Tips for a Successful Author Visit

Sharing my books.
Wanda Wyont, Children’s Author

I’ve listed some tips for a successful author visit.  The author and the school have the same goal: We want the visit to be beneficial to the students. The list below are some strategies that will help the visit go smoothly.

1. Pick the date
Select a date that does not have other events going on at your school or child care center. Pick out several dates and wait for a confirmation. Contact me directly with any questions at wyont.wanda@gmail.com.

2. Prepare and Promote
Read the book(s) with your students. Display the Announcement Letter and send a copy of it home with each child. My website will provide you with an Announcement Letter for you to print. The Announcement Letter includes an order form.

I have a Press Release on my website for you to send to the local newspaper. All you will have to do is print the form and fill out your school name, location, and date of visit. If you will let the newspaper know ahead of time, they may send out a reporter. (While I love the publicity for my book, it provides good public relations for your school).

3. Book Orders
I like to sell books in combination with a school visit. Please send out the Announcement Letter four weeks before my visit. The Announcement Letter will let you announce my visit and take book orders. As I stated above, the Announcement Letter is on my website.

Collect all the book orders.

a. I  will arrange for delivery to your school.
b. You should send me the exact number within two weeks of my visit.

4. Audience Size
A smaller group is ideal. The smaller the group, the more I can interact with individual students. Be sure and provide the details about the audience size when scheduling a visit.

5. Number of Presentations
I can give up to three 45-minute presentations per day to PreK-3. (I can split one of the 45 minute sessions into two 20 minute sessions for the Pre-K programs).

6. Equipment Needed
I will need a table, a microphone (preferable lapel), a screen, laptop, projector, and a podium. I will have a Power Point presentation on a flash drive. It will be helpful to have someone to be knowledgeable about setting up the technology.

7. Get Ready
• Table to display books and chair
• Microphone (lapel preferred)
• Large screen
• Laptop and projector
• Bottled water
• Chairs for teachers
The space should be able to be darkened (low lights) for a Power Point presentation. The space should have few interruptions. Could you put a CLOSED sign on the door?

8. Autograph Sessions
I love to meet the child or adult as I autograph the book. However, I will leave this to the individual school. It is best for me to autograph between sessions. It is difficult to autograph all the books at one sitting.
Sturdy Table – I need space to autograph with a sturdy table that does not wiggle.
Clearly Printed Name – As the child approaches, I would like for their name to be clearly printed and handed to me by the student, if you wish for me to personalize the book.

9. Lunch
Whatever you plan for lunch is acceptable. In some schools, the teachers plan a covered dish and I have the opportunity to get acquainted. In some schools, we go out. I can eat alone or with the media specialist. I am open to what works with your school.

10. Schedule the Day
Let me know the day’s schedule prior to my visit. I will need to have breaks in between the sessions and a lunch break. An example of the schedule may look like the following:

Arrive and Set-up – 8:30

First Session:  9:15-10:05

(15 minute break)

Second Session:  10:20-11:10

(15 minute break)

11:25-11:45 – Book Signing

Lunch

Third Session:  1:40-2:30

Book Signing

The above is only an example. While my preference is smaller groups, I will accommodate your school’s needs.

11. Word of Mouth

If you enjoyed my visit, let other schools and child care centers know. Email your media center friends. The very best promotion that I can receive is “word of mouth.” I depend on my school visits to help sell my books.

12. Send me a quick review.
It is very helpful if you were pleased with my visit to send a quick review that I can post on my website. Include your name and title.

13. Contact Me
• If you are interested in having me visit your school, the best way to contact me is by email at  wyont.wanda@gmail.com
• Letter to Teachers – Please open the specific page for the details on a school visit.

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