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3 Secrets for a Successful Scholastic Book Fair

3 Secrets to a Successful Scholastic Book Fair (That Will Make You Money!)

After recently finishing a record-breaking Scholastic Book Fair Week of almost $10,000.00 in sales, I put in some time to reflect on HOW that record had been made.  It was an amazing goal and went far above the personal goal I had set. Before this past sale, our highest had been just over $8000.00.  After reflecting on my decisions and growing Book Fair Sales, I have narrowed it down to 3 things that I think are increasing sales.

When I stepped into the librarian position from being a classroom teacher, there were 2 things that intimidated me:  YEARBOOK and BOOKFAIR!  After my fourth year in the library, I can honestly say that book fair week is my favorite week.  I love playing Book Fairy and I love putting books in the hands of kids!

I’ve already written about The #1 Reason I Am Sticking (for now!) with Scholastic Book Fairs. I have had calls with several other vendors and they are not (yet) matching what I can do with Scholastic Dollars. When they do, I’ll happily try another one. I budget my Scholastic Dollars so that I have around $1000.00 of them to use DURING the book fair. 

If you are looking for ways to make your Scholastic Book Fair more successful, you have come to the right place!

Before we start, I want to share that one of my main goals in life as a librarian and an educator is to get books in the hands of kids. When I make decisions about the library policies, collections or decisions, that is one of the major lenses I look at my options through. As a librarian at a PK-3rd grade school, I know I make decisions that other librarians do not or would not, and I’m okay with that. As long as I am meeting my goal of putting books in the hands of children.

You may have different goals for your library and your book fair. If that’s the case, these secrets may not work as well for you as they do for me.

Scholastic Book Fair Secret #1

Use Scholastic Dollars to help with sales tax and upsells.  I keep all the little erasers, bookmarks, etc by the register.  I use those to upsell students so they are spending most or all of their money.  If/when they go over, I use Scholastic Dollars to cover the difference.  For example, if a student has $15.00 and they spend $14.25, I offer them an eraser or a bookmark.  They LOVE the little things and get super excited. I may spend a few cents in Scholastic Dollars, but I increased my sales.  

It really helps with sales tax too. I teach at a Pre-K-3rd Grade school and our littlest loves barely understand how buying things works, much less complicated stuff like sales tax. You have $5.00 to spend? Let’s go look at these $4.99 books and the Book Fairy will cover the rest!

Scholastic Book Fair Secret #2

Staff discounts are 20% for everyone! It doesn’t matter which staff you are.  The cafeteria worker from another school in district gets the same discount as the teacher across the hall and so does the student intern.  This helps meet my personal goal of putting more books in the hands of kids, but it also helps build good relationships with staff.  I also offer Scholastic Dollars to staff who volunteer at Family Night. Getting teachers and other staff to buy in to the book fair is critical. They best way I know to get people on board is with free books and discounts.

Scholastic Book Fair Secret #3

Promote, Promote, Promote! For 2 weeks prior to the Book Fair, that’s all we talk about.  It’s on the website, our social media, and signs around the school.  We talk about it in the library and we talk about it everywhere I go. 

One thing I talk to students about is how to ask for money.  We talk about using our manners and saying please and thank you.  I give students ways to ask without being rude.  “The book fair is coming to our school soon.  I would love to earn some money to spend! Do you have any jobs I can do around the house for you?”

Scholastic Book Fair Bonus Secret

I have one more secret to a Scholastic Book Fair that my predecessor shared with me. Schedule Book Fair around payday.

Your turn! Do you already do any of these? Which ones are you willing to try? Leave a comment and let me know!

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