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Faculty FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers. If you have a question that is not answered here, or if there is anything we can do to make your job easier, just email or call us!

General Book Orders Bundles or Shrink-Wrapped Sets Desk Copies (aka Complimentary or Examination Copies) Readers Miscellaneous


Why does Wheelock set a deadline for book orders and reader submissions so far ahead of the start of the term?

Adhering to the deadline ensures that the process will go as smoothly as possible for you, the students, and for us. It gives us enough time to fulfill your order, and it gives you enough time to respond to any unforseen problems, such as a book being unavailable. Of course, we are always willing to take your orders even after the deadline. Here are some of the benefits to submitting your order by the deadline:

I missed the deadline. Is it too late to submit my order?

No, we are always willing to take your order even after the deadline. We will do our best to fulfill your order as quickly as possible, but a late order leaves less room to deal with complications such as shipping delays or books that are temporarily out of stock.

How can I keep costs down for my students?

Choosing to place your orders with Wheelock is a good start, since we are a discount bookstore focusing on students. We price our books very competitively, saving students over $500,000 each year.

Submitting your book order by the deadline allows us to obtain more used copies, which cost at least 25% less than new copies. Once we know a certain title is being used the next term, we can offer more money for it during BuyBack, thereby allowing students to recoup more of their initial expenditure. Ordering only materials that will be used in class also helps to keep costs down. For example, some textbooks come bundled with items, such as a CD, that increase the cost of the bundle but will not be utilized during the term. Ordering the textbook by itself would lower the price.

For readers, following the guidelines (submitting complete citations etc.) helps to keep the cost down. Any extra work on our part results in extra labor charges. Color printing, color dividers, and any other customized components also increase the cost of the reader.

Can I submit a special request with my order?

As an independent bookstore, we can be very flexible in accomodating your special requests. For example, some professors may request that we do not order used copies of books for their classes, or that we have books available a few weeks before the term starts. As long as you make us aware of your special request well in advance, we can accomodate nearly every situation.

Book Orders

Where can I learn more about the book ordering process?

Click here to read about book orders, or contact us to speak with a manager.

Do I need to fill out a form for book orders?

No, we do not require that you fill out a certain form. However, if you would prefer to use a form, we do have one available which you can download as a Word document.

What purpose do the email confirmations serve?

We send email confirmations to professors and department administrators at the end of every week. The email confirmations contain important information regarding the status of each title ordered.

Once you receive your confirmation, please check it carefully for any missing or incorrect titles, and alert us to any errors or changes in your book order as soon as possible. In particular, please review the author, title, edition, and publisher information for accuracy. Also, certain titles may be out of stock, out of print, or have gone on to a new edition. Please check for this information in the "Status" and "Comments" fields for each title. In some cases we will need direction from you based on questions we ask in the "Comments" field.

Since we generally begin ordering books the week after you receive your confirmation, it's important that we hear from you quickly so that there are no delays or errors in your order.

Email confirmations also include publisher contact information for each title to assist in the process of requesting desk copies.

Bundles or Shrink-Wrapped Sets

What is a bundle?

A bundle is a package including a textbook shrink-wrapped with additional materials--another book, CD, workbook, study guide, web access card, etc. Some publishers offer a number of different bundles for a given text. Each of these bundles generally costs more than the textbook alone, especially if used copies of individual components are available.

Why choose a bundle?

Publishers often offer the components of bundles at a reduced price when they are purchased along with the text. Note that a bundle is only of value to your class if you intend to use all the components included in it. Ask yourself if these additional components will be required for success in your class. If not, you can simply order the text, or let us know that the bundle will be optional for your students. If you would like bundles to be available, but will not require them, we can order bundles for a portion of your class, but also make new and used texts alone available to students who are not interested in additional materials.

Do bundles have any downsides?

Desk Copies (aka Complimentary or Examination Copies)

What is a desk copy?

A desk copy is a free reader or free book sent to you from the publisher after you have placed an order with us. Click here for information on obtaining a desk copy.

Can I get a desk copy of a book from Wheelock?

Free desk copies are a special service provided by publishers. They ask that requests for complimentary copies come directly from the professor or academic department where the book will be used. Of course, you may always choose to purchase copies from our stock with a department charge card. If you requested a desk copy from the publisher but it won't arrive by the time it is needed, we are happy to provide you with a loaner copy from our stock. When your publisher desk copy arrives, simply give it to us in exchange for the loaner copy. Please email us if you are interested in this service.

If publishers don't allow bookstores to obtain desk copies, then why do some stores give me a free copy?

These are not true desk copies. They are not provided for free by the publishers. It's possible for any bookstore to purchase a book or take a book from their stock and give it to you for free. This practice is not sustainable in the long term without raising textbook prices for students to compensate, and our goal is to make textbooks as affordable as possible for your students.

I requested a desk copy from the publisher but it's not going to arrive in time. Can you help?

We are happy to provide you with a loaner copy from our stock. When your publisher desk copy arrives, simply give it to us in exchange. Please email us if you are interested in this service.

How do reader desk copies work?

Since we publish readers ourselves, we are able to provide you with a complimentary desk copy ourselves. If the proof of your reader is satisfactory, you may keep it as the desk copy. Otherwise we will make the requested changes to the proof and then deliver the desk copy. We provide one desk copy for each class with up to 50 students, and one extra desk copy for every 50 students thereafter.


What is a reader?

A reader is a collection of materials that we custom-publish for use in your course. You can choose to include any type of print media in your reader, including but not limited to articles, book excerpts, plays, student-authored works, etc. We can produce spiral-bound print readers or digital readers on CD. Digital readers, in addition to scanned images of the text materials listed above, can also include links to websites, high-resolution photos or artwork, video clips, etc.

How do I prepare and submit a reader?

Click here to read about the reader process, or contact us to speak with a manager.

When would I use a reader for my course?

What is a reader reprint?

If a book is out of print or otherwise unavailable, often we can produce a reader reprint of the text if you provide us with an original. This can be either a print or digital reader.


There are a few books I'd like to order for myself. Can I order them through Wheelock?

Yes, we are happy to place personal orders for professors, students, departments, institutions, and any other members of the community. Simply contact us to place an order.

I have a question that's not answered on this page. How do I submit it?

We would love to hear your questions and comments! Just email us or see our contact page.