March 11, 2023 Image showing a book

The Ultimate Guide to the Top 6 Textbook Publishers in the US

Textbook publishing is a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States, and it’s no surprise. With so many different topics, fields of study, and levels of education available, there’s a wide variety of material that students need to purchase in order to get the most out of their studies. But with so many different textbook publishers on the market, it can be hard to choose which one is best for you. This ultimate guide will give you an overview of the top seven textbook publishers in the US and what sets them apart.

What are Textbook Publishers and What Makes Them Unique?

Textbook publishers are responsible for creating and producing educational materials that are distributed to students, teachers, and other individuals. They are typically responsible for the content, design, layout, printing, and distribution of textbooks. It is important for textbook publishers to understand their target audience and create materials that are both educational and engaging. Textbook publishers must also have an understanding of the publishing industry in order to be successful.

Nowadays publishers are not just limited to producing textbooks, but also include resources such as test banks and solutions manuals. This helps students learn the material more effectively and efficiently by providing additional practice and support. Test banks are collections of questions related to the topic, whereas solutions manuals provide step-by-step solutions to the problems presented in the textbook. The availability of these resources is beneficial to both teachers and students, as they allow for a more interactive learning experience and give instructors an easier way to assess student performance.


A lady reading books

Cengage is one of the largest textbook publishers in the US, having been founded in 1831 as Thomson Publishing. The company has since expanded to offer a wide range of educational materials, such as textbooks, ebooks, software, and more. They are best known for their MindTap service, which provides instructors with unique tools and resources to help them manage their courses.

In addition to MindTap, Cengage also produces a variety of other products and services. They have a wide selection of textbooks and ebooks available, as well as physical copies of their books for those who prefer a traditional learning experience. Cengage also provides online tutoring and support for students, as well as study guides, instructor manuals, and more.

Overall, Cengage is an established name in the world of textbook publishing. With their commitment to quality and affordability, they have become one of the top textbook publishers in the US. Their MindTap service also provides instructors with unique tools and resources to help them manage their courses, making it an invaluable asset for any educator.


Wiley is also one of the renowned and well-established textbook publishers with more than 200 years of history. The company has a wide range of journals, books, encyclopedias, online products and services, training materials, and educational materials for undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education students. In 1807 Charles Wiley opened a print shop in Manhattan, laying the foundation for what later became the John Wiley & Sons publishing house.

In the 20th century, Wiley grew its publishing activities, expanding particularly in the sciences and higher education fields. It has acquired numerous companies along the way, such as Liss in 1989, VCH in 1996, Van Nostrand Reinhold from Thomson Learning in 1997, and Jossey-Bass from Pearson in 1999. In 2005, Wiley acquired the British medical publisher Whurr. To mark its bicentennial anniversary in 2007, Wiley published ‘Knowledge for Generations: Wiley and the Global Publishing Industry, 1807-2007’, depicting Wiley’s role in the evolution of publishing against a social, cultural, and economic backdrop.

Wiley is now publicly owned since 1962, listed on the New York Stock Exchange since 1995, and has 10,000 employees worldwide. Its brands include For Dummies, Jossey-Bass, Pfeiffer, Wrox Press, J.K. Lasser, Sybex, Fisher Investments Press, and Bloomberg Press. The STMS business is also known as Wiley-Blackwell, formed following the acquisition of Blackwell Publishing in February 2007. Wiley also has publishing alliances with partners like Microsoft, CFA Institute, the Culinary Institute of America, the American Institute of Architects, the National Geographic Society, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). In 2021, Wiley acquired Hindawi and J&J Editorial.


Pearson is one of the top textbook publishers in the United States and has a long history of providing educational resources. Pearson owns a number of educational media brands including Addison–Wesley, Peachpit, Prentice Hall, eCollege, Longman, and Scott Foresman.

The company’s flagship product is Pearson Education, which provides students with resources to help them prepare for college and career readiness. Pearson Education offers a wide range of products in print, digital, and blended formats to fit all types of learning styles.

McGraw Hill:

McGraw Hill is one of the leading textbook publishers in the United States, and has been providing educators and students with quality resources since 1888. With a focus on American History, World History, and Western Civilization, McGraw Hill offers a range of titles from celebrated authors, as well as fresh content and award-winning technology.

McGraw-Hill Connect is an online teaching and learning platform that helps instructors to engage their students and provide personalized feedback. It provides resources such as practice tests, tutorials, and assignments, which help students master course material and improve their grades. It also allows instructors to monitor student progress in real time, helping them to identify areas of weakness and provide targeted assistance.

Overall, McGraw Hill is committed to helping students and instructors succeed through innovative solutions and quality resources, making it a top textbook publisher in the US.

Macmillan Publishers:

Textbook Publishers examining the newly-published textbook

Macmillan Publishers is a globally renowned publishing company with imprints around the world and a rich history. Founded in 1843 by Scottish brothers Daniel and Alexander MacMillan, Macmillan has been a leading publisher in Britain for many years. In 1954, the American branch of the company, St. Martin’s Press, re-entered the US market. Macmillan Canada was founded in 1905 and operated until 2002 after being acquired by John Wiley & Co. During its time in operation, Macmillan Canada published some of the most popular works of Victorian era children’s literature, including Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book.

In 2019, Macmillan announced that libraries would be able to buy only one copy of e-books for the first eight weeks after publication, but due to complaints from libraries, this policy was reversed in March 2020. In September 2020, Macmillan announced that CEO John Sargent will be leaving at the end of the year due to “a disagreement regarding the direction of Macmillan”.

Macmillan Textbook Publishers boast an impressive selection of award-winning books for both children and adults, in a variety of categories and formats. Some of their most popular titles include Six of Crows, Shadow and Bone, Heartless, The Winner’s Curse, Ruin and Rising, Scarlet, Cress, and Eleanor & Park.


SAGE is a leading international provider of innovative, high-quality content publishing more than 900 journals and over 800 new books each year, spanning a wide range of subject areas. It includes international, peer-reviewed journals, including high-impact research titles published on behalf of over 400 scholarly and professional societies. Founded in 1965 by Sara Miller (later Sara Miller McCune) with Macmillan Publishers executive George D. McCune as a mentor, the name of the company is an acronym formed from the first letters of their given names.

SAGE has made several acquisitions since its founding, including Corwin Press (since 1990), CQ Press (since 2008), Learning Matters (since 2011), and Adam Matthew Digital (since 2012). In 2015, SAGE acquired Pion Limited, a publisher of four journals in the Environment and Planning series. In 2018, SAGE acquired Global Village Publishing, which develops software and services for electronic publishing, and Talis, an educational technology company.

Sage Pub is different from other publishers in that it provides a variety of content and services, including academic journals, books, reference materials, and online learning resources. Additionally, Sage Pub offers a range of pricing options and is committed to supporting authors and the research community through its partnerships with universities and research organizations.

Conclusion: Which Textbook Publisher Will Best Fit Your Needs?

When it comes to finding a textbook publisher that will best fit your needs, there are several factors to consider. The type of material you are looking for, the quality of the books, and the cost can all play a major role in making the right decision for you. To help you make an informed choice, we’ve looked at the top six textbook publishers in the US and what sets them apart.

When choosing the best textbook publisher for your needs, it is important to consider the type of material you are looking for, the quality of the books, and the cost. Each of the top six textbook publishers has something unique to offer, so take the time to research the options available and make an informed decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the publisher with the most expensive books?

The publisher with the most expensive books will vary depending on the subject and type of book. Generally speaking, the larger textbook publishers tend to have higher prices than smaller publishers. However, there are a number of factors that affect the cost of textbooks, such as the format of the book, the number of chapters, the quality of the paper and binding, and the amount of content included.

Q: Why do textbook publishers provide instructor’s resources such as test banks?

Test banks are an important resource for instructors as they enable them to assess student learning. Test banks provide instructors with a set of questions and answers to accompany a textbook, which can be used to create exams and other assessment tools. By providing these additional resources, textbook publishers are able to ensure that instructors are able to effectively assess their students’ understanding of a subject.

Q: Why do textbook publishers offer complimentary inspection copies for instructors?

Textbook publishers offer complimentary inspection copies to instructors so that they can evaluate the content of a textbook before assigning it to their students. This allows instructors to determine whether the book is appropriate for their course and gauge how well it aligns with learning objectives. It also gives instructors the opportunity to provide feedback to the publisher on how they can improve the book.