School Visit Coaching Package:
Are you an author or illustrator who wants to do school visits, or wants more from the ones you’re already doing?
As an author who does school visits, a past librarian who arranged and watched many school visits, a performer and creativity coach, I’m not only in a unique position to help other book creators figure out school visits, but I also need to tell you right up front that I have an agenda. As a seasoned teacher, continuing education instructor, and past founding director of an arts-based school, I want what’s best for students and teachers, and to make that happen, I want you to give them your best.
Children’s book creators are often introverts who work alone. The pressure from publishers and others to get out there and market books, especially through school visits, can feel overwhelming to many authors and illustrators. I partner with them to find their presentation topics, their inspiring stories, their own methods of managing classes, and their unique gifts to share as they support teachers and students, to not only promote books, but to teach, inspire, and form relationships with readers and teachers.
As an author or illustrator, you prefer to work on projects that excite you, right? It’s the same for school author presentations. You need a plan that excites you, is true to who you are, and that increases your comfort in presenting to a room full of kids.
Your first step in preparing for a school author visit is not to write up a contract, market your visits, or contact schools. I can tell you where to get help for that. Your first step is much more basic and important. It’s overcoming the blocks and fears and designing a plan that increases your confidence and enjoyment. That’s where I can help you.
When I coach authors and illustrators in doing school visits, we begin by discussion the following topics, because school visits should be about having good TIMES:
TEACH, INVOLVE, MANAGE, EVALUATE, SUPPORT.
These TIMES call for good planning. While it’s true that it’s impossible to anticipate all that might happen during a school author visit, I can give you tools to help you feel ready and prepared.
School author visits are not for everyone. As a past teacher and performer, so much of what I do in school visits is internalized. Principals often comment on how I can control a room full of kids. It’s not magic. It’s practice. You might be quaking in your boots on those first visits. Many clients call me after their first author visit!
But—and I’m saying this not only for your sake but also for the sake of the school—if you don’t want to do school visits, give yourself permission to say no and don’t feel guilty. Your best book promotion is your next book, and if you’d rather just write, then that’s your decision.
If you’d like to try alternatives to school author visits, or less stressful ways to get your feet wet, here are some other ideas:
Read to library classes, start a book club, offer book talks, help with writing clubs or Young Author programs, visit a local classroom, offer a presentation at your local public library, or present short virtual author visits. You might find ideas and inspiration for online visits at www.onlineauthorvisits.com.
It’s your move. I can help you can create and deliver presentations that highlight your strengths and passions. The kids are waiting. And the cost is far less than what you’ll get for one school visit.
The School Visit Coaching Package includes an initial phone call, TIMES worksheet, and a follow-up phone call.