Frequently Asked Questions

Does this service work for virtual author visits?
Yes! Because our service is web-based, it is perfect for supplying signed books after virtual author visits to students who are learning at their school building. Unfortunately, we are not able to supply books to students learning remotely from individual homes. Authors send signed bookplates to the school after the book sale closes.

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, organizers, and authors. We also wanted all the book purchases to directly support independent booksellers.

How much does it cost to use your service?
Our fee is $30 per school visit book sale. This covers our administration time setting up the sale and flyer, communicating with the bookstore, following book stock, web (hosting, maintenance, and development) costs, following up with orders, etc. We will email you an invoice to pay online after you submit your school visit book sale information to us.

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 hard to predict how many books will be ordered from a school. Sometimes you sell 5 books, and sometimes you sell 105 books. 

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?
As of now, we don't support self-published books through AVC (but who knows what the future holds). 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 A----? We hear you! Even the most shop-local-conscious-person has succumb to the convenience of A----- (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 preserving. 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 one of our preferred 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 shipping. For example, most typical hardcover picture books with an MSRP of $17.99 will be sold for a final/total price of $19.99 through our service. Most paperback books with an MSRP of $5.99 are sold for final/total price of $7.99 on our platform.

Does a portion of the proceeds go back to the school?
For every 20 books sold in a book sale, the school will receive a free book either for the library or to be given away to a student who couldn't order one. 

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 (in-person) 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 bookplates (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 A----- because it's ... easy, cheap, quick, and convenient. All that is SO hard for indie bookstores to compete with. Author Visit Central 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 a credit card instantly, supports indies and earns free books for 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. The school will need to print and send the fliers home with students and include it on any home digital communications as well. The flier tells families about your upcoming visit and how they can order books to be signed. Here is a sample of the custom flier: 

Flyer sample


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.

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 feel free to recommend our service to any traditionally published author in hopes that they sign up!

What bookstores are used to fulfill the orders?
We have a list of preferred indie bookstores that we regularly work with.

How should authors talk about AVC in their school visit materials?
Maybe something like this...

"Schools are not required to participate in a book sale, but it’s much appreciated! I like using for book sales because it’s easy on everyone, web-based, supports indie bookstores, and for every 20 books sold your school will get a free book for the library or to be given away to a student who wasn't able to order one. I will supply the info flyer. All the school needs to do is distribute it."


“If your school is willing to participate in an online book sale (that I set up through, your school can earn a free book (for the library or a student that couldn't order one) for every 20 books sold. I will provide the book ordering info flyer so families can easily purchase signed books (online) if they wish to.”

I am an author signed up to use AVC, and I have an upcoming visit scheduled. What do I do next?
Once you have a date for your visit, log onto and “Create A New Book Sale” to enter the details of the visit and decide on a 5 or 6-digit code. Once we receive the info, we’ll generate a flyer for you and send you a linked PDF that you can send to the school. The school can distribute the fliers via backpacks and/or email.

How do I know if my books will work with AVC?
If a book can be found on and is also offered at a discount on that site, then it is good to go! If a book cannot be found there, then we will not be able to obtain it. If a book is available on but it's not shown with a discount, then its pricing structure doesn't work with our indie bookstore partner terms. 

My book cover photo is not uploading. It shows as a little question mark in a box. How can I fix this?
It takes a while for the photo uploads to finalize. After an hour or so a hard refresh (Control/Command+Shift+R) usually fixes this problem.

I created a visit book sale, but the closing date is wrong. Help!
We manually adjust the closing date for every visit, so that date likely will be incorrect until we go in and fix it. After you create a visit, we will soon make our adjustments and send you confirmation and the flier.

What if there are no sales?
This has happened to me personally and other authors before. Unfortunately, we are always at the mercy of the schools and how/if they distribute the fliers to students' families. But you can be sure that you did everything right on your end ... you made wonderful books and provided an easy way to obtain them. 

Can you provide a Spanish version of the flier?
Yes, we can! We use Google Translate, so it's not always perfect, but pretty close. Authors simply need to let me know if the school they are visiting has this need. 

Can you use a bookstore of my choice?
You are welcome to recommend our website/service to any bookstore you like, and if they like the sounds of it, they can contact us to become one of our preferred bookstores that we source books from! We have excellent working relationships set up with these bookstores already.