FAQS FOR SCHOOLS
We already host a book fair. Why should I switch to Brightstory?
The value of Brightstory is threefold:
1. The uniqueness of book selection. Our ongoing quest is to dig through all the amazing books out there so we can help families discover new titles that they might not ever come across on their own — or highlight popular ones that we think just can't be missed. As educators, you're providing incredible value to your community by giving them the opportunity to find new books that will enrich their lives, their relationships, and their learning. We also treasure our opportunity to showcase a broad diversity of experiences, identities, and abilities and provide both mirrors and windows for students. Learn more about our book selections.
2. Our low-touch, easy-to-manage online book fair model. Brightstory fairs are 100% digital: families browse our interactive catalog online, place their orders online, and their books are shipped directly to their homes. That means no setup, no volunteer recruitment, no lost class time, no cash at school, and no distribution logistics. You'll just need one point person willing to spread the word through whatever marketing channels you currently use, like email and social media.
3. We build connections. We don't just want kids to find books they love — we want those books to help families connect in a bigger way. Help them get to know each other. Help them start real conversations. Check out our Parent-Child book recommendations.
When is the best time to host a virtual book fair?
For fall book fairs, October through mid-November is a sweet spot between the flurry of September and the holiday rush. Plus, Brightstory book fairs are an excellent way for families to get their holiday shopping done early. In spring, we find that a post-spring break fair generally gets the most traction, but you can choose whatever timeline might work best for your school.
How much does it cost to host a Brightstory book fair?
Nothing! Brightstory fairs are free to host and we provide all the materials you'll need to digitally promote it. The only thing you'll even need to print is an optional (though highly recommended!) carpool handout.
How much work does hosting involve?
We know how hard school staffs are working, so we want hosting a book fair to be as low-touch for schools as possible. The only effort required from schools is spreading the word through emails, handouts and messaging in your existing communications channels. To make that super easy, we provide a full marketing toolkit, so all you need to do is copy and paste our suggested text and images to create all the marketing you'll need for your fair to be a success.
Who should be in charge of the book fair from my school?
This might vary from school to school. For many, the head of school, chief administrator, or librarian could be the champion behind a fair, while at others, the Parent Association might take the lead. Since the most important part of hosting a digital fair is getting the word out, you'll just want to be sure that the person in charge of your community communications (sending emails, newsletters, social media) is on board and ready to support the fair in those areas.
How much money does our school receive back?
During your book fair, you’ll earn 20% of the pre-tax total on all current season catalog titles, plus 15% back on any additional purchases from our site. Throughout the rest of the year, you’ll earn 15% on all purchases affiliated with your school.
Can we use our dollars to shop for more books from Brightstory?
Of course! Once you receive your check, simply place an online order for your school library. (Or contact us when your fair ends and we can let you know how much it generated.) Orders placed directly by schools will always earn 20% back on all purchases, whether it's within your book fair window or not.
How can I promote Brightstory and my book fair?
Leading up to your fair, you can use all the tips and materials in our marketing toolkit to help you spread the word. But just like Amazon Smile and grocery store gift cards, Brightstory is a fundraising opportunity you can take advantage of year round. If you have a page on your website that details ways to help support the school, adding a link to Brightstory will give families one more way to give back.
When will we receive our donation dollars from our book fair?
Once the 30-day return window after your fair is over, we'll send you a check for the total amount of your donations. For purchases made throughout the rest of the year, the totals will be tallied at the end of the year and a separate check will be distributed.
FAQS FOR PARENTS
How much is shipping?
We want every family to be able to participate and order the right number of books for them, whether that's one or 100 — and that means we can't let shipping costs get in the way. All Brightstory orders ship via a special book mail category so we get the best rates possible, and then we subsidize a portion of those rates to get them even lower for our customers. We offer flat rate shipping of $2 for orders under $10, $3 for orders of $10-25, $5 for order of $25-75, and free shipping for all orders over $75.
When will I receive my books?
Orders placed during a school's book fair will typically ship out at the end of the two-week book fair window so they all arrive around the same time. Orders placed outside a book fair will usually ship within seven days. Estimated delivery is typically 2-8 days after shipping. We work hard to process and ship orders as quickly as possible, but can occasionally be delayed by publisher or distributor issues out of our control.
What if I don't like a book I purchased?
We want you to be totally wowed by every Brightstory book that ends up on your shelves, but we know it's harder to shop without a chance to flip through the pages yourself. We offer 30-day returns on all purchases, for any reason. We just ask that the book still be in the same condition in which you received it. To begin your return, please email us with your order number at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that returned items will not result in donation dollars for your school.
Where do I tell you what school I'm affiliated with?
During the checkout process, you'll be asked for your school name so that your order can be tied back to their account.
Why is my school name listed in my shipping address?
Don't worry, your books will be shipped straight to your home. We keep your school name tied to your order all the way through to make sure they get credit for your generous support!
My school isn't hosting a book fair. Can I still shop Brightstory?
Absolutely! Brightstory is a great way to raise money for your school all year long. You can shop the books on brightstory.org any time and your school will receive a percentage back on every order: 20% during your book fairs and 15% on all other orders.