Textbooks, published under the Routledge and CRC Press imprints, make up around 2% of Taylor & Francis Group’s book catalog. These are core texts produced to support undergraduate and Masters degree level learning. They require a higher degree of investment and ongoing development than monographs or edited collections, often with input from a wide pool of authors, in order to remain relevant to current teaching priorities.
Print textbook pricing
Taylor & Francis’ core textbooks are produced to support undergraduate courses, with a broad audience in mind. The model for pricing these texts has always been based on the premise that the high cost of producing them would be offset by a large volume of individual print sales made directly to students. Individual print textbook sales are volume based and therefore sold at a lower price point than their digital equivalents.
E-textbook pricing for libraries
Many textbook publishers do not offer digital editions of their books to university libraries. Taylor & Francis does, and believes that having the option to access the digital edition is an important part of the evolution of teaching and learning.
The pricing structure for core e-textbooks changed in December 2019 to ensure we could continue to sustain their delivery in a shift to a digital environment, and to be more reflective of how competitor products are priced in this market.
The license we sell to libraries amounts to an enterprise licence which gives access to many readers across an entire university. In comparison, one print textbook can only be used by one reader, whereas a digital edition can be checked in and out rapidly and will have a much wider distribution. When this model is applied, students move away from purchasing a print copy, and instead rely on the library version which is why there is a distinction between the pricing for a print and e-textbook: they are priced for different markets with different dynamics.
Our etextbooks are fairly and competitively priced for the library market.
Providing remote access to support remote teaching
Taylor & Francis also recognise the current, particular challenges that libraries are facing in providing remote access to materials and will continue to support their needs during the pandemic and beyond. For the summer term we provided free etextbooks to students from Kortext, Vitalsource and Bibliu, as well as free upgrades to libraries from single to unlimited user access. We also put in place a free photo-copying and scanning license extension via CLA, which continues through to the end of the 2021 academic year. As ever, we continue to keep open lines of communication with customers to find cost-effective ways to meet users’ needs.