Book Fair
Tips and Tricks

1. Host a raffle: Families can stop by and put their names in the raffle and the winner of the raffle can choose one of the free display books as their own!


2. Promote your fair: Use our customizable marketing materials right here.


3. Set up your display in a high traffic area! 


4. Let people know about the sweepstakes opportunity: Invite your shoppers to sign up to win $100 cash for themselves AND win $100 cash for you — the host! The more sign ups you get as a host, the greater chance you have to win. Find the sheet on the marketing materials page here

How to get more shoppers to your table

When is the best timing for a Book Fair

1. Plan it around the holidays: books make great gifts during the holidays like Christmas, Easter, etc! Make sure you give 2 weeks to get your orders and distribute them in time for the holidays. For example, order by December 8 for Christmas this year and March 16 for Easter. 


2. Add it to an already-planned event: do you have a fall festival, VBS, MOPS kick-off event planned? Add your Book Fair to it and let people know you will be there ready to sell some great books at a great discount!

How to set up a Book Fair display

“Keep the display simple and do a giveaway to encourage folks to look at the table.” – CJ Valenti, Book Fair Host 2016


1. Keep it simple: the 10-13 books that come in your display stand up on their own. So, just stand them up on a table and you are ready to go! 


2. Staff the display table: be there and ready to answer questions. Don't forget to hand out your order forms to anybody who you think is interested. 


3. Keep the display up through the week if possible: let people take a look and let them know all the hours they can drop off their completed order form with you. 

How to publicize a Book Fair

Use our customizable, promotional materials: found right here. 


Advice from past hosts:


"Pick one book/resource to highlight during announcement time...in order to draw attention to the quality." - Jana Howson, Book Fair Host 2016


"Do more publicity, for a longer period of time." - Book Fair Host 2017

How to collect payments electronically

"Find a way to collect payment electronically at your display table! A lot of people don't carry cash or check on them." - Naomi Krueger, Book Fair Host 2016, 2017


See if you can find a Square, PayPal, Venmo, or other accounts to take electronic payments. 

How to organize your orders

1. Use your host order form: this excel should make it easy for you to keep track of orders electronically as they come in. 


2. When placing your order: the books and DVDs online are in the same order as your host order form. 


3. Keep track of payments: as your shoppers order from you, make sure to keep track of who has paid. 

How to use your Book Fair for community outreach

1. Community newspaper listings: most community newspapers will let you add information about your Book Fair. 


2. NextDoor: a great way to keep your community in the know! Learn more here


3. Boost a Facebook post: Besides just putting the social media image on your Facebook page, you can spend $25 and boost the post towards people in your zip code! Learn more about how to do this here

Join the mentor program!

We are currently building this program! As a host, if you would like to become a mentor, please email bookfair@sparkhouse.org and let us know that you are interested. 


Mentors will give us their information (email, phone number, and name) and we will give that information to future hosts that need a little help getting their Book Fair off the ground. 

What to do when your Book Fair is over

1. Submit your sweepstakes entries by scanning your sign-up sheet and emailing it to bookfair@sparkhouse.org or mailing a copy of it to Sparkhouse Family Book Fairs, 510 Marquette Avenue, 8th Floor, Minneapolis, MN 55402.


2. Remove yourself from the Book Fair Finder Page.


3. Take our survey to help us improve. 


4. Sign up to host another Book Fair! 

How to get other people on board for your Book Fair

Need help convincing other people at your organization to help you make your Book Fair a success? This hand out is a great way to give them a little information. 


You can show them the digital version of the order form so they can get an idea of what families can order too! 

More advice from past hosts

“I would put the table in an OBVIOUS place, and STAFF it. Offer goodies to make the table irresistible, and then they'll linger.” –Marissa Letscher, Cedar Rapids, IA


“Get the kids involved, when the kids wanted a book, their parents were much more likely to purchase it.” – Mary Beth Smith, Book Fair Host 2015


“You must MAN the table -- no one buys unless a PERSON is there, answering questions, taking orders, talking enthusiastically about the product.” – Book Fair Host 2016


“Pick one book/resource to highlight during announcement time during Sunday service, in order to draw attention to the quality.” – Jana Howson, Book Fair Host 2016


“Keep the display simple and do a giveaway to encourage folks to look at the table.” – CJ Valenti, Book Fair Host 2016


“Make the Book Fair as easily accessible as possible so that families don't have to look hard for what they want.” – Nikoli F., Book Fair Host 2017