And the Idiot Prize goes to...Bedford/St. Martin's
This week's mail, by the numbers:
1. 30 copies of America's History, Sixth Edition (Henretta, Brody, and Dumenil).
2. There are 22 members of the department.
3. 8 members of the department actually teach American history.
4. 6 of the books were sent to faculty who no longer work here or are retired.
5. 6 of the books were sent to faculty who do not teach American history at all.
6. 2 of the books were sent to our administrative assistants.
Let me run that by you again: Bedford/St. Martin's sent THIRTY copies of a textbook that will cost upwards of NINETY DOLLARS each (ed. note: my pricing based on Amazon's price for the fifth edition) to a department of TWENTY-TWO faculty, and of those THIRTY copies, FOURTEEN were addressed to retired or otherwise departed faculty, non-Americanist faculty, and administrative assistants, and in our department, only EIGHT faculty teach American history. In other words, Bedford/St. Martin's sent THIRTY copies when EIGHT would have sufficed.
Who is running the marketing department over there? No wonder textbooks cost so much...undergraduates have to bear the cost of blanket marketing techniques.
Which is why I will NOT be adopting America's History, Sixth Edition as my textbook in the American survey next fall. Come to think of it, maybe I won't use a textbook at all.
***UPDATE*** I just received an email from Amazon telling my that America's History, Sixth Edition is now available for purchase at the bargain price of $93.95.