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I tried to send this to Joanne directly but it came back--who knows why!!
Anyway, for what it's worth here's my opinon:

Hi Joanne

I can understand your frustration with the Scholastic Book Fair and have a
few thoughts.  I've done several fairs with them and other companies and
remain convinced that Scholastic is the best overall.  We just finished one
at one of my schools and had the particular products you mentioned.  Sounds
like you had a Books on Tour fair, at least that is what they call them here.

We always have a meeting with the rep about 2-3 weeks in advance at which
time we can stipulate anything we do or do not want. Perfect opportunity to
tell them to soft pedal the Goosebumps or anything else you'd like to
de-emphasize.  As for the titles not being on the folder, I used to get
frustrated with that too and try to type a list of extras.  But I've come to
think of the flyer as an advertisement, just a way of letting people know
what kinds of things to expect.  People rarely have enough time to see
everything a store or library has to offer so it's really no different in
that respect.  And, you can bring attention to items you want to feature by
prominently displaying them.

This school usually has a Scholastic fair in the fall and a different one in
the spring.  Regardless of which company they use in the spring, everyone
(parents, teachers, students) all comment on how much better they like the
Scholastic fair.  It's visually more appealling and I beleive the  quality
of the books, overall, is far better, Goosebumps notwithstanding.  Profits
are about the same, maybe a little higher with Scholastic, in spite of the
fact that their profit percentage is lower, which I think  speaks to quality
and appeal as well.

I don't have any connection with Scholastic but just thought I'd share my
reactions with you for what it's worth.  Bottom line for me was allowing
myself to change my own expectations of the book fair and how it should run.
I'm glad I did.

Good luck,

Mary Helen

Mary Helen Fischer, District Librarian
Buckeye Union School District
Shingle Springs CA

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