These tips will help you order and sell books for our author event. If you are working with a bookstore or other bookseller, please give them this information. Also, please make sure they order at least one month in advance. Otherwise, you might not get the books you want.
Tips on Ordering
To find out which of my books are still available for ordering, please see the listing of my titles on Amazon.com. Books being sold new by Amazon are still in print.
Picture books. My children’s picture books can usually be obtained most easily and reliably from my publishers. Here is the contact info for ordering current picture books:Simon & Schuster / Atheneum — 800-223-2336Albert Whitman — 800‑255‑7675Pan Asian/EduStar — 800‑909‑8088
Please do not count on wholesalers and distributors to have adequate supplies of my picture books. In any case, to avoid last‑minute glitches, please order at least one month in advance.
All other books. All my other in‑print books for children or adults are published by my own Shepard Publications and its imprint Skyhook Press. The books are available wholesale in the U.S. from Ingram and/or Baker & Taylor and can be ordered by any bookseller. I do not sell books directly.
Tips for Schools
Selling books for an author visit not only supports the author but also enhances the value of the visit for your students. A book autographed by an author seen in person is a constant reminder of the excitement of reading. Book sales can also provide supplemental funds to your school.
An initial set of books should be ordered at least two months in advance of my visit. These books should be circulated among the teachers to read to students. This kind of preparation is essential to the success of an author visit. At least half the value of the visit comes from the students’ anticipation of seeing an author whose books they have heard or read. And you can do few things worse to an author than put him or her in front of a “cold” audience!
Books to sell should be ordered at least a month in advance. Unsold books can be returned later for full credit, though shipping costs are your own. Most publishers, wholesalers, and distributors, and many bookstores, will grant discounts for quantity and/or educational buying. (With my publishers, be sure to say you’re ordering for an author event.) These discounts can be used to earn money for the school or can be passed on as savings to students.
Books should be presold. It is not enough just to announce to students that the books will be available on that day! It is almost always parents who buy picture books, not students! Create an order form that includes the following:
- Announcement of the visit
- Titles, brief descriptions, and prices
- Fill‑in lines for purchaser’s name and classroom
- Fill‑in line for who to autograph to (not how to autograph!)
This form should be sent home to parents for them to send back with payment before the day of my visit. However, there should be extra books on hand for sale on that day and after.
If you don’t want to handle book sales by yourself, you can often find a local bookseller to order books, create an order form, and so on. But please realize that you must still help the bookseller by sending the form home and collecting orders.
Jan. 12, 2007