I have a collection of promotional materials I offer schools at various points in the booking process. Immediately after a school contacts me inquiring about an author visit, if they’re simply looking for more information, I “snail mail” my advance packet. (See below.)
Even if a visit never comes to pass, they’ll have my brochure and other materials, including a music CD of my “Storytime Boogie,” and they may remember me in a coming year. I have had PTA coordinators tell me they were handed my packet from an out-going committee member, so it’s clear that at least some of the recipients really do value and hold onto the packet for future years.
I also have downloadable materials on my website, especially bookmarks and posters that can be printed out in advance of my visit. The posters can be personalized by the school with their event date, then tacked up around school. The bookmarks are nice, so that even students who can’t afford a book can have a nice bookmark to take home. Some parents may see my covers on the bookmark and decide to buy a book for their child in the future. (I’m sorry to say, I probably would not have been one of those parents, because things never seemed to LEAVE my own kids’ book bags. But I’m told there are people in the world who are more organized than I am.)
And, of course, I also have a nice brochure. I’ve gone all-out in recent years, with an extra large (9×16 flat) brochure that folds into 6 panels. But for years I got by just fine with a lovely, full color 3-panel brochure printed on standard 8.5×11 paper. Mine was professionally printed, but I know many authors who print their own at home. I was a graphic artist for many years, so creating graphics for print materials is inexpensive for me. There is a cost to print but no labor expense. In a future blog post, I’ll offer a download of a brochure template you may find helpful for creating your own brochure.
If you like, visit my website and download my promotional materials as examples. Please don’t COPY them exactly (or the wording) but I certainly don’t own the copyright on bookmark layouts and the like, so feel free to use mine for reference. Even after all these years as graphic artist, I still find it helpful to refer to other printed materials when designing my own. It helps me understand where best to place images and text.
For bookmarks and poster, go here. (You have to scroll down a bit)…
For my Author Visit Q&A, a seven page document, go here. You’ll also find a download of my brochure on this page:
(Again, please do not copy my wording. I worked hard to write these materials to reflect my own personality.) But if they help you decide which points to cover in your own materials, well… that’s what I’m here for!
What sort of promotional materials do you use with your school visits? Please share in the comments section!
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