Why Investing in Ancillary Materials for Textbooks Could Increase Sales for K-12 Publishers

Boy reads K-12 materials

Ancillary items are important to textbook sales. What are ancillaries? Additional items can range from teachers’ guides, presentation slides, online study guides, and more. Educators use these extra materials in a variety of ways to support student learning. Ancillary items may be remote-ready. Why should K-12 publishers invest in creating high-quality ancillary materials? A few reasons are listed below.


They sell textbooks

Yes, high-quality ancillary items sell textbooks. Teachers scour internet sites looking for activities, forms, and project ideas that boost their lesson plans. Teachers share ideas on these sites. Still, these teacher-to-teacher sites lack the well-designed, researched, and proven items that publishers can provide to schools. K-12 Publishers can show school districts how these extra items free up teacher time.


They are up to date

Also, printed textbooks and materials are static. Yet, ancillaries do not have to be static. With high-quality, digital ancillary materials, publishers can give schools real-time updates. Districts can use up-to-date field research. Districts will not have to carry the cost of disposal of old textbooks. Students do not have to be concerned about reselling a used textbook. Publishers cut their recycling costs. Students don’t worry about buying the wrong textbook edition.


They appeal to students

Most importantly, digital ancillary materials are more appealing to students. Schools like having a variety of materials that address the different learning styles, ready to go. Ancillaries may include quizzes, games, and other digital extras for remote and classroom use. Still, printed ancillaries are not over. Teachers will still decorate their rooms with large maps and other learning aids. Teachers like being able to use both printed and digital items. Publishers who provide a wide variety of extras will be able to see what works and what does not work within districts. These insights can help shape future product development.


They help teachers help students

Therefore, creating high-quality ancillary materials takes time. Still, K-12 publishers can promote how good extras can help teachers and sell them to school districts¬† Likewise, ancillaries can be designed to be remote-ready. These extras can help teachers assist at-risk students. Schools will need to provide students with a variety of options. Districts can buy these options as they need. Also, ancillaries let teachers match learning styles to students’ needs. Well-designed ancillary materials let schools adapt the curriculum to meet their ever-changing demands.


They support students outside of the classroom

Also, high-quality ancillary materials let districts provide support to students outside normal class and instructor hours. Students can access materials that strengthen deficient skills. Materials such as flashcards let students build vocabulary and math skills on their own time. Teachers can assess students’ needs and assign the skills needed for the students’ success.


They support new and substitute teachers

Ancillary materials support new teachers and substitute teachers. If a teacher must be out of the classroom, the ancillary materials available, make it easier to keep the class on track.  Also, when a teacher needs a sub, having a ready-to-go slideshow keeps the class on track. Teachers can easily assign items from a remote location. Districts can assure parents that students will continue to learn content even if the teacher is out of the classroom. Ancillary materials can mean that a day is not lost due to teacher absence.


In sum, K-12 publishers should invest in creating high-quality ancillaries across the K-12 curriculum as they sell textbooks. Districts and teachers are looking for high-quality content that supports their curriculum. Publishers can provide high-quality, well-researched proven extras that align with their textbooks. Districts are willing to purchase materials in both physical and digital formats. Districts are looking for ways to support their teachers. Districts are also in need of keeping students on pace when teachers are absent. Yes, ancillary materials do drive up the development costs. Still, the benefits to the school and the publishers outweigh the cost to create the materials.

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A Pass Educational Group, LLC is an organization dedicated to the development of quality educational resources. We partner with publishers, K-12 schools, higher ed institutions, corporations, and other educational stakeholders to create custom quality content. Have questions?

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