Why McGraw-Hill is selling iBooks for $15
Schools will usually hold onto the paper versions of textbooks for about five years, meaning the publishers are only recouping about $15 per year anyway. Via the iBookstore, textbooks can be sold directly to students (who may or may not be offered payment vouchers from their schools), and from the publishers’ perspective, the beauty of this arrangement is that those books can’t be re-used or re-sold.
This is why I was hesitant in college to get excited about digital textbooks. I could usually buy used books and sell them so that I lost little money (and occasionally profited). I figured digital textbooks meant spending a large chunk of money and then having no resale value. But at prices like this, I could totally get on board.