Consider coordinating with other schools and libraries in the community in order to share travel and lodging costs. This can be helpful for schools, saving time and money, and I enjoy blocking my visits into several days or a week.
Some schools help fund their event with sales of the author’s books. You can order my books directly from the publisher, usually with a 40% discount. The savings can be passed on to the students or you can sell the books at a smaller discount and apply the funds towards the author’s honorarium.
Funding resources include the PTA, Adopt-a-School Sponsors, Friends of the Library, Title I and Title VII, School Improvement Plan (SIP), Grants, School Site Council, Corporate contributors, Grandparents.
LETTER OF AGREEMENT
After the date has been set, I’ll send out a simple letter of agreement for the school(s) and myself to sign regarding the visit.
ORDER THE AUTHOR’S BOOKS (AND READ THEM!)
Books should be ordered 2-3 months prior to the author visit, if possible. Giving students a book order form is a good way to determine approximately how many books you will need, but there will always be last minute orders. You will want to order extra books. You might also want to send out another book order form closer to the author’s visit.
You can order books directly from the publisher, usually at a 40% discount. I will provide the publisher contact information. They will accept returns of unsold books, but you will need to pack them up and pay shipping to send them back.
You can also order from your local independent bookseller. The bookseller may or may not be able to give you a discount, but they will often offer to deliver the books and/or come to your school to handle the book sales. They will also take care of returning any unsold books. Call your local bookseller to see what kinds of services they provide.
To get the most from my visit, read my books before Author Day. Ideally, each student should hear or read one or more of my books and complete an individual or class project based on them. The more a student interacts with a book, the more excited they will be and the more they will learn when I visit. Check out the book-related activities on my website.
Meeting the author as she/he signs their book is always a special time for both student and author. But sometimes there are too many books to allow each child to present their book to be signed. In these cases, I’m happy to autograph books, to be distributed to students later, between my presentations or at my hotel.
I prefer to sign books only. No hands, shirts, or diaries, please.
Things move smoothly if a copy of the order form or a post-it note is placed opposite the title page, with the name to be inscribed printed legibly. Include the teacher’s name if the books are to be delivered to students.
AS THE DAY DRAWS NEAR
- Test all equipment (microphone, screen) prior to the event.
- Remind students about the author’s visit and collect last-minute book orders.
- Brief the “Author’s Escort” on escorting the author, helping to pack and unpack, acting as an aide (working lights, providing water, etc.) and assisting the author while autographing.
- It’s helpful to reserve a parking place for convenient unloading if the author is driving to your school.
- Set up and re-test equipment to be used.
- Make sure the honorarium is ready and presented no later than the end of the event.
I like to arrive at least one-half hour to an hour prior to the first presentation. During this time I will set up and sign books if needed.
AFTER THE AUTHOR VISIT
- Return all unsold books. (I love it when there are none!)
- I enjoy hearing from students and am always grateful for letters, artwork, or photos after my visit. If there has been publicity, news clippings are appreciated. If students have further questions, classes are always welcome to email me.
- If you love my books, I will love you in return if you recommend one or more of my books for your state reading award.
HAVE A WONDERFUL AUTHOR’S DAY!