Book Fairs by the Numbers

A school book fair set up and ready to go

Have you ever wondered exactly what goes into one of our school book fairs?  You might be surprised!


 

School iconFairs, Schools, & Students

Back in 2022, we changed the format of our bookfairs from staff members bringing carloads of books to a school to a more streamlined process that requires us to rent a small box truck to move all our books and equipment from one school to the next.  Since then, we've held 18 school book fairs at 11 different schools across 2 districts.  That means that we've brought book fairs to more than 4,000 students (some of them more than once!).

 

Moeny iconSpending & Earning

On average, each student within a school spends less than $20 ($17.87 to be precise).  But small spending quickly adds up—with 6220 individual sales, it's easy to see how young readers and their families managed to spent $108,611.58 at our fairs in the last two years!  Since 25% of every book fair transaction goes back to the school, this means our fairs have generated a total of $27,760 in book credit for their respective schools.  

 

School iconTraveling, Set Up, and Staffing

Of course, the key to generating that kind of income for the schools is having the right books and bookish goodies on hand, and that takes serious effort!  We've carried, loaded, and unloaded more than 450 boxes of books for these fairs.  On average, it takes 25 boxes of books to fill up a fair when we first set up, with additional deliveries throughout the week to make sure it's just as fun on the last day as it is on the first.  This has meant 18 trucks rented (we're on very good terms with the local UHaul folks) and around 126 hours just on unloading and setting up, then packing up and reloading those trucks.  However, one thing our fairs don't require is staffing from our host schools.  Zero volunteers and zero school staff members required to set up and run the fairs, though there's often a little extra supervision around to help when youngsters are discovering the fair for the first time.  Instead, we send our booksellers to keep displays straightened and restocked, answer questions, run the register and generally make the experience a great one for students and staff alike.  It does mean that we've put in somewhere in the neighborhood of 650 person-hours in the last two years to make these fairs happen, but it's work we're glad to do!

 

books iconBestselling Books & More!

At all our fairs, we try to make books and education the focus, so even our non-book items are book or school related (such as character plush toys from kids' favorite series, journals, book-themed stickers, science kits, bookmarks, pens and pencils, and more).  Bringing along non-book items allows us to make sure we have something for students at every price point, even if they only have 50 cents to spend, and of course they're fun for kids to discover as well.  Some of kids' favorite book fair "extras" include vinyl stickers (219 sold), journals (303 sold), erasers (665 sold), and the clear favorite, spy pens, which include both a regular pen and a marker with invisible ink that only appears under a blacklight, which the pen also includes.  Any guesses as to how many of these we sold?  So far, it's a whopping 1109, and probably would have been more except they've occasionally been backordered during a book fair season.

Far and away, however, our bestselling items are books!  But the question we're always asked is "what's your book fair bestseller?"  It has varied widely across schools, and of course we see brand new releases fly to the top of our bestseller list every time something exciting is released during a fair (we can't wait to bring Dog Man: The Scarlet Shedder to our fair next week!).  But after much deliberation and record-searching, we have compiled a list of young readers top 10 book fair favorites.  See any familiar titles on the list?

Tied for #10

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 Tied for #7: 

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#6

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#5

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#4

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#3

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#2

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#1

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