A Business Card is a must for Authors.
A business card is a must but only a small part of the marketing that authors can do when selling their books. School visits can be another great marketing tool to get your books out their for school age children. Analyzing how you feel about doing school visits will help you decide if you want to include visits in your marketing tool box and if it will lucrative.
First, decide what kind of visit you will do. Do you want to offer just a reading of your work, or do you want to include a presentation on an age specific topic? When you are thinking about the visit and what type of visit it will be, consider the time you will be allowed to present and the time it will take to develop your program. You may decide to simply read your book. You may prefer to teach a topic relating to writing, researching, or plotting? What is your expertise? You get the idea. A visit can be simple or complex.
Second, how far are you willing to travel? What financial compensation will you ask for at each visit? Many schools want to do Skype visits and want the presentations to be free or for a minimal fee due to budget restraints. What are you willing to do for free, for a minimal fee, and what does that translate into as far as book sales? As much as we all love writing and sharing our work, authors must also think in terms of being compensated for their talent and their product, as well as their time.
A third consideration along with how far you will travel, is where will you stay, where will you eat, and how much time will the travel encompass. Some authors will only do school visits locally or within 100 miles. Others will travel some distance if they are well known or established authors and considered an expert in their field. Those authors can ask for a larger fee or travel expenses because they are recognized by children across the country.
Finally, ask yourself this. "Do I really like doing school visits?" Some authors are excellent public speakers and enjoy the school visits as much as the writing process. Others, like myself, are not as comfortable being in front of a large crowd and enjoy one on one encounters in a small setting better then being in front of a large school or assembly. Some authors love to travel, some have other obligations on the home front so travel is more of an inconvenience then a lucrative or enjoyable part of their career.
Marketing is a must for authors for sure, but school visits make up only a small part of that plan. Stay tuned for more posts on marketing your work and developing your marketing tool box.
Please feel free to give your opinion on school visits in the comment section or if you are a teacher, give tips for what you like or don't like when an author visits your school. Check out my website for the picture books I have published and let me know if you have questions about a possible visit to your school.