Subscribe to SLJ
Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Imagine Nation bookfairs

Imagine bookfairs done differently. Jason Johnson visited my school last spring to share information about Imagine Nation Books School Book Fairs. You might know the company for their corporate book fairs at hospitals and corporations. If you click through the About Us pages, you’ll recognize their history in the industry. Now they are reaching out to more schools. Have you heard about them?

Key points Jason mentioned (but which could vary according to your local rep):

  • They will have a team onsite to setup your event and will stay until its completion.
  • Point of Sale System will be provided at each fair for those who want to use it. (Does that mean a cash register?)
  • An amount of merchandise will be awarded to the school at each event simply for hosting the event. These items can be used as free books for teachers or however host should decide. 
  • Posters, flyers, and email announcements will be provided prior to the event to promote it. 
  • Imagine Nation may bring the startup cash to be used as change for the event. (remember this is contingent upon your local rep) Imagine! No more running to the grocery store or gas station to get the 1’s, 5’s, quarters, nickels, dimes, and pennies needed the night before your fair. Or is that just me?
  • Shopping bags may be provided. 
  • Flexible Rebates awarded with the host deciding on the rebate. An example would be all cash, all books, or a combination of both.
  • No Contract! 
  • Host is not held liable for any lost, stolen, or damaged items for the event.
  • Employee and Key Volunteers discounts may be offered.
  • There are no delayed payments. The rebate will be paid at close of the event provided the sponsor is on the premises to accept checks, books, etc. 
  • An Imagine Nation Books team will break down the event and assist in moving back any fixtures moved for the event. 

Okay, this seems like someone else is coming in and doing most of the work. Some of the features are the same as the other company out there. I think I need more information. What do the books look like? What is their average price? Are parents happy? Do they provide marketing, decorations, and advertising tools? I don’t believe they have a video. What else is different? How large are their fairs? How many titles are shipped? How many fairs can the local company support simultaneously? Are they located across the USA? Do they provide cash registers? Are they charging me a $30 fee for gas even when gas prices have fallen to their lowest levels in 4 years? Do they process credit and debit cards?

I’m in the midst of planning a HUGE bookfair with the other company right now. I expect it will be a great success because I have that student crew of over 200 students working, planning, advertising, etc. Am I tempted to check out the other company? Yes, but this fair I’m focusing on my good relationship with the other company. We’ll see how sales go, whether the books are affordable to my students, and what the parent response is. 

I’m interested in how many other people have hosted both types of book fairs. Here is a response from one librarian I know:

Several people have asked for my opinion of Imagine Nation Book Fairs done by Jason Johnson.  We were his first Metro school and had our fair last week.  Overall I am very pleased.  They set the fair up and packed it up.  We had extra cashier table items, books, etc that we could put out when needed.  Change was furnished for startup.  When I called Jason with questions or requests for more items, the questions were answered and he brought the items.  Customer service was far superior to the other company.  The selection of books was as good or better than the other company. I LOVED not having to lift boxes, etc.  We sold more than we ever have and we only had a four day week to sell.  I got $XXX of free books for having the fair and XX% profit however I wanted it, books or cash.  I plan to book with them again.  If you have any specific questions feel free to email or call me. 

In the meantime, I’m going to test how a book fair goes at the middle school level the week after Thanksgiving/Fall Break and I’ll get back to you with details. Feel free to go do my comparison shopping for me.


  1. Diane, INB looks good if you’re using one of those canned book fairs. We work with a local vendor, get 25% of the sales, and I usually give them 200+ titles we want available (we run K-adult). The key (for me) is the flexibility to craft a Fair that’s unique to my school, not one that looks like what you’d find anywhere else. After poking around their website, I didn’t get the sense that they welcomed the input we want to have into selection.

    I’ll keep this in mind in case we do decide to switch, but I doubt it.

  2. We have a local rep that comes in several times a year and leaves things in our teacher’s lounge. They have just switched over from another company and when I asked, she told me they also have a book fair. It was good to get some more information. I look forward to hearing how the middle school fair goes.

  3. We used Imagine Nation for last year’s catalog book fair, and we sold more than $11,000, which is a pretty nice fair! Our problems were primarily with the fulfillment company, which Jason assures me has been replaced. He was prepared to offer to replace the entire order if necessary; he gave us a generous amount of free books as an apology.

    I am still a little wary, and I’m running our own book fair this year, just to see how things fare. But I may return to use the catalog book fair again.

  4. We just finished our first Imagine Nation Book Fair last week and I must say that I was very pleased. From having them setup & tear down, providing bags, fliers and wish lists to coming by the fair everyday to see how things were going and bring restocks. Our rep, Charlie, even helped work the parent night and certain busy times during the fair.

    Of course there are certain titles they cannot provide, due to exclusive paperback rights owned by another company, but the selection and quality of the other titles offered was more than enough to make my students happy. There was also a decided lack of junk items and titles. (No cheat code books! Yay!) We will certainly be using INB again!

  5. We compared Imagine Nation Book Fairs with two other providers and decided to use Usborne Book Fairs. It was a huge success. Their rep also took care of set-up, change for sales, bags, and tear-down. The books were beautiful, with a focus on non-fiction. The kids and parents loved the selection.

  6. USBorne Books has a terrible selection and no real quality publishers not to mention they are a MLM company. I have found from many people that they are not a real source of generating revenue for your golas nor do they have near the quality of selection of Books as other companies.