Are you looking for a way to fund an external ministry? Maybe raise some money to support your partner church in Transylvania? Or money for earthquake-ravaged Haiti? Rose Hanig, our UUA bookstore manager, wrote the following article. You can contact her directly at if you have any questions.

bookseller Help…

I just volunteered to run my church book table

A number of UU congregations have books available for sale before and after Sunday services.  Some use the bookstore as a way of raising funds for church programs and others simply to make members aware of the resources that are available.  The UUA Bookstore is always happy to help churches start their own bookstores (also known as book tables and bookstalls).  It is a great way to get our books distributed to people who are not familiar with the UUA Bookstore and to people who prefer to see books before they purchase.

The following are some of the most commonly asked questions about running a UU church bookstore (A.K.A. a book table or bookstall).  We hope this information will be a handy reference for both novices and experienced church bookstore managers.

1.) What kinds of discounts are offered to church bookstores?

We offer Skinner House and Beacon Press books for re-sale at the following discounts:

  • 1-9 books (assorted titles published by Skinner House or Beacon Press) = 20% discount
  • 10 or more books (assorted titles published by Skinner House or Beacon Press) = 40% discount.

2.)    Can I get discounts on books that are not published by Skinner House or Beacon?

You will notice in the UUA Bookstore catalog that there are a number of books by other publishers.  The only discounts offered on those titles are quantity discounts: 5-9 copies of the same title qualify for a 10% discount.  10 or more of the same title qualifies for a 20% discount.  There are no re-sale discounts offered on hymnals, pamphlets, or curricula. These discounts do not apply to any edition of Singing the Living Tradition, the Meditation Manual Sampler to any of the sets (Storybook Set, etc).

3.)    How do I find out who publishes a book?

In all of our catalogs, the publisher of each book is listed in parentheses after the book description.  The publisher is also listed on our web site.

4.)    How do I order from the UUA Bookstore?

There are five ways to order from the bookstore:

  1. You can call us at 1-800-215-9076
  2. You can order on line at  If you have any problem, give us a call at 1-800-215-9076 and we’ll be happy to help you.
  3. Mail us your order to: UUA Bookstore, 25 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108.
  4. Fax us at 617-723-4805.
  5. E-mail us at (all small letters).

5.) How can I be sure that I get the discount my bookstore is entitled to?

It is extremely important that you let us know that you’re ordering for a church bookstore.  If you tell us that you are ordering for a church rather than a church bookstore, we won’t know to give you the discounts.  Remember the church bookstore account is separate from your church account.  It is helpful if you have your account number available when ordering.

6.) Since I’m making a big order, is it okay if I throw in items for other people in my church such as pamphlets and curricula?

Because there is a separate account for your church bookstore, this account should only be used for books that are going to be sold at your bookstore.  It will make billing and bookkeeping concerns clearer.

7.) What are the terms for payment?

You may pre-pay your order with a check or a Visa or MasterCard.  We will also gladly bill your church bookstore account.  Payment for billed orders is due 30 days from the day you order.  When making a payment, please send your check and a copy of the invoice to UUA Bookstore, Lockbox #843151, Boston, MA 02284-3151.

8.) Can I return books that nobody buys?

Books that do not sell may be returned at any time for credit on your account, as long as the book is still in print.  Books that are returned must be in new condition; we also need a copy of the original invoice or packing slip.  If you have any questions, please call us.  Returns should be sent to: UUA Bookstore, c/o PSSC, 46 Development Rd., Fitchburg, MA 01420.

9.) How much time should I allow for shipping?

Books are shipped via UPS Ground service unless otherwise requested.  Shipping takes approximately 5 to 12 business days. Please allow an extra two weeks for order that are sent through the mail.  Rush services are available for additional costs.

10.) How much does shipping cost?

Shipping charges are based on the total value of your order.   To view the shipping fees on line click on or call us.

11.) Why don’t you ship via U.S. Postal Service Book rate to save money?

While Book rate is less expensive than UPS, it isn’t a bargain.  Book rate can take two to three times longer than UPS.  Packages shipped by Book rate cannot be traced.  UPS always pays for lost or damaged goods.

12.) What is a backorder?

Occasionally a book may be out of stock.  We will happily put an order for these books into our computer and ship them out to you as soon as they arrive in our warehouse (this is called a backorder).  If part of your order is backordered and part is fulfilled, you will immediately be charged a shipping fee based on the portion of the order that is fulfilled.  When your back ordered item is shipped, a separate shipping fee for the backordered item will be charged.

13.) What if I have to backorder a Beacon Press book?

Beacon Press titles that are backordered are called Beacon Special Orders. Special Orders are created on separate invoices from your general order. If you have any questions regarding how to place a Beacon Special Order, please call the bookstore.

14.) Where do I turn if this didn’t answer all of my questions?

If you have any questions please feel free to call, write, fax, or e-mail (see question 4) the UUA Bookstore and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

About the Author
Wayne Clark


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