School book fair companies. There are a TON of them. You probably have heard of very few of them, though. Which ones are the best? What are people saying about the different options like Scholastic Book Fairs? Do you think your only option is Scholastic? I’ve scoured the internet and gotten lots of feedback from school librarians and library media specialists to find some of the best book fairs for schools. Whether you’re a first year librarian trying to find your best option, a veteran librarian looking to see if there might be a better option, or another school official trying to organize your next school book fair, you’ll find some great ideas!
Book Fairs For Schools
In trying to compile this list, I spoke with several librarians across the country to try to get a national view including more region-specific options. I also include book fair companies for public school book fairs and Christian book fairs for schools. Let’s start with some of the more popular nationwide book fair companies:
Scholastic – the name is pretty much synonymous with book fairs. It’s the book fair that most schools and school librarians have had. Heck, it’s the book fair that YOU probably had when you were in school. It’s the most widely available and used book fair company in the country. A book fair company doesn’t just get to be the most used company for no reason.
What do people say about them?
- large selection of books
- lots of fun toys and book accessories
- Scholastic book fair toolkit and book fair theme ideas provided
- responsive reps
- register sent for ringing up sales
- increasing availability of books in other languages for bilingual school book fairs
- eWallet and online book fair buying
- ability to donate funds for needy students
- available nationwide
- caters to elementary, middle and high school
- ***UPDATE 2022/23: fuel surcharge is being added as a fee***
- sometimes selection is hit or miss (possibly caused by supply chain issues)
- reps can sometimes be aggressive if you switch to other school book fair companies
- not everyone likes how the cases of books are organized
- setup and takedown can be time-intensive
- selection of bilingual books isn’t nearly as robust as some would like
Literati Book Fairs (acquired Follett Book Fairs)
Literati is one of the newer names on the market. They acquired Follett Book Fairs, so if you’re wondering why Follett is not on this list, it’s no mistake. Literati is one of the newer names in terms of book fairs, but they took over and, as a few have commented, improved upon the Follett Book Fairs. Some are even calling it THE alternative to Scholastic book fairs. I’m a big fan of the name myself. This is another nationwide book fair company.
With it being so new, though, it does make you wonder if it’s like all of those cable companies that are always changing names because of bad reviews. It seems that that is not the case. For one, Literati boasts that you can set up and take down the book fair in 45 minutes!
One of the things that I’m most impressed with with Literati is that they seem to be readers of this blog! They reached out to me to clarify a few comments, and since first publishing this blog, I have had to remove most of the cons because they have fixed the problems! They listen, and I can get behind a company that listens!
What do people say about them, though?
- fast and easy setup and takedown
- quality books that kids love
- wider variety of books than Scholastic
- printable barcodes for “gift cards”/eWallet (for parents to put money in a kid’s name)
- profits can be transferred right into Titlewave if you use them as a vendor
- few extra “junk” items to distract from books
- higher sales
- online fair options
- variety of rewards options for schools
- one of the best, easy-to-use cash registers in the school book fair business!
- prices are higher than Scholastic book fairs
- some have said that their boxes have come disorganized and clunky
- not as well-known because of the name change
- only available for elementary school book fairs
This is one of the newer school book fair companies, but they have been getting some rave reviews from people who have hosted their fairs with them. This company is currently serving states mostly in the Southeast.
What are people saying?
- great selection of elementary titles
- they take care of setup and takedown
- “we LOVED their book fair!”
- offer both secular and faith-based book fairs / Christian book fairs
- out of some popular titles (supply chain issues just like Literati and Scholastic)
- “register” is a tablet and cash box
- no high school book fair option
- not easy to move as boxes are not on wheels and are quite heavy
This is a lesser-known option, but one that people should know about. How does it work? You work with your local Barnes and Noble store to organize a book fair. The fair is hosted AT the store and online. You get a code for families to use when purchasing books and a percentage of net proceeds goes to your school!
What do people say about these book fairs?
- no setup or takedown!
- easy to promote
- people can buy from the entire BN store including books, music, games and more!
- not as easy to get as many sales
- people must drive to your nearest Barnes and Noble and remember to use the code
Paperpie Book Fairs (Formerly Usborne Books Book Fairs)
Paperpie Books, formerly Usborne, is getting to be a pretty popular company in terms of booksellers. They’re an indepedent publishing company, and of the book fair companies, they do them a little differently. Paperpie book fairs are all virtual book fairs. That is to say that they are all online. If you’re looking for an online-only option, this may be a good choice for you.
What are people saying?
- good quality books
- no setup or takedown because it’s virtual
- free books and cash rewards options
- virtual only, not as fun
- not as many popular titles because it is limited to Usborne books only
I55 Book Fairs – Christian Book Fairs (Secular as well!)
I55 is a Texas-based book fair company that has been getting a lot of good reviews. It is a Christian book company, but as the title says, they have plenty of secular books as well. So much so that many of the reviews state that they made the most profit from this book fair company. There are very few Christian book fair companies for schools, and this is one of the highest rated ones.
What are people saying?
- Christian and secular books
- books do not need to be vetted / screened before being displayed
- highly profitable fairs
- easy company to work with compared to other companies
- books sent in boxes, not wheeled carts
- few marketing materials provided compared to other fairs
Check your local independent bookstores! Many have reported that their local bookstores have been very helpful in hosting book fairs. Why is this on a list of book fair companies for schools since it’s not really a company per se? It’s one of the most overlooked options! Independent bookstores are so important, and any way that you can partner with them is a win in my book.
What do people say about them?
- it’s for a local business in your community
- some offer in-store, virtual and in-school options
- some have reported making more from this option than other school book fair options
- not always able to do in-school book fairs or virtual book fair
- not as robust of a structure as the more established nationwide options
Books Are Fun Book Blast
This is not strictly speaking a book fair in the traditional sense, but it gets books into kids’ hands! It’s a fundraiser with no book sales and no books for students to choose. Students are asked to ask friends and family members to donate to the fundraiser. Whether a student gets donations or not, EVERY student gets a book from the fundraiser. Students can earn more books from donations and can earn money for the school and teachers to spend on books too.
What do people say about them?
- no set up to sell books
- EVERY student gets a book
- goal is to get books into kids’ hands for their home bookshelves
- still a good fundraiser
- less student choice in books like in in a book fair
- not a standard book fair
This is a book fair company mostly serving Canada but parts of the USA are also part of their footprint. Their book fairs are all virtual making them a great option for if you want something a little more hands-off and less involved.
- virtual – easier to manage!
- thousands of quality books available
- great for Canada and the Northern USA
- great for middle and high school book fairs
- may be difficult to create buzz with it being completely virtual
Book Fairs With Little or No Reviews Readily Available
There are many other book fair companies that I haven’t been able to readily find reviews of from actual people other than the company websites. Since I don’t know the people who gave the website reviews, I don’t want to include their reviews here.
Other book fair companies:
- The Reading Warehouse
- Love My Library Book Fair (this is actually part of Read-A-Thon which I talk about below)
- Lowry’s Books and More Book Fair (seems they may no longer be offering book fairs)
- Andersons Bookfair Company (local to Illinois)
- Best Book Fairs (New England and parts of New York)
Spanish Book Fairs
Scholastic book fairs have books in Spanish. The selection is okay with some authentic Spanish books by Spanish-speaking authors. Getting restocks can be spotty.
There is a new book fair company that I am really excited about:
Up until now, they have focused primarily on selling books through their website with packages focusing on age ranges. They specialize in Spanish books, but they also have some English books. The books that they have available on their website are excellent. Far more variety than Scholastic. Since this is a new book fair company, they have little information about where they will host fairs, and reviews are not currently readily available.
Don’t want a book fair but need a fundraiser?
Read-A-Thon School Fundraiser
This is another one that is actually not a school book fair company. Many, when looking for school book fair companies, are looking for ones to help fundraise for the school or library. Read-A-Thon makes raising money for your school really easy and is just what it says: a readathon to raise money based on pages or books read.
- Great fundraiser
- Easy to do
- No setup, well setup in 10 minutes!
- Doesn’t require students to have money like a book fair
- Encourages actual reading!
- Keep 75-80% of profits
- online and printable timers to record reading
- many report it being their best fundraiser ever
- well-organized company
- Some have reported that it can be difficult to promote depending on your school population
- students can lie about time/pages read
- isn’t an actual book fair
Find a Fair For Your School
What is the best option for you? A nationwide book fair company or something more local? There are many other regional options including:
- Crane Book Fairs based in Alabama
- many more! Search Google/Bing “Book Fair Company near me”
More About School Book Fairs
Conclusion: Best School Book Fair Companies
There are a variety of options for your school book fair. This is by no means an exhaustive list as there are many regional options, as mentioned above. Nationwide book fair companies like Scholastic and Literati have their pluses and minuses, and so do book fairs hosted virtually or in-stores by major chains like Barnes and Noble or with your independent book store.
With book fairs generally put on the plate of school librarians, knowing what your options are and just simply knowing that you have options can help you make the choice that is most manageable to you.
What have your experiences with some of these companies been? Let everyone know in the comments!