Info for faculty

At the BMC Bookshop, our goal is your goal: providing students with the books and course materials they need, when they need them, at the best price possible. Because the BMC Bookshop is owned and operated directly by the college, our incentives are aligned with yours, unlike text publishers and other sellers.

 

REQUESTING BOOKS FOR YOUR CLASSES

Submit your requests by email to Jim Huang, Bookshop Director, at jhuang2@brynmawr.edu. You can call the bookshop at 610-526-5323. You can walk in the store and do this in person. We also have an online book request system; individual invitations are emailed several times during adoption season.

For each book or other item that you're requesting, please provide:

  • department, course number and section number
  • course title
  • estimated enrollment

And for each book that you're requesting:

  • author/editor
  • title
  • publisher
  • edition (if applicable)
  • isbn (if known)
  • supplementary materials, such as access codes (if applicable)
  • required / suggested

For info on course reserves at Bryn Mawr's libraries, visit: https://td.brynmawr.edu/TDClient/Requests/ServiceDet?ID=279

 

WHEN TO REQUEST BOOKS

The earlier the better!  We do not use fixed deadlines -- we'll work on your requests as swiftly as possible, whenever you send them.  But the key thing to remember is that, generally speaking, the earlier we hear from you, the less students will pay for their books.  We obtain books from a wide variety of sources -- publishers, used textbook wholesalers, the internet and on-campus book buyback.  The more time we have to work these sources, the more time we have to find low prices.

Here are a few important dates in our annual process:

December -- Book buyback during finals week.  If you have committed to re-using books in the coming Spring or Fall semesters, we will buy them back from students.  We pay more for books that we know will be used again.  This is the easiest and least expensive way for us to source books (no shipping charges!) and because it puts money back in students' pockets, it lowers the net cost of use for students.

March -- First deadlines to return unsold copies of current semester titles to suppliers for credit.  If you let us know that you'll be re-using a book in a future semester, we will keep copies on campus to avoid the costs of returns (shipping, vendor penalties, etc.) and of shipping books back here.

April -- The bookshop begins to receive data about classes for the upcoming academic year.  Classes for the new year (both semesters) are loaded into our text management system, and first invitations are emailed from the online book adoption system.

May -- Book buyback during finals week.  We will buy back books that you have committed to re-using in the coming Fall and Spring semesters.

July -- Books from foreign publishers requested in July may not arrive in time for the start of the Fall semester.  (France and Germany average four to six weeks.  Spain and Italy are eight to ten weeks.)

August -- Text listings for Fall are posted online for students to view and for sales.

November -- First deadlines to return unsold copies of current semester titles to suppliers for credit.  If you let us know that you'll be re-using a book in a future semester, we will keep copies on campus to avoid the costs of returns (shipping, vendor penalties, etc.) and of shipping books back here.

November -- Books from foreign publishers requested after mid-month not arrive in time for the start of the Spring semester.  (France and Germany average four to six weeks.  Spain and Italy are eight to ten weeks.)

December -- Book buyback during finals week.  We will buy back books that you have committed to re-using in the coming Spring and Fall semesters.

December -- Text listings for Spring are posted online for students to view and for sales.

 

PRICING

BMC Bookshop prices are competitive.  We are fully aware of the stereotype about college bookstores, but the fact is that for the vast majority of titles, our used copy prices are generally close to a market median for quantities necessary to meet expected demand.  Our new copy prices are at or below publishers' suggested retail prices -- up to 20% off.

When you compare prices, note that in addition to being free of ship charges, bookshop purchases of course materials are also free of sales tax.  PA state law allows campus stores to waive sales tax on materials assigned for classes on our campus, which helps our competitiveness.

The store backs up our commitment to being competitive by offering a price comparison site -- bookshop prices displayed right next to prices from online vendors, including Amazon, Chegg, ABEbooks, Barnes & Noble and more.  The price comparison site is located at brynmawr.verbacompare.com.

If you are planning to use a traditional textbook (as opposed to a trade book), a textbook rep might quote you a "net price."  This is the cost at which publishers sell to stores like ours.  We apply a mark-up to net prices to cover costs -- inbound shipping, website fees (for HEOA compliance and price comparison, in addition to sales), charge card processing for sales and returns (during the shopping period), outbound shipping of unsold copies, etc.  The margin on texts is generally 20%.  We realize that sounds like a lot, but it's much less than our margin on clothing, which is about 50%. (At this bookshop, clothing sales subsidize text sales.)  And our 20% margin usually results in a competitive price for this class of titles.

For more on cost, margin and pricing, including thoughts on the morality of market pricing, please visit this entry from my blog: statelyhuangmanor.com/blog/adventures-in-bookselling-values


DESK COPIES

The BMC Bookshop is unable to help with desk copy requests.  We lack staffing for this, but more importantly publishers don't want to hear from us.  They want to hear from you because they see faculty as important (as well they should) and bookstores as the enemy (not all of them, but more than you would think).

Fortunately, it's usually easy to find out how to request a desk copy.  Google the publisher name and the words "desk copies" and you'll end up in the right place.

If that doesn't work, we can help you find out how to enter the request yourself.  We have put together a page of links and or phone numbers for companies we've been asked about lately -- access the desk copy info page via this link.

 

OTHER TOPICS

We will soon be adding information to this page on other text topics, including:

  • inclusive access
  • coursepacks (a.k.a. readers)
  • open education resources (OER)
  • rental vs. guaranteed buyback (info for students on this topic is located at bookshop.brynmawr.edu/why-buyback)

Please let us know if you have any questions and/or if there are any additional topics that you'd like us to cover here.  Contact me at jhuang2@brynmawr.edu or by phone at 610-526-5323.

-- Jim Huang, Bookshop Director