Frequently Asked Questions


Can I place an order with a purchase order?

We accept purchase orders from schools, districts, and PTOs.

Do you charge sales tax?

Federal and state laws require that we charge 6.25% sales tax to customers within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts . If you are placing an order for a school or school district within Massachusetts, you will need to include a tax exempt number. All customers in all other states will not be charged sales tax.

How long will it take to get my books after I order them?

Standard shipments will leave our warehouse within 48 hours after we receive the order. Most orders will be in your hands within 7-10 days after you place the order. Occasionally, weather or heavy sales volume will cause slight delays.

Do you have any specials?

We run specials in two primary ways: in the clearance section of our website, and through our newsletter. In addition to those specials, we also offer free shipping if you order 8 or more of any of the following collections: Leveled Collections, Leveled Classroom Library Collection, Chapter Book Collection, and the Reading Recovery Collection. To take advantage, simply add the desired collections to your shopping bag and your free shipping will be applied when you check out.

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Shipping and Handling

What are your shipping costs?

Pioneer Valley Books charges 10% for shipping and handling. There is a $3.00 minimum on shipping and handling. For all orders within Alaska, Hawaii and Canada, we charge a flat 20% S&H. For shipping estimates for all other orders, please contact Customer Service.

Do you offer volume shipping discounts?

For orders over $1,200 we provide a graduated discount as follows: for orders between $1,201 - $3,000, S&H is 8%; for orders between $3,001 - $5,000, S&H is 5%; for orders over $5,000, there is no charge for S&H. For all orders within Alaska, Hawaii and Canada, we charge a flat 20% S&H. For shipping estimates for all other orders, please contact Customer Service.

Do you ship to PO boxes?

Most items cannot be shipped to PO boxes. Whenever possible, please provide us with a street address to insure the best possible method of shipping.

What days does Pioneer Valley Books ship?

Our normal shipping days are Monday through Friday during business hours.

Do you deliver on weekends and/or holidays?

Most of our shipments are handled by UPS, FedEx, and the U.S. Postal Service. These businesses ship six days a week. If your order is being shipped to a school that generally receives deliveries from UPS, they will not attempt weekend delivery. If your school will be closed for a school break other than a major holiday, it is imperative that you include that information on your order to avoid unnecessary delivery attempts during a period of closure.

Do you ship outside of the United States?

We will ship to valid addresses outside the continental United States, provided that the additional shipping fee has been paid.

Can I get tracking information for my order?

Yes. If you have a user account, a tracking number will be emailed to you.

Will I need to sign for my package?

We do not request receiver verification unless it is requested by you, the customer, when the order is placed.

Why has only part of my order shipped?

Occasionally it is necessary to backorder all or part of an order. When this is necessary, we will update your packing list, as well as your account information, to keep you informed of estimated delivery times. If you have any questions, please contact Customer Service.

How do you determine shipping rates?

We determine our shipping rate based on the cost to prepare, handle, and pack your order.

How long will it take for my shipment to arrive?

Shipping times vary, but most orders leave our warehouse in 7-10 business days. During our busiest season (May-June AND August-October) it will generally takes 2-4 weeks for orders to ship from our fulfillment center.

If you require expedited delivery, please contact Customer Service. We will be glad to work with you to determine your options, based both on our ability to fill the order, as well as the shipping options provided by the major carriers.

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Is my credit card information secure?

Our site uses secure encryption for your credit card information. We do not store any credit card information after a purchase has been completed.

Will my personal information be sold to a third party?

Absolutely not. We will never share or sell your personal information. We do not sell or rent out mailing lists. You will never be bombarded with junk mail and other advertising because someone got your name from us.

Will my email address be sold to a third party?

We require your email address when you order on our website so that we can contact you regarding the orders that you place with us (to give you tracking numbers for your shipment, for example). We also need your email address so that we can answer questions you email to us. We do not use that email address for any other purpose, and we do not give it to other companies. If you specifically request us to, we will add your email address to our list of customers who wish to receive our monthly newsletter.

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Author and Artist Submissions

For Authors

Do you accept manuscripts from outside sources for review?

We do. Our company is dedicated to producing the highest quality books for early literacy learners. We specialize in books that support readers in gaining control over early reading behaviors and in building a strong reading processing system. We also strive to provide our readers with high-interest, engaging stories. Our books are often used for Guided Reading, Reading Recovery, and other reading intervention programs. Because part of our mission is to create a diverse selection of subjects, titles, and styles, we are always accepting submissions for new story ideas.

What types of books are you currently looking to publish?

At this time, we are ONLY accepting submissions of upper-level stories for grades 3 and 4. Submissions should be focused on Guided Reading levels N-T and Lexile levels 420-950.

We are looking for fantasy stories, realistic fiction, and historical fiction that will appeal to students who are 8-11 years old. Each story needs to be fully developed with a beginning, middle, and end. The protagonist should be between the ages of 9 and 12 years old and should contribute to the action. We suggest that the protagonist learn something, grow, or change by the end of the story. The problem and solution should be believable. The story should make you laugh, make you cry, or pull you into the adventure. Each story should be approximately 1000-2000 words and include multiple chapters (3-5). 

Experienced, published writers are encouraged to submit a proposal and a sample chapter.

How do I submit my manuscript for review?

To be considered, all work must be submitted per our guidelines as follows:

  • Please send copies of manuscripts electronically as a PDF.
  • Manuscripts should include a brief cover letter, as well as your name, phone number, and page number on each page.
  • Submissions should be sent by email to

How long should I expect to wait for a response to my query?

We will notify you if we are interested in contracting your work. We regret that due to the large quantity of submissions, we cannot guarantee a personal response for every submission. Response time can sometimes be up to 12 months depending on our publishing plans for the year.


Do you use outside illustrators?

Yes. We are always interested in new illustration talent as we try to create a diverse look and feel for our books while maintaining a high standard of quality. Some experience illustrating for children's materials is preferred. Please send a link to your online portfolio to

Reviewers and Editors

Do you use outside resources for reviewing and editing content?

Most of our editorial and production work is done in-house. However, from time-to-time we do need to call upon outside resources for additional help. If you have a background in early literacy education and are interested in reviewing or editing manuscripts, please forward your resume and a letter of interest to

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Returns and Refunds

What is your return policy?

Your satisfaction is our top priority. If for any reason you are not thoroughly satisfied with your purchase, please return it promptly and we'll exchange it or refund your purchase price.

To initiate a return or exchange, please call Customer Service at 1-888-482-3906. To help us facilitate the return process, our Customer Service Representative will issue you a Return Authorization Number to place on the outside of your package. Shipping costs for returns and exchanges are not refundable.

Damaged or Incorrect Item Returns

If you wish to return an item because of an error on our part or you received something damaged, Pioneer Valley Books will cover all costs associated with returning the merchandise. When you call Customer Service for your Return Authorization number, we will also arrange to send you a prepaid mailing label to cover the return shipping costs.

How do I complete a return?

1. Be sure that you have not written on or stamped the item you are returning.
2. Call Customer Service at 1-888-482-3906 to obtain:
a. A return mailing address.
b. A Return Authorization (RMA) number.
3. If the return is a result of our error, Customer Service will send you a prepaid mailing label to cover the return shipping costs. Once you receive the mailing label, affix it to your package and place it in the mail.
4. If the return is for any other reason, place the RMA number you obtained from Customer Service on the outside of the package, and mail the package to the address provided for you. Your shipping costs are not refundable.


What is your refund policy?

Refunds are returned via the same method of payment as the original purchase. Invoices paid by credit card will be issued a refund to that credit card. Invoices paid by check will be issued a check for a refund. Invoices paid by Purchase Order will be adjusted and an updated invoice will be issued. All merchandise returned must be in saleable condition (Please note: stamped materials cannot be returned since they are not in saleable condition). Once we receive your return we will promptly issue a refund.

I did not receive my order, or there was an error in the shipment. What should I do?

Contact Customer Service immediately. Have either your invoice number or purchase order number available for reference. We will work with you to resolve any questions or concerns.

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My BookBuilder fonts won't load. What do I do?

If the BookBuilder Font Installer is unable to load the font, you will need to install the font manually.

Installing the Font Manually

The following directions can be used to manually load the BookBuilder font onto your computer. Manually load the BookBuilder font only if BookBuilder is unable to load the font. You may need to seek assistance from your network administrator.


PC Font Installation

1. Go to the Start menu and then click Control Panel.
2. Select the Fonts control panel. Press Alt if necessary to display the menu bar.
3. Under the File menu select Install New Font. In Windows 7, open the Font folder on the CD, right-click the font, then click Install.
4. Select the drive containing the BookBuilder CD. Next, select the font folder on the CD. Next, select the ZB Manuscript (TrueType) font and click OK.
5. Close all open windows.
6. You may need to restart your computer before running the BookBuilder CD.

Mac OSX Font Installation

1. Open the Library folder on your hard drive (Macintosh HD).
2. Open the Fonts folder, which is located in this folder.
3. Now open the Font folder on the BookBuilder CD
4. Drag the font file ZB Manuscript from the BookBuilder CD to the Fonts folder on your computer.
5. Close all open windows and quit BookBuilder, if it is running.
6. You may need to restart your computer before running the BookBuilder CD.

If you need technical support, use our Technical Support form.


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I own or run a bookstore. Can I sell your books?

At Pioneer Valley Books, we appreciate that there are a number of retailers interested in providing their customers with quality literacy resources. At this time, we do not offer wholesaler discounts.

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Other questions

I need a copy of your W-9. Where can I find it?

Please contact Customer Service and we will provide you with our W-9.

I need a sole source document. Where can I find it?

You can download a PDF of our sole source letter: Sole source letter (PDF)

What is your mailing address?

Our office address is 155A Industrial Drive, Northampton MA 01060. Please see our return and refund policy for information on returns.

Are Bella and Rosie real?

Bella and Rosie are real pets. They are owned by Michele Dufresne, the author of the Bella and Rosie series, as well as a number of our other series. Bella and Rosie are Bichon Frises and they are very well paid for their modeling efforts - they work for treats! Bella and Rosie spend time in our Amherst office on an almost daily basis, where they are occasionally spoiled and regularly loved. Most of the stories about Bella and Rosie are conceived based on actual events. Bella and Rosie are always up to something! You can even follow them on Twitter at!

Can I write to Bella and Rosie?

Letters written to Bella and Rosie, Michele Dufresne, or to any of our other characters, will be responded to in as timely a manner as possible. As literacy professionals, we are excited to encourage reading and writing in this special way. You can send letters to: Bella and Rosie, c/o Pioneer Valley Books, 155A Industrial Drive, Northampton, MA 01060.

What is the difference between Intervention levels and Reading Recovery levels?

Before publishing a book, we send it through a rigorous testing period with a number of literacy professionals, including Reading Recovery® and classroom teachers. These teachers work together to assign levels to the books. These are levels that we refer to on our website and in our catalog as 'intervention levels.'

Unfortunately, it does take the Reading Recovery® Council of North America (RRCNA) between two and four years to assign levels to books, so it is vital that we determine working levels in the meantime. When a book is assigned a level by RRCNA, we ask our pilot teachers to immediately assess the intervention levels that we had previously assigned.

Sometimes, we determine that we do not agree with the RRCNA levels. It is because of this discrepancy that we continue to reflect our intervention levels along with the designation that a title appears on the RRCNA booklist. All teachers use slightly different criteria in making a subjective ruling as to the level of a book. Many teachers choose to use our intervention levels rather than the RRCNA levels, and many choose to go the other way. Still more teachers assess those books for themselves and choose to use them at yet another level.

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