University of California San Diego

Universities Look for Ways to Drive Down Textbook Costs
August 8, 2014

As colleges look to reduce the overall cost of education, many are centering efforts on course materials, which, according to Cal State officials, sets an average student back by more than $1,000 annually.

That's an 18% addition to an undergraduate's annual $5,472 tuition. According to the UC website, students pay about $1,500 for textbooks and supplies, adding about 11% to the $13,200 in overall tuition and fees. And at California community colleges, many students can pay more for textbooks than for course fees, officials said.

University Presses: “Under Fire” or Just Under the Gun (Like the Rest of Us)?
May 19, 2014

A recent article in The Nation, titled "University Presses under Fire," sounds an alarm about the current state of and future prospects for university presses, and in so doing trots out the usual bugbears: the corporatization of the academy; a disruptively digital information environment; high-priced science journals that are siphoning library money out of book allocations and into subscription budgets.

These bugbears are real, of course. But they are also much more complicated than they might seem at first blush.

Barnes & Noble Seeks Big Expansion of Its College Stores
May 8, 2014

The U.S. bookseller, which opened in 1965 as a university bookstore in New York, wants a much bigger presence on college campuses, where students last year spent an average of $1,200 on textbooks and supplies, according to the College Board.

Barnes & Noble, now the second largest operator of college bookstores with 696 shops, plans to have about 1,000 locations within five years, Max Roberts, chief executive of the company's college business, said in an exclusive interview at Rutgers University's bookstore in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Elsevier Opens Its Papers to Text-Mining
February 6, 2014

Academics: prepare your computers for text-mining. Publishing giant Elsevier says that it has now made it easy for scientists to extract facts and data computationally from its more than 11 million online research papers. Other publishers are likely to follow suit this year, lowering barriers to the computer-based research technique. But some scientists object that even as publishers roll out improved technical infrastructure and allow greater access, they are exerting tight legal controls over the way text-mining is done.

Shebooks, New Women's E-Book Publisher, Launches
January 2, 2014

Shebooks ( entered the booming e-singles market today with a collection of nine titles aimed at the largest reader segment women. Shebooks also announced plans for a unique subscription offering for accessing the publisher's growing collection of titles. The nine titles released on the Shebooks preview site today (view on include six memoirs and three works of fiction by well-established authors and essayists, including Hope Edelman, Marion Winik, Faith Adiele, Jessica Anja Blau and Suzanne Paola.

The Book Shows Go On: Everything you need to know about book production and design awards and shows in 2013
March 6, 2013

The six major annual book design shows listed above continue to anchor our industry in its traditions of craft, even though painfully unadorned ebooks and cluttered multimedia platforms proceed apace, charting their own course. Whatever the wide range of book show presenting criteria, as shown in the survey that follows, ultimately the purpose of book design is to enhance the readability and message of the book itself. 

Print will survive and thrive in those areas where it continues to fulfill that purpose. Where digital media prevail, irrepressible design aspirations will soon follow.

While some shows are beginning to provide digital edition categories (mostly fixed format and multi-media), print editions continue to be foundational platforms for book design and organization — at least for the time being. Leading edge designers are exploring ways to bring design criteria into the reflowable formats.

iPads, E-Textbooks a Potent Combo on College Campuses
February 26, 2013

If you're a college student, you're probably familiar with this kind of math question:

If a 16GB Wifi-only iPad costs $500, and a student spends $1,000 per year on printed textbooks while recouping 16 percent on the sellback, and an e-textbook costs 60 percent less than a printed textbook but lacks sellback, and only 32 percent of a college's textbooks are e-textbooks, how long before the iPad pays for itself?

Answer: It'll take you around three-and-a-half years to recoup the cost of the iPad solely from e-textbook savings.

University Presses Face the Future
November 1, 2012

On Nov. 11, the Association of American University Presses kicks off the first University Press Week, an event designed to celebrate the literary and cultural achievements of university presses across the country (more at As with all publishers, university presses have been affected by digitalization and changes in the retail environment. Book Business asked a selection of directors of university presses the question: What do you feel is the best way to steer a university press successfully into the future in this age of rapid technological change?

Activists Transform Abandoned Building Into Library Before Being Evicted
August 16, 2012

Late Monday evening, a group of Oakland police officers busted into the city's newest library, kicked everybody out and put bars on the doors.

The Victor Martinez People's Library, named for the Chicano author who died in San Francisco last year, had only been open since 7 a.m. But over the course of that day, the formerly vacant building near the intersection of Miller Avenue and International Boulevard transformed from an empty, blighted space into a functional library.

Some universities require students to use e-textbooks
August 13, 2012

Students don't seem to want to buy e-textbooks. So some schools are simply forcing them. While several colleges across the country are pushing electronic textbooks, touting them as more efficient and less cumbersome than regular textbooks, students are reluctant. E-textbooks still account for only 9% of textbook purchases, says Student Monitor, which researches college student behavior. "How excited can you expect to get about an e-textbook?" Student Monitor President Eric Weil says. "It's not a fashion statement, it's not a status symbol…"