Not too long ago, I posted the question: Why don't " 'inclusive' access" textbook publishers find a way to prevent resale, without requiring automatic textbook self-destruction after a year? It appears to have received zero upvotes and one downvote.

What are your thoughts about the question? Is there anything I can do to possibly improve it?

Thank you!

  • One downvote is nothing. Don't worry about it. The real problem I am seeing is that there is no answer to your question. I tried to think of an answer for you, but come up with none because the textbook publishers are business people who want to make money. Unless you can help them to make more money, there is no effective solution.
    – Nobody
    Aug 22, 2023 at 9:50
  • @Nobody: It is true that the "positive herding" voting effect causes upvotes to snowball, but not downvotes. (Source.) Yet I still wonder why nobody upvoted the post. I wonder if anything might be wrong with it. ❧ Also, an unanswered question with a score of −1 gets automatically deleted after 30 days. (Source.) Aug 22, 2023 at 17:31

2 Answers 2


I wouldn't normally have said anything, but since you asked....

  • There is no obvious difference between this question and your previous question. So, the new question is likely to be closed. Sure, it's possible there is some technical difference buried in the post, but the difference is not obvious. One reason for which is....
  • It is far too long. The ideal post length is a couple of short paragraphs, perhaps with an additional "more details" section. You may be willing to write a lot of words, but your audience is usually not willing to read a lot of words.
  • Random words are bolded.
  • The "my question" section alone is 8 paragraphs. You need to "boil this down" to a clear question.
  • If you had boiled it down, it would be something like "why do publishers rent access to digital books rather than selling indefinite access?" And it seems like the only possible answer is the trivial one (this way increases revenue, which is the only thing that matters) -- which indeed, is basically the answer you got. And so this feels more like a rant than a genuine question (though the original post got 13 upvotes, so I guess not everyone agrees with me here).
  • Edits should (usually) be edited into the original post, not added as a separate "edit" section. We already have the machinery to see what changed. If the edit improves your post, just make the change in-line. If the edit does not improve the post, then it probably shouldn't be an edit. For example...
  • On your original post, the "is my post title clickbait?" is unnecessary. First, you have a length problem already, and this does not help. And second, there is no need to raise the question at all. Perhaps someone suggested in the comments that your title could be improved, but you are free to reject this suggestion; either way, best to avoid addressing these types of issues in the post itself.

On the good side, your post shows effort, is on an interesting topic, uses bullets strategically, is grammatically correct, and is well sourced.

  • +1. I've significantly shortened both questions, and removed the "Is my post title clickbait?" discussion. ❧ The bolded words are meant to help retailers distinguish between e-textbook e-retailers (e.g. VitalSource) and IA providers (e.g. Willo Labs). E-textbook e-retailers let you rent or buy. On the other hand, IA providers only let you rent. Aug 23, 2023 at 7:20
  • I've shortened the second question, and added some bolded words, to help show how it's different from the first question. ❧ The first question is "why do IA textbooks expire?" The second question is "if IA textbooks expire to prevent sharing and resale, why can't publishers find a way to prevent sharing and resale without mandating expiry?" Aug 23, 2023 at 7:23
  • 1
    Huge improvement!
    – cag51 Mod
    Aug 23, 2023 at 14:06

I just thought it a toss up between a duplicate and off topic. There a difference between "interesting", which it is, and appropriate for this stack. If you really want an answer, perhaps the Security stack might be better, but read their tour carefully first.

  • Even if I really do get an answer, I'm not sure how it would make the world better. Some textbook company staff do tend to be geeky about textbook-related matters. Maybe one day a textbook company employee will be Googling for textbook-related information, will find my thread, and will be inspired to improve the "inclusive" access system? I dunno. Aug 23, 2023 at 19:48

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