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Textbook Pricing Policy

Where the New Textbook Dollar Goes...

The graphic above shows what portion of the student textbook dollar goes to the publisher (for paper, printing and editorial costs, general and administrative expenses, marketing, author income, and publisher income) and what portion goes to the typical college bookstore (for personnel and labor, freight, operations, and store income) for new books.

The total amount of the dollar going to the college store represents 22.4 cents or 22.4%. This, as reported by the National Association for College Stores, is an average for stores from across the country. At the SDSU Bookstore, historically, the amount has been below the national average and covers the costs of bookstore personnel, store operations and other expenses.

The National Association of College Stores FAQ on Used Books (visit for more info) states, "used books are typically priced at 75% of the retail price of a new book". At the SDSU Bookstore used books are priced at between 50% and 70% of the new book list price. On average, at the SDSU Bookstore, the bookstore dollar mark-on is about the same for both new and used books.

The SDSU Bookstore has a vibrant textbook rental program. Nearly all new and used textbooks are available for rent at significant savings. In addition, the SDSU Bookstore offers eTextbooks, when available. These options are priced at about 30% to 55% of the new physical textbook price. Currently, about several hundred of the 3,500 titles used on campus each semester are available in digital format. Custom textbooks offered by publishers and Montezuma Publishing can also offer significant savings.

Please note that Aztec Shops is a not-for-profit auxiliary and income generated by the SDSU Bookstore, SDSU Dining Services and our other operations is put back into programs and projects at SDSU.

*Textbook Dollar printed with permission from the National Association of College Stores


The SDSU Bookstore has limited days and hours that they will be open. Currently the Aztec Store at Imperial Valley is closed. If you need assistance in IV please email us at Please visit here for our store hours.

At we have seen an increase of online orders. All orders will be processed within 3-5 business days.

Please check back for updates.

The SDSU Bookstore Team