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Selling History

In Cedartown, Ga., community members are eagerly buying a book written by an alumnus of the local high school--and supporting their local high school's football program with the purchase.

When the opportunity to sell a book as a fundraiser fell out of the sky for the Cedartown Touchdown Club, which supports the Cedartown High School football team, its members jumped at the opportunity. Since The Cedartown High School Bulldogs: The History of a Georgia Football Tradition covers the history of the football program from 1900 through 2001, the book's publisher contacted the booster club to help with its promotion.

"I didn't know anything about it until the publisher contacted me," says Booster Club President Randy Prewett. "But the club was happy to get involved. With an order of 400, we get the books for $10 and sell them for $20."

The book details a full century of the football program and its highlights over the years. While the author wasn't directly involved with the booster club, he had asked the publisher about making a connection that would benefit the football team, which is how Prewett got involved.

"The publisher is working with the club in a way that's very beneficial for us," Prewett says. "We have a one-year, no-risk/no-reward deal. We had to pay the order's invoice within 60 days, but if we don't sell all of the books within one calendar year, we can box them up and send them back for a refund."

So far, the book's promotions have mostly been word of mouth, with the addition of newspaper articles and radio spots. The club also posted information on its Facebook page.

Once everything was set up with the publisher, Prewett and author contacted each other to set up promotional events.  "He's coming to our first home football game and then a couple of the other home games to do a few book signings," says Prewett. "I think it's pretty cool that he's willing to do that, but it gets his name out there and it will help sell the books, too. We've also partnered with local retailers to have them put books up in their stores. They're selling them for us, and giving the profit back to the club."

The community's response to the book has already been positive, with over 100 copies sold within two weeks of the first order's arrival. "The author grew up in Cedartown, and although he lives in South Carolina now, he's still considered a local," Prewett says. "The money goes back to the local football program. That's the main thing we wanted to get the word out about. People like buying it locally even though they could order it from Amazon.com.
 
"The retail price on the book is $19.99 and we evened it up to $20," he continues. "For $24.45 we'll ship it anywhere in the United States."
 
If another club is interested in getting involved with a similar fundraiser, Prewett suggests making a connection with a local author or historian. "If any of the club's members has contacts who would be willing to research and write about their local sports program, that would be key," he says. "You basically need someone willing to do the leg-work on writing the book and getting that put together. We're lucky that selling it is all we have to do."



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