Ordering Books
Getting the Author’s Work to the Kids

Your ultimate goal of the author/illustrator visit is to motivate kids to read. These appearances bring the books to life, by showing kids that authors/illustrators are real people. If kids are excited and interested by the visit, they will invariably ask, “Where can I get your books?” If you have the books right there, the kids can purchase them and start reading. Book sales should be a part of your visit preparations.

Placing Your Order

A little research can help you find the best way to purchase the books. Some local bookstores may make you an offer for a bulk purchase. Often, your organization can earn a discount on books ordered for the event. You can then sell the books at retail price and earn a profit for your group (many schools use the profits to ensure funding for annual author/illustrator visits). Please note that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt does not set or control resale prices. Here are some tips for getting started:

  • Contact local bookstores/wholesalers. Explain that you will be ordering a large quantity of books for an author/illustrator event. Large superstores will usually offer a standard special event discount, no matter the title or author.
  • Smaller, independent bookstores are sometimes willing to offer a more significant discount. (If you know that the author/illustrator lives in your local area, check with them to recommend a particular store.) Be certain that you also discuss the store’s policy for returns on unsold books. Check www.indiebound.org for independent bookstores in your area.
Ordering Books from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

If you are unable or prefer not to order books through a local bookseller or wholesaler, you can order directly from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Please read the instructions and information outlined below:

  • At least 5–6 weeks prior to the visit, contact Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Trade Customer Service at 1.800.225.3362 or fax 1.800.634.7568
  • Provide the following information:
    • Complete shipping address – street address required, no P.O. boxes
    • Complete billing address, including name of sponsoring organization
    • Date of author appearance
    • Date you wish to receive books
    • Titles, ISBN numbers and quantities


We are unable to guarantee prices quoted prior to invoicing because prices are subject to change.


Books are shipped from our warehouse via UPS. Rush orders can be shipped via Federal Express if requested; additional charges will be reflected on your invoice.

Shipping Costs

You assume shipping costs on both outgoing orders and returns. Shipping costs for outgoing orders will be reflected on your invoice.


We offer 35% off trade book orders for author/illustrator appearances. An itemized packing slip will be enclosed with the book shipment. A three-part invoice will follow, billing your organization for the quantity shipped (at a 35% discount off of the retail price) and shipping charges. Retain the packing slip and shipping cartons. DO NOT PAY THE INVOICE UNTIL AFTER THE EVENT.


Unsold books in salable condition are fully returnable. They should be packed in the original cartons, with packing materials added to avoid damage in shipment. Enclose a copy of the invoice in each carton of returned books marked “Author Appearance. Return for full credit.” Send return shipment to:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Trade Returns Dept.
2700 North Richard Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46219

We strongly recommend returning books by UPS, FedEx or registered mail in case proof of delivery is needed.


Pay the invoice promptly after the event, editing it, if necessary, to reflect the correct billing after returns. For example, if you ordered 50 books, sold 40 and returned 10, mark the invoice as follows: “Author Appearance/Promotional Event — 10 books returned under separate cover. Payment enclosed for 40 books.” Send your payment and edited invoice to:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Trade Customer Service
181 Ballardvale St.
P.O. Box 7050
Wilmington, MA 01887