| By Jennifer Stock |
This year, I became the new project editor for the Something About the Author series. Featuring emerging and established authors/illustrators in the fields of children’s and young adult literature, this series includes images of the entrants, as well as numerous book covers and interior illustrations. Each of the books that have images in Something About the Author are purchased by Gale. With approximately 100 images per volume and 12-14 volumes published a year, that’s a lot of books. Sure, we could just donate all those books, but where’s the fun in that?
So every December the Something About the Author editor, with manager and team support, hosts the Children’s/YA Holiday Book Sale. Employees can peruse the many picture books, books for early and middle readers, and young adult works that we have collected over the year, and purchase them at a discount. Proceeds from the sale go to charity. Through the years (the sale has been going on since 1998 and used to be held twice a year), the event has supported the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, Covenant House Michigan, Detroit Reads, the DMC Children’s Hospital, Room to Read, and more. This year, the earnings went to Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), a charity committed to motivating young children to read by working with them, their parents, and the community to make reading fun.
In the past, I was one of the many employee shoppers, purchasing gifts for my daughter and nieces. But as the new editor for Something About the Author, this was my first year working on the book sale, and I now know firsthand what goes into making this event a success. Granted, it doesn’t take much to get employees of an educational publishing company to buy books. “If you build it, they will come” very much applies here. But I needed the help of several volunteers from the Editorial teams to sort hundreds books into their sales categories (picture books, YA, etc.), set the books out for the sale, work the sales table, and pack up the leftover books after the sale. Facilities Services set up the sales room, rolling out all the display tables and clearing them out afterwards. Finally, our Human Resources Coordinator advertised the sale via email and posters.
This was very much a team effort, and it shows. This year, the sale raised $1,896 for RIF! In addition, the 14 boxes of leftover books were donated to Toys for Tots.
Fun Fact: more than half of the sales total was raised in the first two hours.