Posted for an unnamed friend:
A college textbook representative, upon learning I was dropping a book I formerly used in a large class, wrote:
Is there ANYTHING that I can do to help make it possible for you to use at least one of our titles? …
If it could make a difference for you, I’m sure that I could arrange for you to do some paid reviewing for us, or even just provide you a grant to support something special for your course — like a couple of videos that we can purchase for you, or perhaps a grant of a gift card to a really nice restaurant that you can use in your professional life to interview work assistants, or entertain visiting sociologists.
I was as surprised by the blatant payola attempt as I was by my own naivete at seeing it for the first time. Is this common? Does it work?