general trade market will also be made available through various trade outlets.
PUBLISHING AREAS. The major areas of interest for the publisher are: the health sciences, exercise and sport sciences, physical education, kinesiology, dance, coaching, and health related areas in other disciplines such as: psychology, sociology, physiology, nutrition, the environmental sciences, nursing and the medical sciences.
– Dr. Bob O’Connor — publisher