Saturday, December 3, 2016

Scholastic Book Fair

This isn't a program, but I need to record my notes for posterity - and so that when I do it again, three years from now, I can remember everything I forgot about last time I did it...

The Set-Up

  • 5 cases (2 middle grade, 2 preschool, 1 beginning reader)
  • Boxes - extra board books, cookbooks, super value
  • The cases open to form a closed in circle with two of our light white tables against the wall in the middle. We borrow one small round table for the cookbooks and the cash register goes on the study table from the teen area.
  • It takes a day to set up, 1 person unpacking in the morning, one in the afternoon. More people go faster - sometimes. We generally don't decorate, unless you count decorations we cadged from the school's last fair.
The Running
  • Most of our traffic comes from families and grandparents - generally afternoons. Having the fair during a big community event (Santa reception) or program helps a lot.
  • Three days is enough for anyone. Many are willing but even with directions the cash register is confusing to some. Be prepared to clear your schedule and run the fair yourself (especially set-up and take-down). Don't forget change. It takes about an hour to run all the reports etc. afterwards and you still need to pack everything.
The Money
  • Checks are not worth the hassle. Cash is easier - if the amount is small enough you can use a credit card to pay the book fair. Credit cards are the preferred payment method of most.
What people buy
  • People do not like toys - esp. all the junky activity kits and all the little bits of register crap. We have no space for them in our tiny fair, they're easy theft items, and parents get annoyed that the kids fuss and cry when they want them to take books.
  • Paperbacks do the best. Very few people buy expensive hardcovers.
  • Grandparents and parents want more board books (actual board books, not media-tie-ins and novelty books).
  • Teen books don't get purchased. The teens who read have no money.

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