21 ways to spend your summer getting ready for next year’s author visits

21 Ways to spend your summer getting ready for next year's author visits
I love doing school visits, but I have to confess, I love summer break, too. I wrapped up my final visit last week, which got me thinking about things we can all do, during summer break, to help our school visit careers once school is back in session. Here are a few suggestions…

1. Polish up that brochure you’ve been planning and have it printed. I like Vistaprint.com and Gotprint.com. They’re both quick and efficient. Things you might want to include in the brochure: [Read more…]

Will awards net you more author visit invitations?

DoAwardsMatterAfter a recent Linked-in discussion about book awards, it got me wondering whether being an award-winning author or illustrator will increase a person’s school visit invitations. Specifically, whether awards would make a librarian more inclined to invite an author to her school. I’ve always thought perhaps it would, so I posed the question to teacher and librarian friends on Facebook. My friends said that, for the most part, awards played virtually no part in their considerations. Here are some of their answers: [Read more…]

Four website MUST-HAVES to win more author visit invitations

MustHaves_150I’ve had a few friends ask, “How do you get so many author visits?” While I have quite a few colleagues who do a far greater number of visits than I do, I did manage, sometime around my third year of doing school visits, to triple the number of events on my calendar, (from 12 to 36) and that number has stayed fairly consistent since then. I think this jump was mainly due to some key changes I made to my website. [Read more…]

“Cold Calling” that works!

ColdCalling_150Last year, I discovered an effective way to add an extra visit or two to an out-of-town gig. I’ve never had much luck with “cold call” mailings — not only when I was new to the game, but also when I had quite a few published books that librarians would likely recognize. I just never saw any evidence that my mailings ended up anywhere but in the trash. So I had nearly given up on cold calling.

Then, I found something that really worked! [Read more…]

Getting gigs: Align with other authors

AlignHeading_150dpiI have a lot of author friends I’ve met online and through the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. (www.scbwi.org ) If you write children’s books, give this organization some serious consideration. It was at a regional SCBWI conference that I got my big break, meeting a New York editor who eventually bought my first book. I’m close enough with some of these authors that we exchange brochures. At the end of an author visit, I give the coordinator their brochures with my endorsement. My friends do the same for me. This has resulted in quite a few bookings over the years.

PlanningYourVisit_coverSmall_byKimNormanHave you signed up for Cool School Visits updates? Sign up using the form on the upper right side of this page, and you’ll receive a free copy of my guide, PLANNING YOUR AUTHOR SCHOOL VISIT, which includes sample programs and breakdowns to target your sessions to different grade levels. (If you’re on a smart phone, keep scrolling and you’ll find the form at the very bottom of any blog post, below any comments.)