Level: minimum intermediate speakers, no maximum.


This activity emphasizes composition and organizational skills, and creativity and decisiveness.


  1. With a partner or two, come up with an idea for a book to sell competitively. Pornography is the only book genre prohibited.
  2. Narrow your topic until you have a title.
  3. If it is a work of fiction, summarize the plot and write a short blurb that will appear on the back cover of your book.
  4. If it is a work of nonfiction, draft your table of contents. Your chapter headings must be descriptive, not merely chapter one, chapter two, etc.
  5. Using construction paper and colored pens, create your prototype. Fiction books need a title and simple illustration or design on the front cover, and a plot summary on the back cover. Nonfiction books need a title and simple illustration on the front cover, and a complete table of contents on the inside back cover.
  6. Devise your sales pitch. What will you say to prospective customers to convince them to place an advance order for your book?
  7. Create a sign-up sheet for names and signatures of customers who agree to place advance orders.
  8. You will be given a small budget and fake checkbook register. Then you will either split your class in half and take turns selling and ordering books, or you will meet with another class doing the same project.
  9. When it is your team's turn to sell your book, you will have only a few minutes to deliver your sales pitch to each group of customers.
  10. For each selling round, the team that collects the most names for advance order placements is the winner.