Faculty Textbook FAQ
Our goal at the University of Manitoba BookStore is to support students by sourcing and stocking all the correct materials for their courses and pricing them competitively. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions to learn ways in which you can help optimize the student experience as well as take advantage of your U of M BookStore resources for faculty.

QUESTIONS

  1. What does the BookStore do to ensure my students will have the course materials they need?
  2. How do I obtain a desk/review copy?
  3. How do I contact Publisher Sales Representatives?
  4. How does the BookStore decide how many copies to order?
  5. How should I decide whether a textbook should be Required versus Recommended?
  6. Why do I need to submit an Expected Enrollment Figure when requesting textbooks?
  7. Why are there textbook adoption "target dates", and what are they?
  8. How do I get access to the U of M online textbook adoption system?
  9. What method should I use to place my online textbook adoption?
  10. What are "Access Codes"?
  11. What is the latest information about E-textbooks?
  12. What is "Smart Custom" publishing?
  13. What are the factors that affect a student's decision whether to buy a particular textbook?
  14. How does the U of M BookStore compete with online booksellers on behalf of my students?
  15. How can U of M faculty save students money on textbooks?

ANSWERS

1. What does the BookStore do to ensure my students will have the course materials they need?

We take our student customers' academic needs very seriously so we:

  • Use the best available supplier to secure course materials. In cases where there are multiple suppliers, we will weigh such factors as cost, expected delivery dates and return privileges to determine which company offers us, and therefore the student, the best service.
  • Research the availability of alternate versions of requested material should we encounter difficulties in acquiring them and provide faculty with any information regarding possible substitutions immediately.
  • Are proactive about reordering textbooks for courses with unexpected enrollment increases by monitoring enrollment levels from the Registrar's Office. If a textbook runs out of stock, we will take the customer's name and email address to notify them when more stock has arrived in the Book Store.

2. How do I obtain a desk/review copy?

Please contact your department liaison for instructions on ordering desk copies. Typically desk copies are handled at the department level but your respective course materials specialist will be happy to provide any additional instructions if needed.


3. How do I contact Publisher Sales Representatives?

For a list of the representatives and their contact information, CLICK HERE.


4. How does the BookStore decide how many copies to order?

Factors used to determine order quantities include:

  • Class limit
  • Ongoing enrolment figures
  • Quantity requested by faculty
  • Book price
  • Geographic location of supplier
  • Return privileges of our supplier
  • Historical sell-through of the title (if title used within previous three terms)
  • Used book quantities available on campus

5. How should I decide whether a textbook should be Required versus Recommended?

Here's a rundown of some of our most used terms:

"Required" Textbook:
A book adopted for use in a course. Use of the book is considered critical to the student's successful completion of the course and the portion of the book used should be between 50% - 100%. Students should be encouraged by the instructor to use the required textbook in order to complete the course.

Optional/Recommended/Reference Textbook:
A book adopted for use in a course. The contents of these books should be complementary to the course content but not critical to the success of students in the course. The instructor should promote the recommended book as a reference tool.


6. Why do I need to submit an Expected Enrolment Figure when requesting textbooks?

Your textbook buyer requires this estimate of the number of students who will participate in the course, to gauge textbook copies required. The figure itself can be derived from two sources: last year's enrolment figure and the maximum capacity number for the course.


7. Why are there textbook adoption "target dates", and what are they?

Your textbook department has established standard target dates for adoption requests. These are the dates by which your textbook adoptions should be submitted to the BookStore to avoid out of stock situations related to publisher reprint or out of print situations, unexpected copyright issues, long lead shipping times from international publishers, or other unforeseen circumstances. 

  • Fall term: June 1
  • Fall/Winter term: June 1
  • Winter term: October 15
  • Spring term: March 1
  • Spring/Summer term: March 1
  • Summer term: April 1

Note: place all your textbook orders through your textbook buyer, even if you have missed the target date.

Students want to buy from the BookStore, where they're confident of getting the correct materials for your specific course, and you want this too! Your U of M textbook buyers would rather err on the side of placing orders and receiving books late than to have students unable to get textbooks, or have to guess at them online.


8. How do I get access to the U of M online textbook adoption system?

It's very easy to set up your own log in information for the U of M online textbook adoption system.

  • Follow the link from the Faculty Textbook & Course Material Adoptions page and create your personal profile.
  • Contact your Textbook Department Manager to receive your department ID and Password.
  • Log in and begin to place your adoption requests!

9. What method should I use to place my online textbook adoption?

Most new users of the online adoption system choose the Guided Adoption option; simply select this from the main menu and follow the prompts. You'll need to have some basic facts about your textbook requests, especially textbook ISBN or author name, but most of the course information will be pre-populated for you when you choose the term and course number. Your U of M BookStore has created a very quick and easy tutorial to get started; contact your textbook buyer and we would be happy to visit and walk you through your first online adoption experience! 


10. What are "Access Codes"?

Digital learning components (the "Access Code"): facts and strategies

  • New textbook packages sometimes include an Access Code, enabling entry to digital learning portals created by the textbook publisher.
  • Digital learning portals offer additional resources to the student, sometimes including quizzes and sample tests, but are seldom used by instructors for student assessment or grading.
  • Access Codes, often including the digital textbook, may also be sold separately.

"Requiring" the Access Code
When Faculty adopt a textbook that will include an Access Code they must clearly communicate to the BookStore and the student whether work performed within the digital learning portal will count towards student grades:

  • If "yes", the Access Code should be considered "required".
  • If "no", the Access Code should be considered "optional", which enables money saving options including used book and textbook rental options for your students.

The following scenario illustrates the most common textbook purchase options for students, with prices based on actual examples:

A. New Textbook package (w/ Access Code & Ebook): ISBN 978xxxxxxx001 $150.00
B. New Textbook alone ISBN 978xxxxxxx002 $100.00
C. Access Code alone (w/ Ebook) ISBN 978xxxxxxx003 $90.00
D. Used Textbook ISBN 978xxxxxxx004 $75.00

Access Code required will enable option A or C; (C, for students comfortable working solely with the digital version of the textbook).

Access Code optional: enables options A through D. 


11. What is the latest information about E-textbooks?

Five facts about E-textbooks

  • E-textbook options are most common in Science, Health, Management, and Financial disciplines.
  • E-textbook prices are generally 60% to 75% of the printed textbook price.
  • E-textbooks are actually 'rentals', as digital rights limitations (DRM) render the E-textbook inaccessible to the user, usually 180 days after purchase.
  • E-textbook options are not always available from the Publisher to University bookstores.
  • E-textbook sales account for less than 1.5% of overall textbook unit sales at the U of M.

12. What is "Smart Custom" publishing?

Smart Custom Publishing, offered by your University of Manitoba BookStore, supports educators in the development and production of your own professional quality textbook, tailored to the flow and pacing of your course, and creating a completely unique student resource.

Smart Custom Publishing Facts & Benefits

  • Smart Custom publishing projects are entirely managed by the U of M textbook department, from copyright clearance to printing, right here on campus.
  • Custom course materials foster greater student buy in and improved student outcomes.
  • Custom course materials generally represent student savings by eliminating secondary textbook purchases.
  • Custom course materials promote Department and University identity and prestige.
  • On-campus Custom Publishing eliminates shipping, out of stocks, and return issues.
  • Custom Publishing is also ideal for case studies, lab manuals, and supplemental reading packages.

Custom textbooks often include:

  • Self-Authored material.
  • Material from multiple Author sources (within copyright guidelines).
  • Course outline or syllabus.
  • Instructor notes, tips, and proprietary teaching materials.
  • Assignments/exercises/practice exams.
  • B/W or colour illustrations.
  • Unique faculty, university, or subject driven cover art and design elements.
  • Choice of bindings: perfect bound, spiral, loose-leaf/shrinked, for example. 

13. What are the factors that affect a student's decision whether to buy a particular textbook?

Four factors in the student decision to buy a textbook:

  • The price of the required book.
  • The extent to which the instructor uses the book.
  • The extent to which assignments are based on the book.
  • The extent to which exams are based on the book.

14. How does the U of M BookStore compete with online booksellers on behalf of my students?

Your U of M BookStore provides U of M students:

  • Reliability: one vendor for all their textbook requirements.
  • Instant gratification: textbooks in stock, not in a virtual warehouse.
  • Confidence: we carry the correct textbook editions for every U of M course.
  • Access to add on and digital components for U of M specific courses.
  • Student-friendly solutions including used textbooks, textbook rentals, and e-books.
  • U of M custom learning materials and lab manuals.
  • Easy in-store exchange and refund policies.
  • We buy books back from our students: in 2012 the BookStore gave students $508,781 cash back through our Used Book Buy Back program on campus.

15. How can U of M Faculty save students money on textbooks?

Try and choose resource materials that will be suitable for 3 or more semesters:

Textbooks that are readopted for upcoming semesters can be bought back from students by the U of M BookStore and sold to subsequent students. Last year U of M Ft Garry students received more than $508,000 cash back for their textbooks!

Consider the following example of the used textbook economy:

  New Textbook Used Textbook
Purchase Cost 
$100 $75
GST 
$5 $0
Total 
$105 $75
Return at Buyback 
$50 $50
Net cost of Book 
$55 $25

Placing your adoption request early reduces costs:

  • eliminates unnecessary shipping and restocking of books already in the BookStore.
  • optimizes textbook buyback and used textbook sales for U of M students.
  • enables economies in shipping from all Publishers including international and regional.
  • helps Publishers schedule reprints, and may help avoid scheduled price increases.
  • allows for any special handling situations and for custom courseware requests.

Be consistent with students and the BookStore when categorizing course materials as 'required':

  • Students evaluate the need to purchase a textbook on the following criteria:
    • The price of the required book.
    • The extent to which the instructor uses the book.
    • The extent to which assignments are based on the book.
    • The degree to which exams are based on the book.

Consider textbook editions:

  • When adopting new textbook editions, clearly communicate to the BookStore and students whether previous editions are acceptable.

Carefully weigh the benefits and student options when choosing digital components (Access Codes):

  • Textbook packages may include digital content (Access Codes), but carefully consider whether the digital content itself is 'required' by the student: not 'requiring' the digital content can enable used textbook sales and cost savings for students.

Consider E-textbook options:

  • Access Codes often include an Ebook version of the textbook; enabling the sale of the Access Code option alone through the BookStore may also save students money.

Consider creating custom course material:

  • Custom course material allows students to buy only one textbook, designed specifically for their course. Ask your U of M textbook department buyer for more information on creating your own custom textbook right here on campus.

Consider adopting a standard syllabus format:

  • A standard Syllabus format that clearly spells out the learning materials options available to the student helps avoid confusion and reduce anxiety, especially for students new to University. Please remember to also keep the syllabus up to date from term to term.

Place all your textbook orders through your textbook buyer, even if you fear they are late.

  • Students want to buy from the BookStore, where they're confident of getting the correct materials for your specific course, and you want this too! Your U of M textbook buyers would rather err on the side of placing orders and receiving books late than to have students unable to get textbooks, or have to guess at them online.

Why are textbooks so expensive?
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