I recently joined a “Textbook Advisory Committee” at Chemeketa for the purpose of reducing these costs. We gathered ideas from faculty and our bookstore, met with book salespeople, and published recommendations. Here are some of our ideas:
- Use the same textbook when multiple instructors teach the same course.
- Use the same textbook for courses in a sequence.
- Coordinate with instructors at other schools to purchase textbooks as a group.
- Use 3-hole drilled or custom textbooks. Publishers like these because they stifle the used book market. In return, they are generally willing to give a lower price.
- Negotiate with the publisher to obtain discounts.
- Use an online textbook (e-book).
- Use old editions or accommodate multiple editions.
- Use self-authored, creative commons, open source, or materials that are not copyrighted.
- Put textbooks on reserve in the library.
- Use book rental.
I would appreciate comments on the above ideas. I’d also like to hear about ideas you have that are not on the list.