You know a visit from a real live children's author is a fabulous way to inspire students to read and write more. But sometimes the budget is a bit tight. You need creative financing! Here are a few suggestions:
Book sales are a wonderful way for students to remember a special visit and they can also help finance the visit. If books are bought at a discount from a publisher, the school can use the proceeds to help pay the author's honorarium.
Consider approaching local businesses, like Target, for a grant. I've visited schools that partnered with Rotary, Lions Club, Wal-Mart, and Target. These clubs and resources are actually looking to serve their local schools. They appreciate mentions in school announcements and local newspapers. Sometimes a club or business will cover all expenses; other times they'll partner with you.
Here are some resources to check out when looking for grants to finance your author visit.
The Amber Brown grant, sponsored by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators helps schools bring an author or illustrator to your school:
Wells Fargo Charitable Contributions for Education
Friends of the Library:
If there's one in your town, they may help contribute to bringing an author to your community.
Hotels or Private homes:
Some hotels will donate a room if they know it's for a local school's author visit. Many authors are willing to stay in a private home.