Finally, publishers appear to be getting it that professors, as well as students, want to keep the price of textbooks down. I just got an e-mail from an Oxford University Press rep that included this bit:
Also, we understand your concerns, and your students’ concerns, about the cost of textbooks. As you may know, Oxford University Press is a not-for-profit publisher in the United States. This puts us in a unique position to produce high-quality educational resources at the lowest possible prices. On average, an Oxford University Press textbook in the United States is 20% less expensive than competing books in the same market.
So OUP can charge lower prices because it doesn’t need to make a profit. That in turn will (presumably) cause commercial publishers to moderate their prices. Kind of reminds me of the much-vaunted, much-reviled “public option.”