Event Proposal Guidelines

Thanks for checking out our events application! We’re always on the lookout for great events for the store, but also aware that not every worthwhile book will be the basis for a successful event. Please read through our policy on what types of books we accept from independent authors before proceeding. We prioritize events proposed by publishers with whom we have an ongoing business relationship, and authors who have a strong, pre-existing customer relationship with the store.


Publishers we regularly do business with include Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Norton, Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Workman, as well as university presses such as University of Chicago, Northwestern University Press, University of Illinois Press, and other smaller presses who send sales reps in to visit us on a regular basis. If your book is published with any of these companies, please feel free to have your publicist contact us directly-- or contact us directly yourself-- at .  

Please note that we will not host events for books published on the Createspace or other Amazon platforms. Events we are unlikely to approve include:

  • self-published books whose authors who are not well established customers at the store

  • books from scholarly and professional publishers that are too specialized to appeal to a general audience 

  • authors who have recently held an event at another Evanston bookstore or plan on scheduling one within a month of when our event is held 

If your publisher does not have a sales rep who visits us, or is primarily distributed to the trade by Ingram, and you are interested in pursuing a potential event with us, please review the following information and our website to see if your event seems like a good fit for our store. If so, send us an event proposal by using the contact form and selecting "Event Proposal" under category. 

Be aware that, in addition to being a literary celebration, an event is also a business proposition between the author and the store that must work to the store’s benefit as well as your own. Any event requires a financial investment on the store’s part,  and our goal is to make it successful for everybody involved. 

The most successful events are based on the author’s ability to mobilize an audience of friends, family, and colleagues--not on the hope of attracting an audience of strangers who are unfamiliar with you and your work. 

We receive many event inquiries and are not able to respond to all of them. If we are interested we will reach out to you to set up details within 2 weeks.


In your proposal, please answer the following questions, which are designed to establish the basis of a successful event and to give us enough information to make a decision.


-Book Information: Title,  ISBN, publisher, publication date, and a brief summary emphasizing why the content or theme will engage a Bookends & Beginnings audience

-Who is the primary distributor of your book?*

-Author Information: Bio and Website if applicable

- Does your book have specific Chicago, Evanston, or Great Lakes- related content?

-Have you recently attended an event at Bookends & Beginnings? If so, which one?

-Why is your event a good fit for Bookends & Beginnings?

-Can you guarantee that we will sell at least 20 copies of your book?

- Provide relevant details about how you would structure your event. Would you invite an interviewer to be “in conversation” with you? Do you need special A/V equipment such as a projector and screen? Would you provide refreshments? 

- How do you intend to promote the event? Is there a specific local network of friends, family, professional colleagues that you will mobilize to come to the event? How do you plan to let them know and how many do you expect to attend?

- Do you plan to promote the event on social media? Please provide any relevant details about your social media presence as well as your social media handles.



*If your publisher is not one of those with whom we regularly do business (i.e. one of those with a sales rep who visits the store regularly) there are likely costs associated with obtaining your book for an event and returning any unsold copies. If this is the case, you may be required to pay a $25 shipping/restocking fee. Also, if your publisher does not offer sufficient discount to indie bookstores, or cannot provide books on a fully returnable basis, it may not be financially feasible for us to hold an event. For events at which the author is supplying books personally, our terms are a standard 60-40 consignment split, and the author supplies the store with two no-charge display copies and takes unsold copies back after the event.



A Note on Promotion:

Our event promotion includes:

-Inclusion in our monthly newsletter that goes out to over 20,000 customers

-Posts on our social media accounts (Facebook and Instagram) 

(let us know your social media handles so we can tag you!)

- Listing on our Store Website and Events Calendar

- Press Releases when appropriate

- Front table book placement with event information

- As requested, a personalized Evite invitation to your network (you would provide the emails)

While we do as much as we can to promote each event we have at the store, there is only so much we can do to reach out to people. Your biggest asset in promoting events are your connections. We ask that event hosts promote across their networks by doing the following:

- Posts on your social media accounts (please tag us!) 

-Facebook: Bookends and Beginnings

- Instagram: @Bookends_and_Beginnings

- Refer all email/social media mentions back to the bookstore website’s event page

- If not requesting a personalized E-vite, please send an email or contact your network through phone calls, carrier pigeons, or any other means you think would garner the best audience. The success of your event is important to us, but we cannot get people here on our own. The more people you tell, the more it spreads, so share, share, share!