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Selling books at Live Literature events

Find advice and information about book sales at Live Literature events

Book sales and events are an important source of income for writers and getting a book signed can be a memorable experience for a reader. We would always encourage book sales at Live Literature events where appropriate, but know that this may not always be possible and that you know your audience best.

Organising book sales

Ordering through a publisher

Organisations can often order books directly from the author's publisher on a sale or return basis. This means that although you have to buy the books upfront, you can return any unsold and undamaged copies for a refund. Discounts of up to 35% can also be available if you order directly, but make sure you agree that with the publisher in question before you commit to buying the books.

Your local bookshop

You local bookshop may be happy to organise bookselling for you at the event. Get in touch with them well in advance and provide as much information as possible. Check in advance if they will send staff to run sales on the day or if they will need your help.

Ask the author

Most authors will be able to bring books with them to sell at the event if you are not able to organise book sales. Even if the author brings the books, it's helpful if your organisation manages the actual selling process so your author can sign books and talk to the audience more easily.

If your school follows a cashless model, please let the author know in advance and work with them to make alternative arrangements for any pupils hoping to purchase books.

Top tips for book sales

What if book sales aren't appropriate?

In some cases, it's not appropriate to sell books as part of an event. Most authors will appreciate this, but it's important to let them know as early as possible in order to manage expectations. Even if you can't sell books, you can still support the author in other ways if appropriate: