What do I do?

I tend to think of this site as a sitting room where people can come and discuss ideas.  Since my credibility is associated with the site, I thought I should provide a link to buy my textbook at Amazon.  Not unusual for bloggers.  Here’s the dilemma:

The link to my textbook is of course an advertisement – and should anyone click on the link and buy my book, I would get a small percentage of the sale.

On the other hand, students taking this course are required to read the website, and regularly post to it.

Is it appropriate to post on a required-reading website an advertisement that I personally profit from?

Looking forward to your comments.


About Mark P. Holtzman

Chair of Accounting Department at Seton Hall University. PhD from The University of Texas at Austin. Worked at Deloitte's New York Office. BSBA from Hofstra University.


  1. Well it's your website, and as one of your students I can't speak for the whole group, but I think it will be fine to have the option to purchase your book.

  2. Of course you can and should post it. I remember you talking about how much you make off textbooks in 2103, so if there is an opportunity to make more money, go for it. However, my business ethics professor making us buy his book to ready two pages from it and then using another textbook for the rest of the semester seemed rather ironic.

  3. I absolutely believe that no one should think twice about cashing in on the benefits of his or her sacrificial efforts/labor as in your case, the writing of book. From my experience,Professors are recommending books they wrote or co-wrote for classes they are teaching in addition to negotiating preferable prices for their students with the publishers.Prof, by marketing your book through this medium you will only be getting on board with an existing trend. Go for it!

  4. I cannot think of any reason why it wouldn't be okay to post the link to your book. I say go for it too!

  5. I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with posting a link to the book. Unless a person is taking the course where the book is required, no one is obligated to purchase it from this class.A conflict of interest could occur if a student was obligated to purchase the book, or would derive any type of benefit -grade-wise I am thinking, other than for the knowledge.Professor, it is really unfortunate that next semester you will not be teaching this course.

  6. Yvonne:As it is your website, I think you should post the link to your text book. You are not requiring us to purchase the book, simply giving us the option. Plus, I'm sure the extra money will be beneficial.

  7. I don't think the schedule is set for who will be teaching the course next semester. Since (as Chair) I tend to get all of the assignments no one else wants, I could be back.

  8. That's what we call "Servant Leadership."

  9. I told Dean Strawser about my latest royalties check from Prentice Hall for a whopping $287. I said I am not sure about the ethics about this, because we require the book for Financial Accounting BACC 2103, I'm profiting off my students. (As if I'm not already profiting off of them by taking and depositing my paychecks.)Anyway, she said that she didn't think it was an issue because the book was written for our students.I'd say that the profits (which probably come out to about 10 cents an hour of my time) are not unreasonable compensation for my time.

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