My analysis of the latest round of
In this article:
- New textbook restrictions imposed (for some sellers).
Amazonis doing this.
- What publishers are restricted.
- A list and analysis of 65 restricted textbooks.
- The two best ways to liquidate your restricted textbooks.
Over the last two months, many
Other sellers found textbooks they were previously allowed to sell, suddenly restricted.
Some booksellers found hundreds of books restricted just after textbook season, putting a huge dent in their businesses. So what’s going on?
New restrictions: Why is
The story is this: Several years ago,
- Pearson Leaning
- Mcgraw and Hill
Prior to this lawsuit, there was no such thing as a “restricted textbook” (or any restricted book at all). Then about 18 months ago,
Then in September,
What is the formula
We don’t know the exact formula
I took a sampling of 65 ISBNs that sellers reported to me were suddenly moved to “inactive” status, and couldn’t be relisted (i.e. “restricted.”)
Of the 65 (again, totally random sampling), we can learn some things (I’m posting the list below).
1. Approximately 90% of the restricted books are from three publishers.
And, no coincidence, they are the exact publishers who sued
- McGraw Hill
The breakdown of the restricted books I looked at was (very roughly) 30% for each publisher (or publishers owned or distributed by them), and some restricted books from random publishers that seem to have no relation to these three.
2. The books are all high-to-moderate demand textbooks.
I have yet to see a restricted textbook with an average rank of worse than 800k.
Are all books from these three publishers restricted?
Not even close.
The formula appears almost random (though it certainly is not), but the majority of titles from these publishers are not restricted. And it doesn’t even run along “best seller rank” lines either: There are high-demand textbooks from these publishers that are not restricted, and relatively moderate demand books (in the 800k range) that are restricted.
What’s my theory?
You didn’t ask, but I’ll share my theory anyway: The restricted books are those for which proven counterfeit copies have shown up on the
I have nothing to base that theory on except that’s its the only one that explains the seeming randomness of the restrictions.
A Sampling Of 65 Restricted Textbooks (by ISBN)
(Note: These were submitted to me by other
Pearson (or Pearson owned imprints):
McGraw Hill (or McGraw-owned imprints)
0133084043 McGraw Hill
0078034639 McGraw Hill
0078035155 McGraw Hill
0073535109 McGraw Hill
0073524255 McGraw Hill
0077632893 McGraw Hill
0803637047 McGraw-Hill (Jaypee Medical)
0803640927 McGraw-Hill (F A Davis)
Cengage (or Cengage-owned imprints)
049581220X Cengage (Wadsworth)
0495599743 Cengage (Wadsworth)
1111833397 Cengage (Wadsworth)
1133492010 Cengage (Wadsworth)
0495915297 Cengage (Wadsworth)
1133952844 Cengage (Wadsworth)
1285075404 Cengage (Brooks/Cole)
840054572 Cengage (Brooks/Cole)
1285065352 Cengage (Brooks/Cole)
Restricted books from random publishers
785120513 Hachette Book Group Us Agency
1581109261 American Academy of Pediatrics
031248688X Bedford/st Martins
0761908943 SAGE Publications
What should you do with textbooks that are now restricted?
Good news and bad news.
Good news is, if they are restricted, that’s a sign they almost certainly have demand and value.
Bad news is, there is no other platform that will come even close to offering the value of
My first bit of advice is as boring as it is simple: eBay.
You’re probably thinking: “Ebay? What is this, 2008?”
I know I know…. But if
Books do sell on eBay. It’s not a no-man’s-land with tumbleweeds blowing through it. Not as good as
Submit to a cash buy back site.
There is a very good chance that one of the 30+ cash buyback sites out there will give you cash for your restricted book.
I’ve covered these more at length in my free ebook, but the basic idea is this:
- Go to BookScouter
- Enter the ISBN
- BookScouter shows you which site is offering the most amount of cash.
- They give you a prepaid shipping label.
- They pay you via PayPal or check when the book arrives.
The catch here is that cash buyback sites are going to be offering you an amount that is less than the true market value for the book, so you’re sacrificing profits for the sake of risk-free cash and not waiting for a sale.
1. Textbook restrictions largely affect three publishers and their imprints.
2. The majority of textbooks (even from these publishers) are unrestricted.
3. This primarily affects higher demand textbooks.
Somehow I accidentally became the “most published author on
The story is this: Over the many years of doing this site, I have a TON of out of print ebooks, rare bonuses, webinar transcripts, and lot more content just laying around.
So I took these and a lot more and published them all as books.
I don’t plan to promote these and I probably won’t bring these up ever again, but if you’re interested, go to my Amazon author’s page.
(Warning: These books are ridiculously expensive)