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Lower Cost Alternatives

Considering a new textbook for your course?  Watch this video before talking to the  publisher's representative. 
Then take a look at the options below.

logo fo rAademos website


Use Akademos to find and compare high quality, more affordable texts.   Enter the subject, title, ISBN or author of any textbook and Akademos will search more than 2 million books and display in a matrix all the relevant publishers offerings as well as any OER books, with publish date, author, price and their affordability rating, as wel las any instructor ratings.


LAD Custom Publishing

The CSUSM bookstore also partners with LAD Custom Publishing, allowing you to create a course pack which can be delivered in print or digital format. LAD has the print and digital distribution rights for Harvard Business Publishing content, so they can make the material available to you immediately and at lower cost versus ordering direct.

  • LAD manages the copyright permissions for you.
  • An itemized breakdown of copyright permission fees/cost  is available upon request, before printing. 
  • Just bring copies of articles, book chapters or original work, along with the citation information to the bookstore and LAD will scan the originals, so you have a clean digital copy.  
  • Contact the Course Materials Manager at the CSUSM bookstore for more information. 

XanEdu logo

Use XanEdu to create tailored course packs for students to purchase - reusable term after term.  They now offer a full-service option for creating custom course materials.  For more information about working with XanEdu, start at the customized CSU portal. To access the do-it-yourself platform right away, go to csu.sharedbook.com and select CSUSM.

  • XanEdu will clear anything available from Copyright Clearance Center.
  • From their website search tools, access over 5 million pieces of content from 170+ publishers and OER providers, in over 80 disciplines.
  • Browser for content by topic, title, author, discipline, or industry.
  • Upload new content, pull from the web, or add links. A digital desk copy is available immediately.
  • You get a real-time running total of royalty costs as you add materials.
  • Course materials can be delivered as print and digital versions to students.
  • XanEdu's award-winning digital platform allows students to highlight, take notes, collaborate with peers and instructors, and more.

FlatWorld knowledge logo

  • Flatworld offers over 100 lower-cost textbooks, "professionally developed and peer reviewed", covering over20 subjects.
  • The majority of texts are in business and economics, and the humanities and social sciences, but they are quickly increasing their science offerings.
  • Can provide test banks, instructor manuals, lecture slides and quizzes.
  • Use the book as-is, or modify as needed to better fit your course. Under their open license you are free to edit, move or delete information using their simple editing platform.

Students can read your selected book in the format and price of their choice. Online only with study aids start at $30.00, downlodable digital versions start at $35.00.
Browse their textbooks, then signup for free instructor access and editing.


  Logo for Boundless.com

  • Boundless overs 25+ textbooks in introductory level college courses.
  • For $30.00 students get the Boundless text customized to align chapter-by-chapter to the publisher's textbook you currently use, as well as additional study tools.
  • With registration, Instructors can create customized textbooks, assign readings, track student progress and access free PowerPoints.
  • View an overview of their product and platform.

Follett Bookstore

The CSUSM Campus bookstore is operated by Follett.  While all the major publishers are participating in the CSU Rent Digital program to offer most textbooks as digital version at 60% off the list price, the bookstore may not make all these available.  Check the publisher's website or ask your publisher's representative if your textbook is available in digital format.  If it is, but the bookstore has not made it available, contact the bookstore to request it.

  • When considering a new textbook,  use the Follett online adoptions tool to find out whether Follett makes the the text available  as a rental, used, or eTextbook.
  • After registering, enter the ISBNs of the textbook and the available formats will be displayed.