A geometry textbook (Image credit: Andy Mangold)

Thousands upon thousands of textbooks are available on the market today that span the most broad range of subjects you could possibly wrap your head around. So what separates certain textbooks from the pack? There are a few basic factors that make a textbook great.

1) Content is by far the main factor that gives a textbook true respect. This means it’s packed with valuable, informative, and engaging content, some of which may not be found in any other textbook. In academic books, content is often derived from research. This is why textbooks that contain results from unique research studies makes them great. Not only should the content be good, but also it should be presented in a way that makes sense to all readers who might pick up the book. Only good content with poor presentation won’t make it seem as good as it really is.

2) The layout of a textbook has a lot to do with its appeal. Layout is based on how long a book is, how it is organized into different sections, how images are appropriately placed, and what the overall look of the book actually is. A textbook with a good layout is very appealing to students who always want to find certain information quickly. With a good table of contents and index, this can be easily accomplished. Material that is appropriately organized is also key as certain concepts belong in certain parts of a book while others belong in other parts. From the first chapter to the last, the layout of a textbook is essential.

3) The writing style of a textbook can make or break how popular it really is. These days, more authors are using humor and unique writing styles to engage readers as much as possible. They know that students have short attention spans, and they know that they want to read interesting text rather than one boring paragraph after another that are filled with facts. There is no common denominator that determines what exactly makes a good writing style. But overall, if it’s compelling and engaging by throwing in unique terms and phrases, it will probably work fairly well for readers.

4) Finally, supplemental materials are an important part of textbooks today, especially supplements that include online access to additional content. A textbook that connects well with tech-savvy readers is a textbook that should sell lots of copies. Some people don’t bother looking at supplemental items, but they might be missing out on some great add-on content. Many supplements contain extra problems or examples that can solidify a student’s understanding of a particular concept. With smartphones, tablets, and laptops, online supplements are more accessible than ever.

Use Textbooks.org for all of your textbook buying needs. You’ll find plenty of great textbooks by using the site, and these books include all four factors listed above – and more!