Higher education publishers’ aspirations to become software developers

Expanding upon an article in the September-October 2014 issue of TAA’s print newsletter, The Academic Author, Sean Wakely, Founder and Principal Adviser at Academic Author Advisers, posted an article on his blog that covers the topic of higher education publishers’ aspirations to become software developers.

In his post, Wakely examines publishers’ digital solution to declining print sales and used books and whether publishers are ready to meet the challenges posed by the “digital transition”.

In future posts, Wakely plans to cover publishers’ changing product vision and the acquisitions editor’s evolving role.

What percentage of sales are lost to the used book market over the life of an edition?

Q: “Does anyone know a “rule of thumb” about what percentage of sales are lost to the used book market over the life of an edition? In other words, if the adoption rate remains basically static, how do royalty returns typically decline after the edition has been on the market for one year/two years/three years?”

A: Robert Christopherson, TAA member, author of Geosystems:

“Quick response on used-book impact. With my 3-year revision cycle we do not stay ahead of the used-book sales erosion. Fortunately in my field there is so much dynamic change that such a revision cycle is warranted. [Read more…]