Our 10-Step Guide to a Successful Book Fair
Ready to print this list? Click here to DOWNLOAD AS A PDF.
1) Ask for help
If possible, ask for a few volunteers to help you plan and handle your fair. While you can ask all your classrooms, consider asking your kindergarten teachers (or lowest grades) to send the flier home with their daily/weekly folders. We’ve found they are most likely to volunteer, and you can keep them as repeat volunteers for next go around. Download Volunteer Letter
If you decide to ask for help, make certain that you have a plan for exactly what you want the volunteers to do during their time so they will feel valued and utilized. Create a simple schedule for your volunteers and keep it available for easy access. Download Volunteer Schedule
2) Invite the school
- Ensure the book fair is approved by your principal and on your school’s calendar as soon as it is booked.
- Request that the fair be publicized on your school’s website and promoted on the outside marquee sign.
- Hang posters and/or fliers to promote your fair at least one week in advance.
- Distribute book lists to your teachers to send home with their students (fliers featuring titles from the fair) with the times and dates of your fair and the specific date and time that the class will shop the fair. Consider sending home a parent letter that announces your Classroom Wish Registry Program and Teacher Gift Certificate Program. If you want to use the registry program, just let us know to send you some book plate stickers as part of your planning kit. Download Parent Letter
- If you’re not using your regular media schedule, create a schedule so that all of your students get the opportunity to shop with their class. Download Class Book Fair Visit Schedule
3) Clear a Space and Empty Tables
Prior to the delivery of your fair, make sure you’ve cleared a space for us to set up. Have a space and empty tables available. When our driver arrives, they will set up as much or as little of the fair that you want; just let them know what’s best.
4) Organize your Check Out
Set up your cash wrap area so you can easily total your students’ purchases, make change, accept credit cards and bag purchased books and school supplies. Just let us know how many cash registers you will be needing for your fair. Every fair comes with one cash register automatically. A few items that might be handy to have at your check out are: pens for signing credit card slips, post-it-notes, spare roll of cash register tape, etc.
5) Let your students shop and enjoy the fair
Classroom Wish List Registry
Encourage teachers to fill out their Classroom Wishlist Registry ASAP. You might even want to hold a teacher preview gathering the first afternoon you receive your fair for just such a purpose. If you want to keep it easy, just pop a bunch of popcorn and ask them to come munch and shop.
Download Teacher Invite and Download Classroom Wish List Registry
During the fair, as parents and students purchase titles from a Classroom Wish Registry, just record the student that donated the book AND ask if they would like to take the book so that the student can personally give it to their teacher. Write the name of the person giving the book on a book plate and affix it to the inside. If the book is being left for you to deliver later then, label the title with a bookmark or post it showing the teacher’s name and grade.
It’s a good idea to have a secure area (or box) for storing such gifts. The same process works if you are choosing to sell gift certificates for teachers. You may want to pre-label envelopes organized by grade & teacher to store purchased gift certificates awaiting redemption.
If you find you need us to restock a title, record it and then we ask that you either email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fax us at 1-334-730-1695 for the fastest service. If you are not able to email or fax, you can call us at 1-877-266-5757. We ask that you send your orders in by 1:30 CDT so we can get them packed and back to you. Most arrive via our own drivers or via UPS by the next day. While we don’t require you use a specific order form; but, here’s one we’ve made for you: Download Reorder Form
6) Tally up your sales
Most people choose to tally their sales daily and then transfer the totals to their profit letter at the end of the fair. We don’t require that you use a tally form to show your daily sales; however, your school’s book keeper might have their own form. We’ve included a blank form for your convenience in your planning kit and here it is again if you need it Download Sales Tally Form. Excel Version or PDF
7) Remove books for Book Profit from your fair
Before your fair is scheduled to be packed up, make certain that you pull all the books that you plan to keep as book profit. Make certain you total this amount so you can enter it on your profit worksheet.
8) Finish Up
Complete your profit worksheet and submit it for payment to your school bookkeeper. Your Profit Worksheet was included in your planning kit. If you need a replacement copy, email us or give us a call and we’ll get that right out to you.
Please give us feedback (both good and bad) so we can learn and grow: Fill out your survey from your planning kit, email us or call us to let us know if there is anything we can do to better serve you on your next fair. We want you, your principal, your teachers and your students to be happy and consider your fair a great success and your feedback is vital for us to continuously learn and grow.
9) Thank your Teachers, Students and Administration
Just like any good host knows, make sure you take a moment to send a note or email of thanks to your volunteers, your teachers and your administrator. Consider making a poster for your check out desk announcing your success to your students. If you used your profits to make a special purchase or bring an author event to your school, let them know that their support of the book fair made it happen.
10) Reserve your Next Date
We try to always accommodate everyone but, sometimes weeks do fill up so, the sooner you can lock in your dates the better to ensure you get exactly what you’re requesting.
- You can tell your driver at Pack Up to reserve the same date for next year
- AND/OR get $50 in books of your next fair by reserving your next fair directly on your Profit Work Sheet/Invoice
- Choose the Contact Us Page on our website to call us, fax us, email us a note or email us directly at email@example.com
LINK TO ACCELERATED READER SPREADSHEET
We had another fantastic Book fair with Crane! …the highest sales ever! Thank you to your staff for helping me every time I called. I got packages(restocks) sent to me the very next day :)!Holly Woodley, Curry Elementary
Because the Crane Book Fair is still small school friendly with discounts on books…and not raising the cash profit margin so high. The “competition” raised theirs so high we could not reach anymore!Marydell McQueen, Byrd Elementary
Friendliness and helpfulness that the company always provides. Also everyone is very accommodating to my needs and schedule.Monica Moore, Hayden Elementary
Great prices…a large amount of discount books and affordable toys for our students.Amber Thornton, West Point Elementary
Excellent products and availability of staff.Cheryl Clark, Highland Gardens
I wanted children to buy books that were priced reasonably and I wanted money for the library. The pricing of the books & set up/take down led me to Crane along w/ other librarians’ recommendations.Anne Batey, J. E. Woodard Elementary
Fair setup…it’s nice to not have to worry about setup and taking things down.Aleisha Davis, Dannelly Elementary
Crane Book Fair employees are ALWAYS polite and respectful. I enjoy being able to communicate with a person rather than an automated voicemail system.Beth Sauls, Green Valley Elementary