SCHOOL VISITS WITH AUTHORS
Bookworks offers free author events to schools in Albuquerque and the surrounding area. We strive to reach every student with this unforgettable educational experience. The best schools understand how a memorable interaction with a professional and engaging children’s author or illustrator will inspire young minds and help drive literacy connections for years to come.
BOOKS SALES AND AUTOGRAPHING
In the absence of a stipend or honorarium paid to the author (which in some cases can be over $1,000), the school visits we coordinate must include book sales of the visiting author’s books using preorder forms. The preorder forms are sent out to parents a month ahead of the author’s visit, and returned back to school within 7-10 days (at the most). In order for us to order the proper amount of books, the school returns the completed forms with payment to our store 3 weeks ahead of the visit. There is usually a limited amount of books available for sale the day of an event, so the preorder forms are crucial to ensure the students have the best and most memorable experience possible.
Although a successful school visit is not based solely on sales, an expected amount of books sold is at least 20+ copies. There are some high-demand authors where we will need to guarantee a minimum order of books. We will be sure to include this information in our outreach to you. If you’re not sure your school population will be able to do that, you might want to reach out to your school’s foundation, PTA, or perhaps a “school angel supporter” to supplement your resources.
PUBLICIZING THE EVENT
Ask faculty, teachers, PTA members and students to find creative ways to promote the event. Post fliers or posters around school. Send email to parents to invite them or remind them of visit and the deadline for book orders. Consider contacting your local media announcing the event and invite them to attend. Post about the upcoming event to social media both before and after the event.
BUILDING ENTHUSIASM FOR THE AUTHOR VISIT
One of the most effective ways to make an author visit a success is to build enthusiasm. Here are some ideas that you can use at your school.
BEFORE THE VISIT
Start the buzz! Talk about the event, the author and her books to administrators, teachers, students, parents, volunteers, etc.
- Read and discuss the author’s books with the students. Encourage the staff to read them too!
- Ask your librarian to select and supply teachers and students with books that relate to the subject or themes of the author’s books.
- Encourage teachers to integrate the author’s books with the curriculum and to work in the class.
- Display the author’s books at the library or create a display of cover books in the hallway.
- Have students prepare questions for the author on the day of the visit.
- Organize a contest and have the winners receive autographed books the day of the event.
- Have students make posters, banners or bookmarks related to the themes in the books.
- Organize a student art exhibit in response to the themes of the books.
- Coordinate students to interview the author for the school newsletter or newspaper.
- Have students write a review of one or more of the author’s books.
- Invite parents to join their children at the event.
- Select and prepare students to introduce the author in a creative and lively way. Research about the author would be required. Some places to find more information are the inside flap of books or visit the author’s website.
- Publicize the event through the school newsletter.
- Use social media! You can do Twitter chats and encourage students to post questions and thoughts about the book.
THE DAY OF THE EVENT
The celebration begins! Enjoy the visit.
AFTER THE EVENT
- Set opportunities and time for students to reflect, write, read, and create inspired by the event.
- Write a class letter and send it to the author.
- Encourage your students to write a book review of one of the author’s books and send it to Bookworks (Jennifer@bkwrks.com) to post on our website.
If your school is interested in hosting an author, please download and fill out the form provided here and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.