Preschool Book Fair
This post is for team members on how to run a preschool book fair with Usborne Books & More. If you’re interested in having a book fair at your preschool, head over to Becky’s Book Corner to learn more.
Book lady confession: I LOVE PRESCHOOL BOOK FAIRS. For real. To watch preschool faces light up when they see the book fair set up is simply the best. Whether you have been in this business for a few weeks or a few years, you CAN do a preschool book fair. You don’t even “need” a ton of inventory on hand to make it work. While this training video is longer than most of my videos, a preschool book fair isn’t super complex. It’s fun and easy! Ready to dive in?
Setting a Meeting
Getting in the door can be the hardest part of this process. Preschool directors are busy. Plan to be diligent with your follow up and set aside your fears of making the phone call.
- Try to find a connection to the preschool. Do your kids go there? Your friend’s kids?
- Do your homework. Go to the preschool’s website. Get an idea of the age of their students, how large the school might be, take a peek at their school calendar for upcoming events, look up the names of the staff members.
- Make the phone call to the preschool director. Ahhh… scary, right?! You can do it. Simply introduce yourself: “Hi Preschool Director! This is Becky Launder, my friend Erin referred me your way. I work with Usborne Books & More. Have you heard of Usborne before?”
- If they are familiar with Usborne, make sure to ask if they have a team member that they are working with on their preschool book fair. If they are, find another preschool to contact. If they haven’t heard of Usborne Let the conversation flow from there.
Yay! You have a meeting set! Now, let’s get prepared! Know your goal. You want to walk away from the meeting with dates set for the preschool book fair so make sure you know your availability.
- Look professional and bring a tote bag of your favorite preschool books.
- I also recommend brining a preschool book fair packet. The packet can be simple. Plan to include a full catalog, business card and any promotional materials about what we offer.
- During the meeting, be sure to introduce yourself, thank the director for her time, provide a quick overview of Usborne Books & More, share the different programs we offer (CFAC, Literacy for a Lifetime, RFTS and of course – book fairs! Emphasize the 50% back in free books and the opportunity for the teachers to make a wish list for their class! Most preschool directors are most excited about that.
- Let them get their hands on the books. Pass them the books that you’ve brought with you and let them fall in love with each title as they flip through the pages.
- Ask some questions: Are you currently running a book fair? When do you have the most parent traffic (pick up and drop off times, upcoming family events)? Where would be the best space to set up a book fair? How many students are enrolled? What are their ages? How many classrooms do you have?
- Set a date. Seal the deal by asking when the best time would be to schedule an upcoming preschool book fair.
- Thank the director for her time and offer her a book of her choice from your tote bag as a token of your appreciation!
Book Fair Prep
Getting ready for the book fair is an important part of your planning process.
- Provide your preschool with catalogs to easily create wish lists. Make sure they have the wish lists prepared for you before the start of the book fair.
- Create fun parent letters announcing the book fair hours and instructions to shop online to send home with the preschoolers. Also, provide the school with flyers that can be posted on the doors of the classrooms or bulletin boards reminding parents about the book fair.
- Consider setting up a small display of books to keep in the school’s lobby or near the check in and out sheets to generate excitement about the book fair.
- Based on the ages of the kids and size of the school, plan what inventory you will bring and map out your book fair set up.
- Start gathering the supplies you’ll need for the book fair. Don’t forget catalogs, order forms, signage, a square reader, change for cash and bags.
During the Preschool Book Fair
Yay! It’s time for the book fair. Get ready to have some fun!
- Plan to arrive early to set up.
- Greet parents and students as they arrive. Casually let them know, “we’re doing our book fair today!”
- Mornings are often slower than the afternoons at book fairs. Don’t be surprised.
- After parents pick out their books, make sure to ask them if they would like to purchase a book for their child’s teacher.
- I use square to take credit card payments. I also accept cash. I don’t usually take checks.
- If a parent would like to order books, I always take their order on a paper order form then process it when I close the book fair. I don’t recommend sending them to the website when they get home to order – they’ll forget!
- Book fairs are not the place to mention joining your team or booking a party. Your focus is to get books purchased for the school.
- Always thank parents for their purchases and remind them that 50% of their purchase goes back to the school in free books.
After the Book Fair
You did it! Congrats on a successful book fair! The hardest part is over, now it is just time to wrap it up and get the books ordered!
- After the in-person book fair finishes up, I email the director to thank them for having me and let them know the total book fair sales and how much they’ve earned in free books. I usually remind them that their free book total needs to include tax. I urge them to get me their order quickly so I can process any orders.
- I often leave the online book fair open for a few extra days while the school compiles their order.
- Last step is to close the online eFair, process the school’s reward order and close the book fair in OrderPro.
Here are the two fliers mentioned in the video: