E-textbook & access codes FAQ
Below is a small list of frequently asked questions we get when students inquire about digital or e-textbooks:
  1. What is an e-textbook?
  2. How do I purchase e-textbooks and access codes?
  3. What is a redemption code?
  4. What is an access code?
  5. What is a Course ID / Course Key / Class Code?
  6. Are all textbooks available as e-textbooks? 
  7. Are e-textbooks a lot cheaper than printed textbooks?
  8. How long do I get to keep my e-textbook?
  9. Can I print my e-textbook?
  10. Can I sell my e-textbook to another student?

1. What is an e-textbook?
An e-textbook, or e-book, is a digital version of a textbook. It can take the form of a file that is downloaded or it may be content accessed using the Internet. An e-textbook may also come with additional learning materials.

2. How do I purchase e-textbooks and access codes?
Most e-textbooks can be purchased through the BookStore in-person or through our e-commerce site. These options will be included in your book list, when they are available. Your purchase can take one of several different formats:

  • A printed card, or sales receipt, containing a "redemption code"
  • A printed card containing an "access code"
  • An email, containing a web link for directly downloading the e-textbook to an e-reader
  • An email, containing one or more web links for accessing your item using a publisher or third-party e-book platform

Each format will include instructions for accessing the content.

3. What is a redemption code?
A redemption code is a multi-character code used to confirm the purchase of an e-textbook. The code is "redeemed" by entering it at a specified website. This redemption triggers an email, which will contain the instructions for obtaining access to the e-textbook or access code.

4. What is an access code?
An access code is a multi-character code that functions as a "key" to gain access to an e-textbook or other digital learning materials. An access code may be supplied on a printed copy or as an email. This code typically will be entered at a specified website, operated by either the e-textbook's publisher or a third-party platform (e.g., VitalSource).

5. What is a Course ID / Course Key / Class Code?
Some e-textbooks and access codes require the use of an additional code, which is specific to your instructor and course. This is known as a Course ID, Course Key or Class Code. The course instructor will supply it to their students - if this additional code is required.

6. Are all textbooks available as e-textbooks?
No. The BookStore will offer e-textbooks when possible, unless told otherwise by the course instructor.

7. Are e-textbooks a lot cheaper than printed textbooks?
E-textbooks are generally cheaper than printed textbooks.

8. How long do I get to keep my e-textbook?
This depends on the type of e-textbook purchased:

  • E-textbooks downloaded to a user's device are often "lifetime" accessible (provided the device is functioning, or the user has a backup of the file available for moving it to another device).
  • E-textbooks accessed via a publisher or third-party e-book platform are usually "time limited". Typical time ranges for content access are: 150 days, 180 days, 1 year, or life-of-edition.

9. Can I print my e-textbook?
E-textbook publishers use Digital Rights Management (DRM) to control whether or not an e-textbook can be printed. The restrictions vary from title to title, and from publisher to publisher.

10. Can I sell my e-textbook to another student?
No. These files are "tied" to your device or your account information.

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