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Three Reminders to Share With Faculty About Textbook Adoptions

Posted by Liz Schulte on 2/13/23 8:30 AM
Topics: faculty adoption rates, college bookstore industry trends, Faculty engagement with campus store

You already know that timely faculty adoptions are important in a variety of ways. When adoption deadlines are met, your store has more time to find low-cost course materials, you can purchase more books during buyback, you can avoid backorders, etc. However, faculty see course material adoptions through a different lens, so it is important to remind faculty why adoption deadlines exist and how they impact students.

Three Reminders to Share With Faculty About Textbook AdoptionsFor faculty, selecting materials for a course can depend on a lot of different factors, including how students respond to the material in the current term. So, selecting a book for summer or fall midway through the spring term might not be viewed as an ideal situation. That’s why it is important to ensure faculty understand why you are asking for the selections.

Benefits of On-time Adoptions

  1. Lower student costs
    As you know, course materials can quickly become more complicated than most people expect. With a variety of formats, the price range for a single title can be significant. If faculty are willing to work with the bookstore, it is easier to provide students with more low-cost options which helps ensure everyone has affordable access to the materials that best fit their learning style.

    When adoptions are late or changed at the last minute, students will spend more, might have to navigate backorders and/or look for the materials elsewhere.

  2. Maximize buyback prices
    Another way early or on-time adoptions benefit students is by increasing the amount of money they can get for their current textbooks while also providing next term’s students with more low-cost options.

    Take some time to simply explain to faculty how buyback works in relation to their adoptions. After the adoption is made for the next term, your store knows that there will be a demand for that inventory, meaning you will offer students a higher retail buyback value rather than the wholesale buyback value. Furthermore, receiving this end-of-term inventory, helps lower acquisition costs for the following term which contributes to lower student costs.

  3. Fewer backorders
    Late adoptions and last-minute changes not only cost students more money, but they also lead to a scarce supply. Stores need time to find the requested materials and have them shipped. Last minute changes often result in higher priced materials, higher shipping costs and delays in getting materials into student hands.

    Backorders can also result in lost sales because students will look to online competitors for the materials, which introduces more challenges that students could face, including ordering/receiving the wrong books, long shipping delays and counterfeit materials.

Sharing with faculty

Lowering student costs has to be a group effort. Take the time to boost faculty relations by speaking with them directly when you can, but also consider other ways you can help pass along information.

  • Create a simple handout that explains the adoption timeline that can be passed out at faculty meetings.
  • Use your store’s stats to show the difference in cost between on-time adoptions and last-minute changes. Share this with the person you report to, faculty, department heads, deans, and anyone on campus with a vested interest in lowering student costs.
  • Create a series of email reminders for faculty that highlight, in a concise way, why the deadline matters.
  • If the deadline is close, ask faculty who haven’t submitted adoptions yet if they would like to adopt the same materials, specifying the materials they used before.
  • If you still can’t get a reply, have a back-up plan like working with department chairs, deans or the provost.

What tools or best practices have worked for your store?


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