Why are professors allowed to assign their own book as the class textbook?

I've had professors who have required us to purchase books they've written as the class textbook we use. Am I missing something because this seems unethical? Students are a captive market and they stand to make a profit from this. I'm just trying to get my head around why something like this is allowed.

11 Answers

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago
    Favourite answer

    The author gets only a tiny fraction of the price of the book. It's not like they're getting rich off of it. And the author may honestly have concluded that his/her book is the best book available on the subject.

  • 3 weeks ago

    They might have done the latest and finest research and want to teach the subject to you correctly.

  • F
    Lv 6
    4 weeks ago

    If you go to a top university, your professors will be amongst the best people in the world in their field, so who better to write the textbooks? 

    If you go to a fifth rate one, chances are they won’t be writing any books.

  • 4 weeks ago

    Yes i went to Night school and the teacher only had 20 books

    so i asked for the Full list and had read 20 of the 50 Recommended

    and informed the Teacher of my choices

    some Teachers are Lazy

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  • 4 weeks ago

    You have to buy a textbook from somewhere, and it must have been written by someone. I don't see the problem. Whatever book you buy, its author will be making some kind of money.               

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    It's for profit. Maybe you are just seeing the small world of the problem but in other countries there are dragon level vampires for money.

    That aside it's not right by any self thought law. It's wrong and no law is against it.

  • 4 weeks ago

    College/University students are NOT a captive market. You are not required to attend and specific school (or even any school for that matter). You do not have to take any specific class and you do not have to take a certain professor. 

    Let's see though, if a professor wrote the textbook, they would have a pretty good idea of every little detail in the book. In addition, most test questions are going to come directly from information in the book as well as lecture information and such. I'd much prefer a professor have their own textbook because I know the course will follow the book and their won't be big curveballs out of nowhere.

    And yes, the professor will make a few buck. But selling a 100 textbooks a year isn't going to make anybody rich. Why are you not complaining about the very limited number of textbook publishers that are selling books at outrageous prices? These are the people making the money.

    Our school recently purchased AP textbooks and the publisher was excited to tell us that the only difference between the AP book and the college version was the AP book binding was designed to last 7 years (the college 1 year) and the college book cost twice as much.

  • 4 weeks ago

    What's wrong with profit?  I guess you go to one of those schools where the Marxists are in control.  A book by the professor is probably in perfect alignment with what he or she lectures about. 

    I would argue that it would be wrong if the professor assigned the book but it were substantially more expensive than a similar book. 

    I specifically wrote a textbook for my class because I could sell it for $70 rather than the $120 that the alternative book cost.

  • 4 weeks ago

    It's not illegal.  If you have to have a textbook, then why not the one written by your prof?  It will at least be consistent with the course material he provides by lecture.  And if you're short on cash, go to the bookstore and buy a used copy.

  • 4 weeks ago

    sure, no different then them lecturing their knowledge, its just written down.

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