How to Speak at Schools and Book Author's Visits
That book of your dream has finally been written and published. You beam because all of your dreams have finally come true: you're now a published author. Even your aim of writing was to share your message, make money, or gain experience, and you need to sell to get your return on investment and reach the hearts and minds of the target audience with your books.
One of the primary means book authors can further impact their audience is through author visits to schools, libraries, retail store events, and the likes.
Author Visit Explained
An author visit is an opportunity for you to have some time with your fans, make book sales, share your message, and enrich your host. Your host for a visit can be a school, library, retail store, podcast, conference—anywhere you get to show live and interact with readers. Sometimes it's your face or voice on a screen responding to the interview question.
Top benefits of an author visit:
- Motivates students to read more
- Inspires creativity and expression
- Motivates students to write more
Planning the Visit
Once an interested party has inquired, it is usually good to correspond directly with the organizer (s) and confirm the following points in writing in advance of the visit. some details are
- Date and timing
- Nature of session
- Venue and equipment
- Books and publicity
- Transportation and accommodation
- Audience and photography
- Fees and expenses
Expert tips on school and book author visits
Before the visit, reach out to a school, library, or store via email, phone, or in person. Before that, do proper research into the school, the library, or the store and what they intend to achieve for their clientele or students. Here are some tips on school and book author visits.
- Before the visit, encourage teachers to read a chapter or two of your books aloud to the class. Share book trailers in advance.
- Have a discussion guide, based on the intended aim of the visit
- "Preschoolers' attention spans are short, so my best word of advice is to gather in a classroom setting and keep your session short to avoid loss of interest.
- For school visits, look into the school's theme for the year. Do they have a slogan? What are the teachers currently working on in the classrooms? Do your best to cater to your message or event to reinforce the efforts of the school.
- In a library visit, stick to their goals for visitors. Do they have a theme? do what you can to reinforce the purpose of the library with your visit
- For a bookstore, look into the goals of the particular store. Do they love promoting local talent? Do they host regular children's events? Your visit helps promote their business and allows them to host a community event. Do your part to invite your circles of influence to support their store, and they'll do theirs to bring new customers to you.
An author visit isn't just an event; it's an experience, one that takes time and preparation to get it just right.