F11-Textbooks-Project-Packet.docx - Student PIRGs

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					Table of Contents
Problem: Outrageous Prices                                                      3
Solutions                                                                       4
Strategy: Student Action                                                        5
Tactics: Textbook Rebellion                                                     5
  Coordinator Roles                                                            6
  Campus Tour                                                                  6
  Petition Drive                                                               7
  Visibility & Media                                                           9
  Coalition Building                                                          12
Tactics: Other Campaign Ideas                                                 12
Resources & Materials                                                         13
  Tips for Saving On Textbooks                                                13
  Petition Materials                                                          15
  Visibility & Media Materials                                                21
  Coalition Outreach Materials                                                24



You can download the resources mentioned throughout the packet at www.studentpirgs.org.



                 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. To view the terms
                 of this license, visit www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0.




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Problem: Outrageous Prices
Textbook Costs Are Out Of Control
                                                                                      Textbook Prices 1989-2009
According to the College Board, the average student should expect to spend a
staggering $1,137 per year on textbooks and other course materials this year, and     250%
the GAO estimates that the cost of textbooks is comparable to 26% of in-state         200%
tuition at public universities and 72% at community colleges! Research by the                       Textbooks
Student PIRGs has found that college textbook prices have been rising more than       150%
four times the rate of inflation for the past 20 years.                               100%
                                                                                                           Inflation
With the cost of higher education rising overall, the burden of textbooks has an       50%
increasingly negative impact. Students must take on additional loan or credit card
                                                                                        0%
debt, work longer hours or simply forego their books. About 70% of the students
we surveyed have decided not to buy textbooks because the price was too high.              1989 1994 1999 2004 2009


Publishing Industry Tactics
It‟s no accident that textbooks are so expensive. For decades, publishers have raked in huge profits as the expense of
students. Our research has uncovered a wide variety of tactics that publishers use to inflate costs:

   High Prices: Ever paid more than $200 for a textbook? According to our research, the typical introductory level
    textbook costs about $175. America‟s top-selling math textbook, Stewart‟s Calculus, costs $224.95!
   New Editions: Ever gotten pennies at buyback because a new edition came out? Publishers intentionally revise
    textbooks every 3-4 years, sometimes with only minor changes, to force incoming students to buy brand new
    books and make older copies impossible to sell back.
   Costly Bundles: Ever bought a textbook shrink-wrapped with a CD or pass-code you didn‟t need? Publishers
    notoriously add extra and often unnecessary items that inflate costs 10-50% and make books harder to sell back.
   Restrictive eBooks: Think e-books are cheaper? Think again. Publishers add needless restrictions on access
    and printing, plus you can‟t sell them back so they can actually end up costing more than used books!

Students Held Captive
How do publishers get away with all of this? It‟s simple: students are a captive market. Publishers know you need the
assigned textbook to do well in class, so they hike up prices because you have no choice but to pay it. And, it‟s hard
                        for professors to find lower cost alternatives now that mergers and buyouts have left just five
                        publishers in charge of more than 80% of the market.

                         New Federal Law: We‟ve made some progress toward limiting publishers‟ ability to inflate
                         prices. In 2010, a new federal law took effect requiring publishers to inform professors how
                         much their textbooks cost. Believe it or not, our research exposed that publishers frequently
                         withheld price information so that professors couldn‟t consider textbook costs. Thanks to the
                         CALPIRG, ConnPIRG, MaryPIRG, MASSPIRG, WashPIRG, and WISPIRG students who
                         took action to pass this bill, professors now have all the information they need to consider
                         cost on behalf of students.




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Solutions
The good news is that a wide range of affordable alternatives are already available, and with help from professors and
colleges, we can pressure publishers to offer even more.


Saving Money
In just the eight years we‟ve been running this campaign, the availability of cost-
saving options has increased exponentially. Here are some of the best ways to
save:

   Used Books: Whether you shop on campus, online or swap with other
    students, used books can save you 25-50%. If you sell them back at the
    end of the semester, the savings can add up to even more.
   Rental Programs: Until recently, textbook renting was only available at a handful of colleges. Now, websites
    offer the option to rent through the mail, and thousands of campus bookstores have started to rent a portion of
    their textbooks too. The average savings amount to about 60%.
   E-Books: Digital options are now available for many popular textbooks. Although most e-books come with
    excessive restrictions and usually can‟t be sold back, the average savings per semester amount to about 50%.
    Textbooks for iPad, Kindle and other high-tech readers are an option too.


Affordable Textbooks
In the long run, students need more than just ways to save money – they need textbooks that are affordable in the first
place. Imagine buying a brand new copy of a textbook for $30. Imagine reading textbooks for free online and printing
out only the sections you need. Imagine the bookstore selling a wide variety of other printed and digital formats and
being able to choose the one right for you. That‟s what we think the future should be, and believe it or not, it‟s closer
than you think. New publishing methods are developing that can produce textbooks similar to the expensive options
we see today, just at a fraction of the cost.

Open Textbooks
The most promising long-term solution is what we call open textbooks – textbooks with an “open” copyright license
allowing the material to be freely accessed, shared and adapted.

Open textbooks are available to read free online, download at little or no cost, or purchase at the bookstore for $20-40.
They‟re great for instructors too, because the material is just as good as other textbooks and they have the legal right
to adapt or edit a version of the textbook for their course.

                                                 The savings from open textbooks can be HUGE. Switching from an
                    Open Textbook                expensive textbook to an open textbook cuts costs 80% on average
                    Exploring Business           – that‟s more than $10K in savings for the typical 100-student class!
                    By Karen Collins
                                                 It may sound too good to be true, but this solution is already on the
                    Online: Free                 rise. Open textbooks in dozens of subjects are already in use by
                    B&W Print: $34.95
                    Color Print: $89.95
                                                 more than 2,000 professors nationwide – plus we‟ve organized
                    PDF: $24.95, $1.99/chapter   another 3,000 professors to sign a statement of intent to consider
                    Audiobook: $39.99            using open textbooks. Also, between new publishing models, federal
                    iPad: $24.95                 grants, and college-sponsored projects, there are hundreds more
                                                 open textbooks currently in production.

Open textbooks aren‟t the only answer, but they definitely give students the best of all worlds – affordable hard copies,
free online versions, and high quality information that professors can tailor to their class. The campaign supports all
kinds of affordable textbooks, but we‟ll keep pointing back to open textbooks as the best example.

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Strategy: Student Action
The high cost of textbooks is a concern for everyone – faculty, parents, colleges, and even taxpayers – but students
are the ones who are affected most. Therefore, it‟s up to us to take the lead in the fight for affordable textbooks.

Campaign History
We‟ve made a lot of progress since launching the campaign back in 2003. When we first started out, our top priority
was organizing cost-saving programs like used book swaps and renting. We set up our own bulletin board style used
book site and release a guide to establishing rental programs. We also did a lot of work to expose publishers‟ bad
practices through research and faculty organizing. We‟ve released eight studies exploring various aspects of the
issues and sent letters signed by hundreds of professors calling on publishers to stop their worst practices.
Additionally, we worked to pass public policies that limit publishers‟ worst practices. Our research and action on the
issue helped instigate numerous state and federal laws requiring more price transparency and limiting bundling.

Strategy This Year
This year, our primary strategy will be encouraging faculty to consider using affordable alternatives like open
textbooks. If more professors start to make the switch, it‟s going to pressure publishers to lower their prices in
competition – and for the professors who do switch, it‟s going to save each class thousands!

We‟ll also continue our other strategies: saving students money by raising awareness of cost-saving options and
building pressure on the publishers by conducting research and generating media attention.




Tactics: Textbook Rebellion
The Student PIRGs are founding members of a newly launched coalition called the “Textbook Rebellion.” The
coalition‟s goal is to organize a united front across everyone affected by textbook costs to build demand for solutions.
So far, the coalition includes student groups, faculty associations, alternative publishers and college leaders.

Our role as students is to generate as much visibility, action and support on campus as possible, and to be the front
lines for getting the word out to faculty – the most important people for implementing solutions. This fall, we‟re planning
a great campaign that will not only accomplish all of our objectives but is sure to be a lot of fun in the process!


Campaign Elements
Here‟s a quick summary of the main elements to the Textbook Rebellion campaign. Read on for more information
about how to implement this campaign on your campus!

                                      Campus Tour: Meet Mr. $200 Textbook and Textbook Rebel, the two Textbook
                                      Rebellion mascots. Thanks to our coalition partners, we‟re hitting the road with
                                      these two larger-than-life costumes this fall for a national “tour” of visibility events
                                      at PIRG campuses. It‟s going to be epic!

                                      Petition Drive: The main objective of the Textbook Rebellion is to collect
                                      signatures on a petition against the high cost of textbooks. This petition is extra
                                      effective, because in addition to signatures, we‟ll be asking students to send e-
                                      mail to professors on campus with information about open textbooks – all they
                                      have to do is check a box, and we can have the e-mail sent automatically! Our
                                      past experience proves that emailing professors increases their use of affordable
                                      alternatives, so the petition will help us do that on a larger scale than ever before.

                                      Visibility & Media: Whether or not the mascots come to your campus, there are
                                      tons of fun and creative ways to generate awareness for the Textbook Rebellion.


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Coalition Building: The Textbook Rebellion is all about uniting everyone affected by the high cost of textbooks, so
building a coalition on campus is an important part of the campaign. Reach out to the student government, faculty
senate and other groups on campus to support the cause.


Coordinator Roles
Campaign Coordinator: In charge of setting goals, developing the semester campaign plan, running project group
meetings, and working with the other coordinators on their goals and plans.

Event Coordinator: Plan all events for the campaign, including the Textbook Rebellion tour event if applicable. This
includes recruiting and training volunteers, creating materials and props, and handling the logistics.

Petition Coordinator: Oversee all petition collection for the Textbook Rebellion, and make sure the signatures get
databased and sent to the national campaign on time. This is a very important job!

Media Coordinator: Conduct media outreach for all campaign events, create all media materials, build relationships
with local reporters and coordinate additional coverage through Letters to the Editor, Op-Eds and follow-up stories.

Coalition Coordinator: Manage outreach to other organizations and leaders on campus to work together on the
campaign and join the Textbook Rebellion coalition officially.


Textbook Rebellion Campus Tour
We‟re going to kick off the Textbook Rebellion campaign at the beginning of the semester with a nationwide tour of
events starring our two mascots: Mr. $200 Textbook and Textbook Rebel. With stops at more than 40 campuses
nationwide throughout September and October, the tour will build momentum and set the tone for the semester to
come – not to mention be a whole lot of fun!

Textbook Rebellion Mascots
                   Mr. $200 Textbook: At nearly 9 feet                          Textbook Rebel: Textbook Rebel
                   tall, Mr. $200 Textbook is the epitome                       represents the affordable alternative
                   of the greedy, monopolistic publisher                        that will save students hundreds by
                   out to pry every last penny out of                           defeating expensive textbooks. The
                   students‟ pockets. His head is a book                        costume is bright yellow and red, so
                   with a mean expression, which sits                           it‟s sure to attract a lot of attention (so
                   atop a giant black suit, just like you‟d                     what if it looks a little like Sponge
                   imagine all of the fat cat executives                        Bob!). He also carries a club to beat
                   would wear. To complete the look, he                         back Mr. $200 and a walking stick
                   carries a cigar and a walking stick                          topped with a dollar sign.
                   topped with a human skull.

Campus Tour Events
Throughout September and October, the costumes for Mr. $200 Textbook and Textbook Rebel will be traveling
campus-to-campus in a large van, stopping at more than 40 campuses to participate in visibility events. At each stop,
                                           local students will be in charge of wearing the costumes, and can even
                                           act out skits where Textbook Rebel steps in to save the day! The
                                           mascots will stay on campus for 1-2 hours, depending on the event, to
                                           collect petitions, act as a visual for press conference, or just wander
                                           around campus to raise awareness.

                                              Holding a tour event is a big responsibility – not just because the
                                              mascots are traveling potentially hundreds of miles to get to your
                                              campus, but also because it‟s a critical part of our campaign this fall.
                                              Below are the three main things each campus will need to do in order to
                                              prepare. Nicole Allen or Chris Lindstrom from the national campaign will
be in touch prior to the event to answer any questions and confirm that everything is in place.

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1. Notify Campus About the Event: It is essential to notify key people on campus in advance that the event is
   happening to maximize visibility and prevent any potential misunderstandings (what would you think if you saw a
   giant textbook roaming around campus?). The following people must be notified that you are organizing the event:
       Student gov‟t president (ask them to co-sponsor the event!)
       Faculty senate president
       Dean of Students (or whichever administrator oversees students)
       Campus newspaper
       Anyone else you want to invite!

2. Organize the Event: Each campus will be in charge of laying the groundwork for the event – signing up
   volunteers, creating any extra props or materials, making reservations for the table, etc. Basically, the mascots
   should be able to show up, and jump right in to a great event! See below for tips on organizing visibility events.

3. Recruit People for Important Roles: There are a few key roles that need to be filled at every campus tour event.
   Each campus is responsible for recruiting people for the following:
       2 volunteers to wear the Mr. $200 and Textbook Rebel costumes (must be there at all times)
       1 professor to participate in a photo-op with the mascots (only needs to show up for photo)
       1 student to act as a contact for the media and answer any questions

Want to know if the tour is coming to your campus?              Check with your state organizing director or email
textbooks@studentpirgs.org.


Textbook Rebellion Petition Drive
Our primary grassroots tactic for the semester is collecting signatures on the Textbook Rebellion petition. Why a
petition? Well, in the past we‟ve actually avoided petition because it‟s not the best way to influence the target of our
campaign – the publishers. However, this petition is different because it is specially designed to help us with something
that WILL influence the publishers – spreading the word about open textbooks and other alternatives to faculty.

How the Petition Works
The Textbook Rebellion petition is unique because it combines two key grassroots actions: signing a petition and
sending email to professors. Here‟s how it works:

Step 1: Students sign the petition.

Step 2: Once they‟ve signed, we‟ll ask them to check the “Take Action” box, which gives their permission for us to e-
mail faculty on their behalf. You‟ll show them a copy of the email first and tell them they can opt out at any time.

Step 3: Database the petition signatures in your state‟s Google Doc (ask your organizing director) or send the list
directly to textbooks@studentpirgs.org.

Step 4: The national campaign staff will work with one of our coalition partners who has access to an extensive
database of faculty from basically every school in the country to generate the emails using special software. The
emails will have the student‟s name in the “From” section and at the bottom of the email text, and it will be sent to 1-10
professors at that student‟s school (we‟ll keep track of who has been emailed so it doesn‟t seem like spam!).

Step 5: The professor will receive the email, which will contain a respectful request to consider affordable textbooks
and examples of low-cost and open textbooks in the professor‟s subject.

Students and profs can unsubscribe at any time at http://www.textbookrebellion.org/email.

Why Email Faculty?
We‟ve been organizing faculty to support low-cost alternatives for nearly a decade, and we‟ve learned that students
are very effective messengers. Most professors are concerned about textbook costs and will consider the information
students send them. In fact, we estimate that about 1 in every 500 of the professors we emailed in 2010 ended up


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making the switch to an open textbook. Assuming an average class size of 40, we estimate the 35 professors who
made the switch saved students a total of $150,000 or about $3,800 per class!

The Textbook Rebellion is a tremendous opportunity because it will enable us to send personalized emails to literally
tens of thousands of professors – many times the number we‟ve been able to send in the past. Even though a lot of
emails get overlooked, we‟ll still reach way more professors than we could through virtually any other grassroots tactic
we‟ve used before.

Setting Your Petition Goal
To be successful with any campaign, you need to know what you want to achieve. Setting goals will allow you to
develop a concrete plan and track your progress. The steps below will help you set your signature goal.

Since the ultimate objective is to reach faculty, it‟s best to set your petition signature goal based on the number of
faculty you want to e-mail, which in some cases will be the total number of faculty at your school. Use the worksheet
below to calculate how many signatures that would take.

(A) ________ # of faculty you want to email (you can usually find out how many are at your school on Wikipedia)

(B) ________ # of students needed to send emails (Divide A by 10, the max # of faculty we can email per student)

(C) ________ # of in person signatures needed (Multiply B by 2, because 1 in 2 who sign in person will opt in)

(D) ________ # of online signatures needed (Multiply B by 3, because 1 in 3 who sign online will opt in)

(E) ________ Your in person signature goal (multiply C by the % of signatures you want to collect in person)

(F) ________ Your online signature goal (multiply D by the % of signatures you want to collect online)

(G) ________ Your total signature goal (Add E and F)


Collecting Petitions On Campus
We will collect petitions on campus using petition cards, which look similar to volunteer cards except they have the
petition at the top. We‟ll gather online signatures through a special page on your state‟s student PIRG website. Below
is a list of some of the tactics you can use to collect petition signatures on campus. For each tactic, we‟ve included
tips for estimating the number of signatures each activity can generate.

All signatures must be submitted WITHIN ONE WEEK OF BEING COLLECTED. You can do that either by
posting the list in Google Docs (ask your state organizing director for the link) or by e-mailing it to the
textbooks campaign staff (textbooks@studentpirgs.org).

Tabling: Tabling events are a great way to collect surveys from students.
Either collect petitions during an existing event – football games, lectures,
rallies, concerts – or plan one specifically to collect petitions. See the next
section for more information on how to plan awesome events. For planning
purposes, assume each volunteer can collect 15 petitions per hour.

Class Raps: Making an announcement at the beginning of class is an efficient
way to get a lot of petition signatures in only a few minutes. Schedule raps by
first asking your own profs, and then sending emails and calling professors who
teach other large classes. Make sure to assign a volunteer to do each rap you
schedule, and make sure they take enough petition cards to pass out. For
planning purposes, assume that 50% of the class will sign the petition.

Meeting Raps: Think about other large gatherings of students where you can
pass out petition cards. Meetings for other clubs, student governments, dorms,
orientation groups, lectures, the lunchroom… the possibilities are endless! Like
class raps, assume 50% of the students in the room will sign.


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Dorm Storms: If you have access to the dorms or other densely populated student neighborhoods, you can gather
petitions by going door to door. Make a list of all of the areas you plan to “storm” and assign each one to a volunteer.
Make sure they keep track of who they‟ve talked to so you don‟t contact people twice! For planning purposes, assume
a volunteer can collect 15 petitions per hour in the dorms and 7 per hour in student neighborhoods.

Collecting Petitions Online
PIRG Email List: Put your chapter email list to work! Send the email out yourself, or contact the national internet
organizing team to create a local email action. Ask your campus organizer or Emily Scarr (emilys@studentpirgs.org)
for more information. For planning purposes, assume that 1% of your email list will sign.

Other Email Lists: See if you can get the petition sent out on other email lists. Try asking other groups, professors,
the student government, or even the school administration. The signature rate will vary greatly from group to group,
but assume for planning purposes that 1% will sign.

Social Media: Use Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites to promote signing the petition. Also ask the
people who have already signed the petition to do the same, and encourage them invite friends through text and email
as well.

Petition Materials
A wide range of materials to assist with your petition gathering are included at the end of this project packet or posted
online at www.studentpirgs.org. Those materials include:

   Sample petition card
   Petition volunteer rap
   Petition volunteer FAQ (print on back side of rap)
   Sample email to professors (to show people as they sign the petition)
   Sample class rap outline (also use for meetings)
   Sample listserv email
   Petition signature database (in Google Docs)


Textbook Rebellion Visibility & Media
Whether or not the mascots are visiting your campus, there are tons of great ways to raise awareness of the Textbook
Rebellion and generate signatures on the Textbook Rebellion petition.

Visibility Events
Fun and creative events are a great way to raise awareness about textbooks affordability on campus and help identify
students who want to volunteer during the semester. The best events are big and visible, and generate a huge buzz
on campus. Here are some ideas for events:

Textbook Rebellion – If Mr. $200 Textbook and Textbook Rebel are coming to
your campus, you‟ve got the makings of a great visibility event right there.
Make the event extra visible by working in other ideas below. Even if the
mascots aren‟t in town, you could create your own version – have people dress
up as a villain and superhero, or make giant costumes of your own!

                                    “How Much Did You Pay” – This is one of
                                    the top events for early in the semester,
                                    because it is incredibly easy to set up and
                                    it‟s a guaranteed success. Take a piece of
                                    poster board or cardboard and make a
                                    graph, with $100, $200, etc. up the side.
                                     Have students plot how much they paid for their books.


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“The Price Is Wrong” Gameshow – Ever heard of “The Price Is Right?” This is the same idea – gather a bunch of
textbooks, put them on display, and have students guess how much they cost. Have a volunteer dress up as the
game show host, and have a large sign that says “The Price is Wrong” (because even if you guess right, it‟s still
wrong that textbooks cost so much!). Hand out candy as prizes. You could even mix things up a bit by throwing in a
few open textbooks, which are free online and $20-40 in print!

Used Book Graveyard – Show the campus the impact of new editions by setting
up a graveyard for used books that cant be sold back. Cut gravestone shapes out
of cardboard and paint them with creative epitaphs like “Here lies Calculus, killed
by new edition” or “R.I.P… off!” Prop the gravestones up in the quad or another
busy place on campus, and set up a table nearby to pass out information. Optional:
top it off by holding a funeral with a priest, mourners dressed in black and Kleenex.

                                Textbook Carnival – Modify typical carnival or
                                party games (like pin the tail on the donkey or a
                                bean bag toss) and set them up on campus for
                                students to play for prizes. It can be as simple as
                                one game, or as complex as a carnival complete
                                with people dressed up as a “publisher clown” or a
                                giant textbook!

                                Giant Textbook – Take a large cardboard box and fold it (or cut it up and re-tape) to
                                create a textbook with two covers and a spine. Decorate the front with a creative title
                                                                    th
                                like “Intro to Textbook Rip-Offs 200 Edition,” an absurdly high price tag, ads for CDs
                                and workbooks packaged inside, and other features that mock bad publisher practices.
                                Decorate the back and inside with facts on textbook costs, or turn it into a costume by
                                adding shoulder straps or arm holes. You can even turn it into a “textbook monster.”

Steps For Organizing Events
1. Work with other groups: The larger and broader the coalition sponsoring the event, the more attention and
credibility it will receive, and the easier it will be to get a good turnout. Reach out to student government, other student
groups, academic departments, the bookstore, and other groups on campus.

2. Plan Out the Logistics: It‟s important to carefully plan the logistics of your event to ensure it goes smoothly. Here
are some things to consider:
   Set the date and time of the event as soon as possible.
   As soon as you have the date, set your location. Make sure to choose a location that is in a high-traffic area with
    lots of students so you can reach as many people as possible.
   Reserve any necessary equipment, like a table, microphone, etc. If necessary, line up food/supply donations.
   Make or reserve your visuals, such as props, signs or the Textbook Rebellion costumes. In general, it‟s best to
    plan the props at least a week in advance so you have time to create them.
   Make your materials, such as flyers, fact sheets and petition cards.

3. Publicity and Media: Publicizing the event will be critical to turning people out. Start by choosing the message for
your event – what will catch peoples‟ attention and make them want to attend? Once you have a message, design the
materials that you‟ll need. There are lots of types of visibility you should include in your plan:
   Notify the campus paper and local media about the event – this includes papers, TV, radio and anything else you
    can think of. Two weeks in advance, send out a media advisory with the who, what, where and when of the
    event. Call reporters to pitch the story, and then call them again to remind them closer to the event.
   Set up a Facebook event and announce the event on twitter. Also send out emails to your student email list.
   Make announcements in classes, and ask sponsoring groups to announce the event in their meetings.
   Visibility tactics like putting up posters, handing out flyers and chalking the sidewalks.

4. Volunteers: Most events will require lots of volunteers to help with setup, cleanup and petitioning. The two nights
before the event, make sure to phonebank to turn out attendees and volunteers, and make sure that other groups

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involved are committed to doing the same thing. Remember to schedule twice as many
volunteers as you need, and make sure to remind everyone the day before via text or a
quick phone call.

5. The Event: Get there in advance to set up – arrange the table, set up the props, etc.
You should also be there to train volunteers and greet attendees as they arrive.

6. After the Event: Follow up with any media you contacted to confirm that they‟re
covering the event. If applicable, send a press release and photos out to your media
list, and make sure to post highlights and pictures on your website and social networking
site. Send thank you notes to your coalition partners and key volunteers.

Steps for Generating Media Attention
1. Build your media list. Make a list of all of the news outlets you want to cover the event. Think about print, radio, TV
and online media, both on campus and in your city/state. Once you‟ve made the list, find contact info for each outlet.
For newspapers, the best person to talk to is the higher education reporter or metro/local editor. For TV and radio,
they usually have one main number. Info to collect: phone, email and fax (if available).

2. Send media advisory. A media advisory is like an invitation to a party – you send it out in advance and it has the
who, what, where, when of the event. E-mail and/or fax an advisory to your media list several times before the event –
typically 1-2 weeks before, the day before and the morning of. Here are
some helpful tips:

   A good advisory provides enough info to entice reporters, but not
    enough to give the story away. See the materials section for a sample
    – just fill in all of the blanks with your event details.
   When emailing a list of reporters, MAKE SURE to BCC them, not CC
    or To. Also, it‟s best to send the advisory in the body of the email, not
    as an attachment.

3. Pitch the story. Once you‟ve sent media advisory out for the first time,
call to pitch reporters on covering the story. When calling newsrooms or
main numbers, first verify that they got your advisory, then ask to be
transferred to someone who might be interested in covering the story. See
the materials sections for a sample calling rap and tips.

4. Confirm the media. The day before the event, call the reporters you‟ve already spoken with to see if they have any
questions and make sure they‟re still coming. If you don‟t reach them, try again the morning of the event. For the
outlets where you don‟t have a specific contact, call the newsroom the afternoon before AND the morning of to confirm
they received your advisory. It‟s especially important to call TV stations the morning of, before 8:30 AM if possible.

5. Create media packets. When reporters arrive at your event, you should provide a packet of information about the
event and your campaign. Generally, this will include a press release, a fact sheet or brochure on the campaign, and a
brochure on your organization. Have the media packets printed, paper clipped and ready to go the day of the event.

6. Greet the media. At the event, make sure there‟s someone there at least 20 min early to greet the media when
they arrive. Have reporters sign in on a sign-in sheet (so you can follow up), and give each one a media packet.

7. Follow up. After the event, send an email with the press release and pictures of the event attached to your entire
media list (you may want to call radio stations to see if they‟ll record a quick summary of your press release, or “radio
feed”). E-mail each reporter who attended with a personal note to thank them and invite them to contact you if they
have further questions. Call any reporters or outlets that did not attend the event and pitch them on covering the story
again. Once stories are published, send speakers a thank you note with the list of clips!



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Textbook Rebellion Coalition Building
The Textbook Rebellion is all about organizing a united front of all groups affected by high textbook costs, so coalition
building on campus is an important part of the campaign. You should start doing coalition outreach at the beginning of
the semester with the goal of involving as many groups as possible in your campaign activities and ideally getting
some of them to officially sign on to the campaign.

Steps for Coalition Outreach
1. Brainstorm a list of groups to approach. The three groups you‟ll definitely want to start with are the student
government, the faculty senate and the campus bookstore. Other groups could include subject-based clubs like the
Math Society, student activity groups, academic departments, administrators, the online learning department, the
library, etc. You should also do a little research on the key groups so you know what their interests and resources are.

2. Create a packet of information to give out to other groups. This will include fact sheets about your organization,
the textbooks campaign and the Textbook Rebellion. It will also of course include an endorsement form for the other
groups to sign. Sample materials are available at www.studentpirgs.org.

3. Make initial contact. Depending on the group, you may want to e-mail them information about the coalition before
calling. Here are the goals of the first conversation:
   Determine whether you‟ve contacted the proper person for this topic.
   Find out their process for making a decision on whether to join the coalition.
   Give a brief rap on what you‟re asking of them. Don‟t push for any kind of policy decision; instead, determine if
    there‟s any interest in the issue, and if so, offer to send them more info.
   Set up a follow-up plan. This might be meeting up with the group‟s leader or speaking at the next meeting.

4. Seal the deal. This process can be time consuming since many groups have more than one step before endorsing
or getting involved. Persistence and attention to their schedule pays off. Pay most attention to the priority groups –
once a core of support has been established, it may become easier to get other groups on board.
   Before speaking to any of the group leaders, make sure you know what you‟re going to ask the group to do. This
    could be co-sponsoring an event or sending an email out to their membership.
   It may make sense to lobby individual members of the group to build support for joining the coalition.
   Make sure to get their signature on the endorsement form, which will formalize their commitment and create a
    record of their involvement. Also make it clear that we plan to use the organization‟s name on the website.

5. Make the Most of It: Once you have your coalition assembled, use it! Ask them to contribute volunteers and
resources to events, help promote the petition through their email lists and participate in planning future activities.

Endorsement Forms
It‟s very important to the national campaign to keep a running list of groups involved on the national website. Make
sure to send any signed endorsement forms to textbooks@studentpirgs.org or fax to Nicole Allen at 617-292-8057.




Tactics: Other Campaign Ideas
The Textbook Rebellion will be our main focus this year, but there are tons of other ways to have an impact on this
issue. Read on for more ideas, and visit www.studentpirgs.org for more resources on how to implement these ideas
on campus.

Faculty Outreach
Professors are in charge of selecting textbooks, so educating them about the availability of low-cost alternatives is one
of the best ways to help reduce costs. The Textbook Rebellion focuses on faculty email, but there are tons of other
ways to reach faculty.
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                                                                                                                      12
Adoption Deadline Awareness: Every school has a special date when professors are supposed to tell the bookstore
which books they‟re assigning the next semester. This deadline is important for students, because it determines how
many used books the bookstore is able to stock for the next semester, and how much they offer students at buyback.
Professors notoriously miss this deadline because they don‟t realize it has an impact on how much students spend.
                                Campaigns to raise awareness of this deadline have more than doubled the number of
                                on-time adoptions, which literally saves students thousands of dollars.

                                Faculty Statement of Intent: So far, more than 3,000 professors have signed the
                                Open Textbook Statement of Intent, which is a commitment to considering open
                                textbooks instead of expensive textbooks. Gathering faculty signatures on this
                                statement is a great way to demonstrate support for solutions to publishers and to
                                expand our faculty network of supporters. You can collect signatures through any
                                faculty outreach method, or work with departments or other faculty leaders to pass
                                around sign on forms at meetings or send emails.

Day of Action: In the past, some of the most successful faculty outreach campaigns have organized “Day of Action”
events where a group of volunteers storms campus to distribute flyers and meet with faculty during office hours to
provide information. Combine your day of action with either of the two tactics above.

Raising Awareness
This issue affects just about everyone on campus, so you can have an impact by simply raising awareness solutions.

Media: The media is a powerful tool to spread the word on campus, in the community and to elected officials. The
good news is, the press loves to cover this issue! There are tons of ways to generate good media attention:
   Write letters to the editor responding to articles about textbooks.
   Write an Op-Ed, or encourage a professor or other student to write one.
   Invite the media to cover your visibility events.

Research: The problem is different on every campus, so one thing you can do is conduct a survey to explore how the
students at your campus are affected. Conducting surveys is a great way to engage volunteers and coalition partners,
and releasing a report helps generate media attention and build credibility for your work on the issue. More
importantly, it‟s also a great tool for educating faculty and encouraging them to consider lower cost options.

Money-Saving Tips: Think back to when you bought textbooks your first semester… Don‟t you wish someone had
handed you a flyer with money saving tips? Well, you can help the next round of students by distributing flyers,
bookmarks, posters or other handouts with helpful information. Hand them out at a visibility event, put them on tables
in the cafeteria or pass them out at dorms.




Resources & Materials
All of the resources and materials you will need to run the campaign will be posted online at www.studentpirgs.org.


Tips for Saving On Textbooks
Even though students are stuck paying publishers' outrageous prices, you do have
a few tools to reduce how much you spend. Being a smart consumer could save
you hundreds of dollars every year. Follow these tips to save on textbooks!

Before you start: Make sure you have all of the specs on your books. The best
info to collect is the ISBN (a unique number assigned to each book), Title, Author,
Publisher & Edition.

1. Shop online


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                                                                                                                      13
Shopping online gives you a greater selection, which usually means lower prices. Search by ISBN to make sure you
get the right book, but also search by title, author, etc. to find unbundled versions and older editions. Just make sure
your prof is OK with that first. There are a ton of textbook retailers online, so a simple search will give you plenty of
options. Some popular sites are Amazon.com, Half.com and CampusBooks.com.

2. Rent

Renting textbooks is probably your best bet if you don't plan to keep the book at the end of the term. Some schools
offer local rental programs, but don't worry if yours doesn't - you can rent textbooks online through sites like
Chegg.com or BookRenter.com. Feeling high tech? You can rent books digitally now too!

3. Swap books with other students

Save money by cutting out the middle man - find other students who have your book! With common classes, you can
often find books by just asking around. Also try searching for a student government-sponsored bookswap, Facebook,
Craigslist or organize your own!

4. Compare with the bookstore

If you're buying books last minute, you may not have much of a choice. But even if you have other options, make sure
to see what the bookstore has to offer. Remember to check off-campus bookstores too!

5. The library

Check your campus library to see if they have a copy of your book to check out. If not, there may still be a copy on
reserve – you won‟t be able to take it home, but at least you can do your homework! Make sure to check off-campus
libraries too.

6. Ask your prof

Textbook too expensive? Check with your prof to see if it‟s ok to use an older edition. The info is sometimes very
similar to the current edition, but copies sell dirt cheap! You can also ask your professor if it‟s ok to skip some of the
supplements, or if you can borrow their desk copy of the book. Most profs understand how expensive textbooks are
and are willing to work with you – just make sure to be very respectful!




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Textbook Rebellion Petition Materials
Textbook Rebellion Tabling Rap
Hi there! Do you have a minute to help make textbooks affordable?

My name is ______ and I‟m with XXXPIRG Students, the statewide student public interest group (or other
organization/description). Right now, we‟re working to make textbooks more affordable.

As I‟m sure you know, the cost of textbooks is out of control. Prices have been rising more than four times the rate of
inflation, and publishers make things worse by coming out with new editions and bundling books with expensive add-
ons.

(hand over the clipboard/petition)

That‟s why XXXPIRG is working to promote open textbooks, which are freely available online and can be purchased in
print at an affordable cost. Will you sign a petition encouraging faculty and administrators to consider using open
textbooks and other affordable options instead of expensive, traditional books?

(have them fill out the petition card)

Be sure to fill out all the information and check the “Take Action” box. One of the best things we can do to save
money is get professors to consider using affordable alternatives like open textbooks. Unfortunately, profs don‟t
always know what is available, so it‟s up to us to let them know. If you check the box, we will send an e-mail in your
name to faculty on campus with really helpful information about reducing costs for students. Here‟s the text of the
email we‟ll send (show them the email).

Also, we‟re looking for people to help out with the campaign by…(describe vol activities). If you‟d like more info about
volunteering, check the box on the card and we‟ll contact you this week.

Thanks a lot, and have a great day!


Fast Facts

    The College Board estimates that students should expect to spend $1,137 per year on textbooks
    PIRG found that the average price of common intro level textbooks is $175!
    PIRG found that prices increased 22% over the last four years
    Publishers issue new editions of textbooks every 3-4 years on average
    Open textbooks reduce costs 80% on average, renting can save up to 60%

Tabling Tips

1.   Have a great greeting
2.   Greet everyone!
3.   Be brief (i.e. don‟t add a lot of extra stuff to the rap)
4.   Ask everyone to check the Take Action box
5.   Ask everyone to volunteer!
6.   Keep track of how many people you stop and how many people sign up to volunteer




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Textbook Rebellion Tabling FAQ
Why are textbooks so expensive?
Because publishers engage in unfair practices that take advantage of students. Since we don‟t have any choice but to
buy our textbooks, they can charge really high prices, come out with new editions to make used books harder to find
and bundle textbooks with expensive supplements that make them harder to sell back.

What is the best way to save on textbooks?
The best thing you can do is shop around. Search online, in the bookstore and ask around on campus. You can go to
our website for a list of tips.

What is XXPIRG doing to reduce costs?
We‟re out here tabling for our Textbook Rebellion campaign, which is generating signatures on a petition and asking
students to help email faculty by checking the take action box. We‟ve also helped get the word out to faculty in other
ways, like organizing presentations and meeting with them to provide information about open textbooks.

What is an open textbook?
Open textbooks are just like other textbooks in most ways – they‟re written by the same kind of people and they can
even be sold in the bookstore. The difference is that they‟re published online under a license allowing everyone to
freely access, download and print the text – and even allowing professors to adapt them. Students can choose to use
them free online or buy them in print for $20-40, and the savings amount to 80% on average!

Where do open textbooks come from? How many are there?
Open textbooks are available in dozens of courses already, like Econ 101, Calculus and Chemistry. They‟re written in
a lot of different ways, including authors who just want more exposure for their work, grants and even a for-profit
company that pays royalties to authors and everything! See our website for more information.

What is the Textbook Rebellion?
Earlier this year, XXPIRG got together with a group of faculty, parents, students and other organizations to launch a
national coalition in support of affordable textbooks – that‟s what the Textbook Rebellion is. We‟re all working together
to raise awareness of solutions, and XXPIRG is helping by organizing this petition drive.

Why does the petition say that textbooks should be available less than $30?
We did some research to figure out what price would be both affordable to students and possible for publishers, and
came up with $30. We think that all textbooks can and should be more affordable, but in the mean time we think
publishers should at least give students one way to get their books at a low cost (might be an ebook, rental, etc.).

How does the “Take Action” box work?
We‟ve found that having students email professors is a really great way to educate them about ways to save money –
most of them really do care about the issue. When you check the box, you‟re telling us to use your signature to send
an email to up to 10 professors on campus with info about low-cost textbooks in their course. The email will
automatically look like it‟s coming from you, so it‟s a really easy to have an impact!

Are you stealing my email account? Is this sketchy? Is my information safe?
All of the emails will come from the Textbook Rebellion e-mail account – we don‟t have, or want, access to your
account. What we do is use special software to change the “from” portion of the email so it looks like it‟s coming from
you. We‟ve taken the appropriate legal measures to make sure your information isn‟t used for anything other than that,
and you can always change your email preferences online at anytime at www.TextbookRebellion.org.

What if professors reply to the email?
The emails have the Textbook Rebellion email address in the “reply-to” field, so most replies will go directly to our
expert national staff who can answer all of their questions.

Which professors are you going to email? Can I choose?
The Textbook Rebellion has built a huge list of faculty at schools across the country who currently teach classes that
might be able to use an open textbook that is currently available – those are the most important profs to contact
because they can save students the most money. Unfortunately, we don‟t carry around that list of professors (since
we want to keep their info safe), so we can‟t tell you which profs we‟ll email or let you choose at this time.


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Textbook Rebellion Email to Faculty
Thanks for signing the Textbook Rebellion petition! You can make your signature go a step further by
checking the “Take Action” box, which will help us get the word out to faculty on campus about affordable
textbooks that could save students tons of money. Here‟s what checking the box means for you:
    We will use your petition signature to send the email below to up to 10 professors at your school.
    The email will be sent IN YOUR NAME and will be sent within the next 90 days.
    You can change your email preferences at any time at http://www.TextbookRebellion.org/email.




From: Your Name <youremail@yourcollege.edu>
To: Professor‟s Name <profemail@yourcollege.edu>
Reply-To: <info@textbookrebellion.org>
Subject: Textbooks

Hi Professor [PROF NAME],

I‟m a student here at [YOUR COLLEGE], and I‟m writing because I recently joined the Textbook Rebellion, a national
campaign to raise awareness of solutions to the skyrocketing cost of college textbooks. I know that professors care
about this issue too, so we wanted to pass along the following information in hopes you will find it helpful:

         [BOOK IN PROF‟S SUBJECT] is an example of an open textbook, which can be freely accessed online,
          adapted, even purchased in bookstores at an affordable cost.
         This catalog of affordable textbooks contains more examples of high-quality, lower-cost options.

I know that it‟s up to professors to decide which textbooks are right for students, so I really hope you will consider this
information when selecting your books for next term. Alternatives like open textbooks cost 80% less on average,
which could make a huge difference for students if there is an option appropriate for your course.

Thank you for helping to make textbooks affordable.

Thanks,
[YOUR NAME]

P.S. To learn more about the Textbook Rebellion and our petition, visit TextbookRebellion.org. The Textbook
Rebellion is a national movement of students, faculty and organizations like Flat World Knowledge, Student PIRGs,
CampusProgress.org, Rock the Vote and more working to raise awareness of textbook affordability solutions.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
You are receiving this email because a student at your school chose to notify you when he/she signed the Textbook
Rebellion petition. To opt-out of further notifications, please click here:
http://textbookrebellion.org/email/profemail@yourcollege.edu.




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Textbook Rebellion Class Rap
Introduction
 Thank professor and introduce yourself.
 XXXXPIRG is a statewide student-directed and student-funded group working to solve real social problems –global
    warming, hunger and homelessness, textbook rip-offs… you get the idea.
 The thing that makes XXXXPIRG so effective, is that students fund us through their student fees. This gives us
    the resources to hire our own professional staff and run a ton of programs, including the one I‟m here to tell you
    about today.

The Problem
 As I‟m sure you know, the cost of textbooks is out of control. Prices have been rising more than four times the rate
   of inflation, and many books cost more than $200 each.
 We‟ve conducted a lot of research about this issue, and we‟ve found that publishers do a lot of things to drive up
   prices, like coming out with new editions every few years, bundling books with extras like workbooks and CD-
   Roms.

The Solution
 The good news is that we are starting to get more ways to save money, like renting and shopping online.
 Also, there are new ways of publishing textbooks that make them really affordable. For example, open textbooks,
   which are published under an open source license so anyone can freely access them online and print copies are
   really affordable, about $20-40 each.
 Thousands of professors are already open textbooks and other solutions, and the savings are huge - one
   professor at UMass-Dartmouth saved his classes $11,000 in one semester!

The Campaign
 XXXXPIRG is working with other student groups, faculty, parents and organizations across the country to help
   implement these solutions.
 Our campaign is called the “Textbook Rebellion” because we want to stop publishers from taking advantage of
   students and help affordable textbooks become more available.
 To build support for the Textbook Rebellion, we‟re asking students to sign a petition, which is what you have on the
   card in front of you.

The Ask
 If you think textbooks should be affordable, fill out the card with your name and info, and make sure to indicate
   whether you‟re willing to volunteer.
 Also, you can have an extra impact by checking the “Take Action” box. One of the best things we can do to save
   money is get professors to consider using affordable alternatives like open textbooks. Unfortunately, profs don‟t
   always know what is available, so it‟s up to us to let them know.
 If you check the box, we will send an e-mail in your name to faculty on campus with really helpful information about
   reducing costs for students. I have a copy of the email we send here at the front.

Wrap up
 Thank you, Professor for allowing us to come in!
 Please pass those cards over to the end of the aisles, even if you don‟t fill one out and I‟ll collect them on my way
   out.




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Textbook Rebellion Petition
The skyrocketing cost of college textbooks is a significant problem affecting students, families and professors
alike. Prices have been rising four times the rate of inflation and many books cost over $200 each. We the
undersigned believe the following:

   Textbooks should be affordable. Publishers should stop raising prices unfairly and offer a way to access each
    textbook for $30 or less per term without lowering quality.
   High-quality, affordable textbooks are available in many subjects. Professors can reduce costs by considering
    these options.
   Open textbooks are an ideal solution, because they can be freely accessed, adapted and printed at a low
    cost. Decision-makers should prioritize support for open textbooks.

Textbook Rebellion Petition Listserv Email
Hi ____,

There's something wrong when a lot of textbooks cost more than $200 each. For years textbook companies have used
unfair business practices to artificially inflate textbook prices - it's outrageous.

This semester we‟re fighting back and we need your help! Please sign the petition below to join the Textbook
Rebellion, a national effort to support solutions to the high cost of textbooks.

Click here to sign the Textbook Rebellion petition. [insert link]

Alternatives to the $200 textbook are growing. Now, there are textbooks that are free online and affordable to print.
Rental programs and bookswaps are sprouting up on campuses across the country. The movement is gaining
momentum and students, faculty, and administrators are ready for a change.
 These solutions will only succeed if
more students, faculty and colleges take advantage of them – so sign the petition today!

Textbook Rebellion Campus Relations Email
Hi ____,

I am _____ from XXPIRG, the student public interest group here at XX College. I hope your semester is going well!
As you know, that the high cost of textbook remains a serious concern for students here on campus and nationwide.
XXPIRG runs a campaign to build support for more affordable and accessible textbooks, such as open textbooks that
are free online and affordable in print. We have some exciting plans to continue our work on this issue this fall.

I am writing to let you know about a new effort we‟re launching this year called the „Textbook Rebellion.‟ The effort is
comprised of students, faculty, parents and organizations from across the country and our goal is to promote
awareness of solutions, like open textbooks. This semester we‟re going to organize a petition drive to build support
and distribute helpful information to faculty on campus.

I also wanted to let you know about an event we are planning to hold on XX Date. The Textbook Rebellion coalition
has two larger-than-life mascots representing the problem and solution to high textbook costs, and they will be
stopping here at XX College as part of a cross-country tour. The event will be at XX Time at XX Place, and I
encourage you to stop by to learn more about our campaign and to see the mascots – they‟re pretty spectacular!

If you have any questions our would like more information about our campaign, please don‟t hesitate to be in touch.
You can reach the XXPIRG campus office at XXX-XXXX, or me at XXX-XXX-XXXX or this email address. Thanks!




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                                                                                                                     19
     XXPIRG                         www.xxpirgstudents.org                    XXPIRG                         www.xxpirgstudents.org

SIGN THE TEXTBOOK REBELLION PETITION:                                    SIGN THE TEXTBOOK REBELLION PETITION:

The skyrocketing cost of textbooks is a significant problem              The skyrocketing cost of textbooks is a significant problem
affecting students, families and faculty alike. Prices are rising four   affecting students, families and faculty alike. Prices are rising four
times the rate of inflation and many books cost over $200 each.          times the rate of inflation and many books cost over $200 each.
 Textbooks should be affordable. Publishers should stop raising          Textbooks should be affordable. Publishers should stop raising
    prices unfairly and offer a way to access each textbook for $30 or       prices unfairly and offer a way to access each textbook for $30 or
    less per term without lowering quality.                                  less per term without lowering quality.
 High-quality, affordable textbooks are available in many subjects.      High-quality, affordable textbooks are available in many subjects.
    Professors can reduce costs by considering these options.                Professors can reduce costs by considering these options.
 Open textbooks are an ideal solution, because they can be freely        Open textbooks are an ideal solution, because they can be freely
    accessed, adapted and printed at a low cost. Decision-makers             accessed, adapted and printed at a low cost. Decision-makers
    should prioritize support for open textbooks.                            should prioritize support for open textbooks.

Name:                                                                    Name:

Cell:                                                 Do not text me     Cell:                                                 Do not text me

Email:                                                                   Email:

Year (circle one):          Fr      So      Jr      Sr     Grad          Year (circle one):          Fr      So      Jr      Sr     Grad

   TAKE ACTION! We need your help to get the word out                       TAKE ACTION! We need your help to get the word out
to professors. Check here and an e-mail will be sent in                  to professors. Check here and an e-mail will be sent in
your name to faculty on campus with useful info about                    your name to faculty on campus with useful info about
using open and affordable textbooks in their courses.                    using open and affordable textbooks in their courses.

Check if interested:             Volunteering        Internships         Check if interested:             Volunteering        Internships



.                                                                        .


     XXPIRG                         www.xxpirgstudents.org                    XXPIRG                         www.xxpirgstudents.org

SIGN THE TEXTBOOK REBELLION PETITION:                                    SIGN THE TEXTBOOK REBELLION PETITION:

The skyrocketing cost of textbooks is a significant problem              The skyrocketing cost of textbooks is a significant problem
affecting students, families and faculty alike. Prices are rising four   affecting students, families and faculty alike. Prices are rising four
times the rate of inflation and many books cost over $200 each.          times the rate of inflation and many books cost over $200 each.
 Textbooks should be affordable. Publishers should stop raising          Textbooks should be affordable. Publishers should stop raising
    prices unfairly and offer a way to access each textbook for $30 or       prices unfairly and offer a way to access each textbook for $30 or
    less per term without lowering quality.                                  less per term without lowering quality.
 High-quality, affordable textbooks are available in many subjects.      High-quality, affordable textbooks are available in many subjects.
    Professors can reduce costs by considering these options.                Professors can reduce costs by considering these options.
 Open textbooks are an ideal solution, because they can be freely        Open textbooks are an ideal solution, because they can be freely
    accessed, adapted and printed at a low cost. Decision-makers             accessed, adapted and printed at a low cost. Decision-makers
    should prioritize support for open textbooks.                            should prioritize support for open textbooks.

Name:                                                                    Name:

Cell:                                                 Do not text me     Cell:                                                 Do not text me

Email:                                                                   Email:

Year (circle one):          Fr      So      Jr      Sr     Grad          Year (circle one):          Fr      So      Jr      Sr     Grad

   TAKE ACTION! We need your help to get the word out                       TAKE ACTION! We need your help to get the word out
to professors. Check here and an e-mail will be sent in                  to professors. Check here and an e-mail will be sent in
your name to faculty on campus with useful info about                    your name to faculty on campus with useful info about
using open and affordable textbooks in their courses.                    using open and affordable textbooks in their courses.
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                                                                                                                             20
Check if interested:             Volunteering        Internships         Check if interested:     Volunteering       Internships
Textbook Rebellion Visibility & Media Materials
Sample Media Advisory

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         CONTACT: Contact Name
September XX, 2011                                            XXX-XXX-XXXX, XX@XX.edu

                                                              Nicole Allen, National Textbook Advocate
                                                              401-484-8104 (cell), nicole@studentpirgs.org


                           MEDIA ADVISORY * MEDIA ADVISORY * MEDIA ADVISORY

                              „Textbook Rebellion‟ to Visit XXCollege
               National Tour of Larger-Than-Life Textbook Mascots Coming to Campus
XX CITY (September XX, 2011) – On XX Date at XX Time, XX College students and faculty will join XXPIRG in a
press conference welcoming two larger-than-life mascots as part of a cross-country, 40-stop tour to raise awareness of
the high cost of textbooks. The mascots represent the „Textbook Rebellion,‟ a national coalition seeking more
affordable and accessible college textbooks that XXPIRG helped launch earlier this year. Following the press
conference, the mascots will stick around to help XXPIRG volunteers distribute cost-saving tips to the campus and
collect petition signatures in support of solutions. Textbook costs remain a major barrier to higher education for many
students, with prices rising more than four times the rate of inflation.

WHO:            VIP Speaker Name, Title (if any)
                PIRG Speaker Name, XXPIRG
                SGA Speaker Name, Associated Students of XX College
                Faculty Speaker Name, Title, XX College
                Admin Speaker Name, Title, XX College

WHAT:           Press conference to welcome „Textbook Rebellion‟ mascots to XX College

WHEN:           [Date and time of event] Thursday September 15, 2011 10:00 AM EDT
                                                                        nd
WHERE:          [Event location and address] XX College Bookstore, 2         Floor
                555 College Ave
                City, State

VISUALS:        [Describe features of your event, including # of students, props, etc.]

DIRECTIONS: [VERY specific directions to campus, and the event location. Include parking info.]

                                                          ###

     XXPIRG is a statewide student funded and directed public interest group that works on issues related to the
              environment, consumer protection and government reform. www.XXPIRGstudents.org

   Textbook Rebellion is a movement of students, faculty and others affected by the high cost of textbooks working
toward affordable solutions. Coalition members include the Student PIRGs, Flat World Knowledge, Campus Progress
                      and Rock the Vote. For more information, visit www.textbookrebellion.org.




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Sample Reporter Calling Rap
Start here if you are starting with the newsroom:

Hi, this is ____ from XXPIRG‟s affordable textbooks campaign at XX College. I just sent an advisory about a
„Textbook Rebellion‟ press conference we are holding on XX Date. Did you receive it?

[Sometimes they will ask for the subject of your e-mail so they can find it, so have that on hand. If they did not receive
it, ask for the correct e-mail address and call back once you send it.]

The press conference is to welcome two larger-than-life textbook mascots to campus, which are on a national tour
promoting awareness of the high cost of college textbooks. Who would you recommend I talk to about covering it?

Start here once you get to a reporter:

Hi, this is ______ with XXPIRG at XX College. I‟m calling with a story regarding the high cost of textbooks, and a
press conference we are planning to hold on XX Date. Do you have a moment?

Thanks! As you probably know, the cost of college textbooks is a serious issue for students at XX College and across
the country, with prices rising more than four times the rate of inflation and many books costing over $200 each.

XXPIRG recently helped launch a national coalition to address this issue called the „Textbook Rebellion,‟ which seeks
to promote awareness of affordable solutions, like open textbooks that are free online and low-cost in print.

On XX Date, XXPIRG is holding a press conference to welcome the Textbook Rebellion mascots to XX College
campus, as part of a cross-country tour to build support for the cause.

Is this something you would be interested in covering?

Great! The press event is on XX Date at XX Time in XX Location, and we will have representatives from the
XXCollege student government, faculty, and [list other speakers].

I‟ll give you directions. Do you have a pen? [give directions] Also, I‟ll send you a media advisory so you have all of
the details. What is the best email address to send it to? [get email address]

From here:

1.   Answer any questions they have.
2.   Give them your contact info and our website for more info www.studentpirgs.org/textbooks.
3.   Reiterate event time and date.
4.   Thank them for their time!

Reporter Calling Tips

    Always ask reporters if they have a minute to talk in case they are on deadline.
    Be brief and concise. Reporters will appreciate it.
    Tell them enough about the story to entice them, but don‟t give it all away.
    Send them an email after the call with more information.
    Always follow up to remind them of the event closer to the date.




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Sample E-Mail Inviting Press Conference Speakers
Hi ______,

I am _____ from XXPIRG, the student public interest group here at XX College. I hope your semester is going well!

As you know, that the high cost of textbook remains a serious concern for students here on campus and nationwide.
XXPIRG runs a campaign to build support for more affordable and accessible textbooks, such as open textbooks that
are free online and affordable in print. We have some exciting plans to continue our work on this issue this fall.

I am writing to invite you to speak at a textbook affordability event we are organizing on XX Date. The event will
feature two larger-than-life mascots that are traveling to campus as part of a cross-country tour to raise awareness of
the issue and promote solutions. The mascots are part of a new coalition effort we helped found earlier this year
called the „Textbook Rebellion,‟ which includes students, faculty, parents and other organizations nationwide.

We were hoping that you could give a brief (3-5 minute) statement at the beginning of the event about your perspective
on the issue of textbook affordability. [Add 1 sentence about why you think the speaker‟s statement would be valuable]

The event is on XX Date at XX Time in XX Location, and it should last about 30 min, including time for questions at the
end. We have invited representatives from XX and YY to speak as well, and we have already confirmed that reporters
will be there from XX. [if applicable]

Please let me know if you are interested or if you have any questions. You can reach the XXPIRG campus office at
XXX-XXXX, or you can contact me anytime at XXX-XXX-XXXX or by email. I will plan to call your office later this week
to follow up once you have time to consider this invitation.

Thanks!

Tips for Inviting Speakers

   Invite them at least two weeks in advance so they have time to plan.
   State the reason we want them to speak, even if it‟s obvious. It will make the invitation more sincere.
   Follow up a few days after the initial invitation to give them time to consider it.




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Textbook Rebellion Coalition Outreach Materials
Sample Coalition Outreach Email
Hi _______,

My name is _______ and I‟m with XXPIRG‟s textbook affordability campaign. As you know, the skyrocketing cost of
textbooks is a problem faced by many students – prices have been rising more than four times the rate of inflation and
many books cost over $200 each! XXPIRG has been working to address this issue by promoting cost-saving
measures like rental programs and bookswaps and getting the word out to faculty about low-cost alternatives like
open-source textbooks.

I‟m writing to see if we can schedule a meeting with XXGroup to discuss any ideas you had for working on this issue
and how we might work together. This fall, our main focus is our newly launched Textbook Rebellion coalition, which
includes students, faculty, parents and groups from across the country. Our goal is to build support for the issue
through a petition drive, and also get the word about solutions out to faculty in the process.

We‟d love to coordinate, so please let me know what your availability is! My contact information is XXXXXX. Thanks
so much for your time, and I look forward to speaking with you.

Sample Coalition Outreach Phone Rap
Hi is this _______?

Great, how are you? My name is _______ from XXPIRG and I‟m calling to discuss plans for our affordable textbooks
campaign this semester. Do you have a minute?

Great! As you know, textbook costs are out of control and have really become a problem for many students. XXPIRG
has been working on this issue by helping to save students money with rental programs and bookswaps, and also by
educating faculty about ways to reduce costs.

I‟m writing to see if we can schedule a meeting with XXGroup to discuss any ideas you had for working on this issue
and how we might work together. This fall, our main focus is our newly launched Textbook Rebellion coalition, which
seeks to build support for the issue through a petition drive, and also get the word out to faculty in the process.

We‟d love to meet up to tell you more. Do you have time this week? [schedule meeting]

Thanks so much. My contact information is XXXXXXX if you need to reach me. Bye!

Sample Coalition Meeting Agenda
1. Chit chat. Introduce yourself and ask a few questions like their major or classes they are taking.
2. Intro and agenda. Thank them for meeting with you, say a few words about why making textbooks affordable is
   important, and outline what you want to talk to about: A. hear more about what they are doing this semester, B. tell
   them more about what we‟re doing/Textbook Rebellion, and C. discuss working together.
3. What they are doing. Listen and take good notes. Show appreciation for whatever it is, even if it‟s not textbook
   related.
4. What we are doing. Explain the Textbook Rebellion and your campaign plan for the semester. Be concise but
   make sure to explain why we think our campaign will have an impact on textbook costs.
5. The ask. Ask them to sign on to the Textbook Rebellion (use the endorsement form), and get involved by doing
   something specific – it can be anything from emailing a link to the petition to their members to co-sponsoring a
   major visibility event.
6. Follow-up plan. Make sure to walk away with some form of commitment (even if it‟s just to “think about it”) and a
   clear plan to follow up.




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Textbook Rebellion Coalition Endorsement Form
The skyrocketing cost of college textbooks remains a significant issue for students, families and faculty alike. The
College Board estimates students will spend $1,137 per year on textbooks, and prices have been rising more than four
times the rate of inflation according to the Student PIRGs. The Textbook Rebellion is a movement of students, faculty
and others affected by the high cost of textbooks working toward affordable solutions. Their mission is to promote
awareness of the problem and the growing availability of affordable alternatives such as open-source textbooks.

Textbook Rebellion Petition

The skyrocketing cost of college textbooks is a significant problem affecting students, families and professors
alike. Prices have been rising four times the rate of inflation and many books cost over $200 each. We the
undersigned believe the following:

   Textbooks should be affordable. Publishers should stop raising prices unfairly and offer a way to access each
    textbook for $30 or less per term without lowering quality.
   High-quality, affordable textbooks are available in many subjects. Professors can reduce costs by considering
    these options.
   Open textbooks are an ideal solution, because they can be freely accessed, adapted and printed at a low
    cost. Decision-makers should prioritize support for open textbooks.

I/We join the Textbook Rebellion:

Name:                                                           Position:

Organization:

Address:

Email:                                                          Phone:

I/We will help by:

____ Encouraging others to sign the Textbook Rebellion petition

____ Organizing on-campus events, such as a rally or presentation

____ Sending an email to your membership or other student leaders

____ Spreading the word through social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter

____ Distributing information to faculty, staff, and students

____ Writing a letter to the editor or op-ed to the campus or local newspaper

____ Speaking at a press conference

____ Passing a resolution in support of the Rebellion‟s goals



Please notify the Textbook Rebellion by emailing the completed form to join@textbookrebellion.org.




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