Welcome to one of the best shopportunities of the year, the time when post-holiday and end-of-year sales promise the biggest bargains available and many retailers hurry to make sales before the January 31 end of the fiscal year. Whether it’s technology and gadgets, clothing and accessories, home furnishings, or media such as music and movies, now is undoubtedly the time to buy!

And textbooks are no different. In fact, there have never been more academic books available (in both quantity and format) at better prices. The market is wide open and it’s rife with amazing savings for those savvy student shoppers who buy early. But by the same token, there’s also more demand and more competition for those deals, so in order to capitalize on them, you must act quickly.

Right now, the days just after Christmas and immediately before and after New Year’s Day, are some of the busiest days in the textbook business for all of the reasons stated above, and of course, with the spring term starting later this month. Money-saving used books are the most desirable commodity and the first to go flying off the shelves. If you’re waiting until you go back to school in hopes of striking bargains at the campus bookstore, you’ll be too late.

The good news is that CampusBooks.com offers students access to the most merchants who stock the greatest number of cheap used textbooks as well as new books on sale, eco-friendly inexpensive textbook rentals, and instantly downloadable eBooks. It’s all here for you right now and all you have to do is search for the books you need and you’ll see the best deals and be able to take advantage of them all without even setting foot in a jam-packed bookstore during rush.

The bad news is that every day that you wait to order your books for the upcoming term means a smaller selection from which to choose and the best deals having already gone to students who shopped earlier. So what can you do to boost your chances of getting the best deals? Well, first and foremost, if you know the books that you need for the upcoming term, order them now. If you don’t know which books you need, send a polite email to your professors asking for the ISBNs, titles, and authors for the texts you’ll be using. Professors are aware that textbooks are pricey and they want you to do well in their courses, which means doing the reading. A polite and appreciative email should be well received, and of course, as soon as you get the necessary information, find the absolute best deals using the CampusBooks.com price-comparison tool. You’ll feel great going into a new year and a new semester knowing that you saved big on your college textbooks.

Recently we announced the first release of iBookStore, our free price-comparison app for iPhone and iPod Touch. From day one, we knew that development would be an ongoing labor of love, one that would see all sorts of cool enhancements that best served students and book-lovers alike.

We’ve gotten a great response to iBookStore in its young stages, and we thank everyone who has downloaded it, used it to save money on books, rated it, and provided feedback (please keep all of those things coming). As we mentioned when we introduced the app, we are committed to staying on the cutting edge and delivering the new features that make iBookStore a must-have app for finding the best deals on books . . .

. . . Which brings us to the next wave of big news about iBookStore: Now (and just in time for the end of the term), in addition to finding the best deals for buying books, the app finds the best deals for selling books back! It’s super easy, simply punch in the ISBN of your book and you’ll see both buying and selling options, all from your phone wherever you are. It’s real-time information that brings you the most for your money whether you are buying or selling.

So, if you’re a college student, make sure that you have the latest release of iBookStore loaded on your iPhone so that you can avoid waiting in long buyback lines at the campus bookstore only to find that they’re paying next to nothing for your books. And if you’re a reader looking to declutter and put old books into circulation and bring in some holiday cash, iBookStore is perfect for you as well.