Thursday, August 6, 2009

School Visits

Tip of the Day: Try not to be too jealous of all the people having a fantastic time at the SCBWI conference in LA. I know, it'll be tough.

I was all ready to blog about bookmarks today but mine didn't get here on time so stay tuned-- I'll talk about those next week.

Instead I'll talk about something else that's been on my mind-- school visits. What do you all think about them? Is it important that every author do school visits? Or does it depend on the type of book the author writes and if it fits into a lesson plan?

I know some authors do TONS of author visits. Cynthia Lord comes to mind. I follow her blog on LJ and she's been talking about her school visits for her book RULES for years. The schools just LOVE her.

And I know some authors count on school visits for additional income. I've even heard that there are authors who make more from their school visits than from the books they sell.

And is it just me or are there A LOT more authors doing school visits now than say, 15 years ago? I tried to think of one single author that ever came to one of my schools and I couldn't do it. We never had author visits. So is it just a modern thing then?

Speaking of modern things, the Skype author visit is becoming quite popular as well. My local indie had a Skype visit with Sophie Kinsella a week or so ago. And there are loads of YA authors online who offer free Skype visits too. Author Kate Messner wrote an article about it recently for School Library Journal and gave a huge list. (Lisa and I are on there too!).

I know there will be some school visits in my future so I'm curious as to what students want to know when an author visits. The publishing process? The writing life? How to write a book? How to revise? What would you want to know if you had 45 minutes with an author?

Kristina, Miss Delighted to Debut


amuse me said...

I agree with you that I don't remember school visits by authors when my daughters were growing up. And they are huge readers so I'm sure we would have purchased books. I for one have really enjoyed when our local library has author chats. I've attended two within the last year and both times came away with purchases. :) M

Alissa Grosso said...

I do remember a few author visits when I was a kid. Patricia Reilly Giff visited my elementary school. In eighth grade I remember a visit by Gordon Korman. As a reader and aspiring writer this made a big impact on me. I had never heard of the author before, but immediately became a fan.

Gordon Korman actually did two separate visits. The first talk was more general and my memory is foggy on this, but I think he spoke about the sort of characters he writes about and why. After this he did a separate presentation for a select group of students (possibly drawn from the gifted and talented program or maybe high honor roll students, not sure). At this talk he talked about his journey as a writer, and I was completely fascinated.

Lisa Schroeder said...

It seems around here, YA author visits are few and far between. They're done most commonly at the elementary level. I would love to do some, and hopefully with a mid-grade coming out next year, I'll have more opportunities.

Kristina Springer said...

Thanks for the info guys!

And I guess it depends on area Lisa-- they happen a lot around here.

Ghost Girl (aka, Mary Ann) said...

I'm really interested in the whole school visit thing, too. I know the younger kids have them a lot, at least my kids' elementary school brought in someone every year. As a YA author (to be, that is), I have started to think about what would go into a school visit for Jr. & Sr. high school kids. What are they hoping for? How hands-on do they want to be? Should it be like a workshop or just a discussion of your writing life and the books they like?

I look forward to seeing what others have to say. Thanks for the post!