Frequently Asked Questions

Who can set up a "Book Sale"?
Authors and illustrators who have signed up with can create a "Book Sale" for their upcoming in-person or virtual school visits.

Why did you create 
We wanted an easy way to conduct a book sale for an author visit that respects the precious time of librarians, educators, and organizers. We also wanted all the book purchases to directly support independent booksellers.

How much does it cost to use your service?
It’s free if enough books are bulk ordered to qualify for free shipping through the preferred ordering channel of the indie bookseller. Otherwise, you may be asked to pay shipping (not to exceed $20) for the service, which we believe is still well worth it.

How does a bulk order qualify for free shipping?
Different publishers/distributors require different things for free shipping to apply. For example, some need an order of at least 15 hardcover books, or they might require the purchase to exceed $150, or something else. It just depends on the particular publisher/distributor, books, and bookseller. If your school visit bulk order does not end up meeting the free shipping requirements, we kindly ask the author to cover that cost (not to exceed $20) via web invoice that can be paid online.

Is there a minimum to meet?
There is no minimum number of book sales required to use our service. We know from experience that it is very hard to predict how many books will be ordered from any given school/group, depending on the school culture and circumstances. Sometimes you sell 5 books, and sometimes you sell 105 books. But if the visit bulk order incurs a shipping charge (not to exceed $20), we ask the author to cover that cost.

What books qualify to sell on AuthorVisitCentral?
The books offered for purchase must be traditionally published titles (in print) that can be obtained by an independent bookseller through typical channels.

What about self-published books?
We cannot support self-published books through AVC. Self-published authors typically sell their own books and don’t need our services, whereas traditionally published authors are often contractually restricted from doing so among other factors. Self-published books also tend to have different profit structures than traditionally published books and don't make business sense for us and our partnerships with indie bookstores.

What is the cancellation policy?
A Book Sale can be cancelled any time before the first book order is placed. Once a book has been ordered on your Book Sale page, it cannot be cancelled. However, if your event is postponed, we can move the purchasing cutoff date accordingly.

Why should I care about supporting indie bookstores?
Can’t I get books faster and cheaper on Amazon? We hear you! Even the most shop-local-conscious-person has succumb to the convenience of Amazon (especially in a pinch). BUT when we realized the treasure that local indies are to their communities, to families, to art, to discussion and thinking for ourselves, we found something worth saving. So, we wanted to create a convenient way for author visit book sales to channel to these indie bookstores more often than not. ALL orders from support indie bookstores!

What will the price of my book be?
The final price of your book includes the cost of the book, sales tax, and the fees associated with our service. For example, a typical hardcover picture book with an MSRP of $17.99 will be sold for a final/total price of $19.79 through our service. A paperback book with an MSRP of $5.99 is sold for final/total price of $6.89 on our platform.


Does a portion of the proceeds go back to the school?
Yes! We are rolling out an incentive program that further encourages schools to send home the book sale flier to ALL students who will be hearing the author speak so those families can have the opportunity to purchase a signed book. AVC will give back to the school $1.00 for every hardcover purchase and .50 for each paperback purchase.


What if the books don't arrive in time?
While we make absolutely every effort to ensure the ordered books get delivered to the school BEFORE your event, there is always a chance for delays beyond our control such as: weather delays in shipping, backorders, damaged books, etc. But to remedy this rare happening, we suggest authors and illustrators ALWAYS travel with blank bookplates that can be signed, personalized, and left behind with the event organizer to stick in the books when they eventually arrive. (Shanda always carries these clear adhesive labels for bookplates just in case.)

What if books arrive damaged?
If books arrive damaged, contact us ASAP at We will contact the bookseller to order replacements. *Authors, remember to bring book plates (for you to sign and leave behind) just in case your event has passed by the time the replacement books arrive at the school.

Why not have schools partner with their local bookstores themselves?
That's typically what schools have done up to this point, and it's great! BUT many schools don't have an indie bookstore nearby, and even when they do there's a good bit of legwork involved that most organizers don't have time for. Or even worse, some schools end up placing their bulk book orders on Amazon because it's ... easy, cheap, quick, and convenient. All that is SO hard for indie bookstores to compete with. AuthorVisitCentral is our attempt to level that playing field a bit by providing an easy, convenient way to buy books from indie booksellers when authors come to visit!

Why use AVC instead of a publisher's distributor?
While going directly through the distributor will always be the cheapest way, AuthorVisitCentral makes it easy on the overloaded educator/coordinator (no money handling, no accounting, no phone calls to distributor for set-up/follow-up), allows parents to purchase signed books with credit card instantly, supports indies and puts a portion of the proceeds back into the school.

Can you tell us more about the Book Sale Fliers you provide?
After you set up a Book Sale on, we will provide a custom Book Sale flier PDF for you to email to the school of your upcoming visit. The school will need to print and send them home with students. The flier tells families about your upcoming visit and how they can order books to be signed on the day of the event. The flier can also be emailed. Here are some examples of the custom flier: 

Bonnie Clark Author Visit FlierChristi J. Whitney Author Visit Flier


How early can I set up a book sale?
You can set up a Book Sale up to one year in advance, although we suggest a couple of months.

How does AVC make money on a free service?
For e-commerce simplicity, we decided not to charge authors to use our service, but we do ask authors to cover the shipping fee if one applies. We ask the book stores we work with for a 20% bulk discount. So, when people purchase your books (at normal price) on AVC there's some money left over to help cover processing fees, administration, and giving back to the school. It isn't a perfect science as we won't profit on every book sale, but our hope is that it will average out to our benefit ... and yours.

What if I have more questions?
Feel free to contact us at

What areas can AVC service?
We can serve authors (with books available in the U.S.) who are visiting schools that are located in the continental United States.

Do I have to use your book sale info flier?
No. If you would rather design your own flier to tell students' families about your visit and your books, go for it! Just remember to include the website, event code, and cutoff date.

I'm a school librarian, can I use AVC for book sales for when I bring authors to my school?
Our system is set up for authors to input their information and set up the book sales, BUT please contact us at and we will be more than happy to "invite" your author to use our service for your upcoming visit.

I'm a booking agent, can I use AVC on my author's behalf for their school visit book sales?
Yes! Email us at to initially set this up.

So, just to clarify ... I can do a school visit in a rural area (nowhere near an indie bookstore) and use this service (which will support the closest indie wherever that may be) because the books are shipped directly to the school?
That is correct! It's 2020! Book stores CAN drop ship books.

Can I request a particular bookstore to fulfill the orders?
Sure, we would be happy to reach out to your preferred store near the area of your school visit if you have one.

How do you choose a bookstore?
We plug in the address of the school visit into and visit the websites of a few of the closest stores. We like to choose a bookstore that not only carries children's books, but also offers children's programing (such as story times or teen events etc.) and hosts children's authors in their store.


Can this service work for virtual visits?
Absolutely! Since the Covid-19 pandemic, we made sure that we could serve those types of visits as well. Just choose "yes" for virtual visit when you "Add A New Book Sale".