By Natalie Clark
Physical Science 100 students will not have to spend as much money on their textbook next semester as students who have previously taken the class. For the first time, the BYU Bookstore has published a physical science textbook that has been put together by BYU professors and students.
The Bookstore has published course packets for years, and now, in an effort to lower prices, they are starting to publish textbooks.
?This is pretty exciting what?s developed,? said Roger Reynolds, director of the BYU Bookstore. ?It is really going to be a great force in reducing the cost for students. We are just as concerned as students are about the high price of textbooks, and if we can continue this effort, I think the students will be very pleased with what they see.?
The Bookstore can publish custom textbooks for cheaper than national publishers can. A custom textbook is a textbook that is published for one campus or professor for use in the professor?s own classroom.
?I think it is a good idea for the BYU Bookstore to publish BYU professor?s textbooks,? said Brianne Chantry, a psychology major from Orem. ?We are here learning from these professors, so we might as well read what they?ve been saying. If we have a textbook from them, then we can really understand what they are teaching us in class.?
Custom textbook price increases are the inspiration behind the BYU Bookstore publishing textbooks.
?We have found in the last several years, that the price increases of the custom published item from these national publishers are going up even faster than regular textbook prices ? almost twice as fast,? said Jennifer Berry, Bookstore academic publishing manager. ?Some of them are reasonable, but a lot of them are not.?
As an example, one national publisher charges BYU $35 for a black and white, 250 page spiral-bound workbook. After crunching the numbers, BYU Bookstore employees found they could publish the workbook for $11.
?We are not trying to compete with the national publishers by sending these books all over the world,? Berry said. ?We are taking our own BYU professor?s work and publishing them for BYU students here.?
More and more faculty are aware of the service of the BYU Bookstore publishing their own custom textbooks.
Professors who have the Bookstore publish their textbooks have services available that national publishers would not be able to provide.
?Besides the price aspect, a lot of national custom publishers don?t offer the typesetting help that we can because we are here,? Berry said. ?We can go visit the faculty. We meet with the physical science faculty weekly. Students are involved with the project, we have a student photographer and illustrator, and it has been a great experience for them.?