What is an Author Visit?
Author visits are an amazing opportunity to connect your students with a touring author! These events are usually sponsored by the publisher, meaning the publisher pays for the author’s travel and lodging, and ask only for a minimum number of books to be sold for the event. Author visits typically run 45-60 minutes, depending on the age of the audience, and include a presentation with time at the end for Q&A with students.
How do I sign my school up for an Author Visit?
Please fill out the information form linked on our Author Visits page to be added to our list of potential host schools.
What are the requirements of an Author Visit?
Although most author visits have very similar requirements, each visit is unique with requirements specific to that author. Requirements include audience size, a/v equipment and book order minimums. These will be clearly communicated when an author visit is offered to the school; please read through any offer email carefully and make sure your school can meet the requirements of that particular event.
How does the book ordering process work?
Little Shop of Stories provides a PDF of a paper order form that can be downloaded, printed, and distributed to students, as well as sent out via email to all families. Students who wish to pay with cash or check can print this form and bring it back with the cash/check attached. This form can also be modified to allow for charges to student accounts, in the case of schools that have that option. Once the order form due date arrives, just let Little Shop of Stories know how many books you need for your pre-orders. The books will be available for pick up at the Shop in advance of the Author Visit, and the author will sign and personalize the books as part of their day (in the case of virtual visits, autographed bookplates are typically provided).
What if we don't meet the minimum purchase requirement?
First of all--meeting the minimum is not usually a problem! As long as the staff and teachers prepare the students in advance and help build excitement for the visit (see below), the preorders very often exceed the minimum purchase without issue. Here are some more ideas to help meet pre-order minimums:
- Ask parents to sponsor a "buy one, give one" program for students in your school who may not be able to take advantage of the pre-order opportunity; we can add that to your preorder form if you'd like!
- Offer a "buy one, give one" program to sponsor your nearest Title I school
- Purchase a small group or classroom set for the school
- Purchase extra copies to use as prizes or rewards from the Media Center or the principal, or in your school's annual auction fundraiser (signed books make great auction items!)
- Purchase extra signed copies and sell them in your next Book Fair
What does our school need to do to prepare for an Author Visit?
The most important thing is that students are well prepared for the visit. This makes the experience more valuable for both the author and the students. You could prepare students in many ways, including:
- Making sure that students know when the visit is (date & time!).
- Reading the author's book(s) in class.
- Having author studies/research projects or talks about the author.
- Offering extra credit assignments related to the author and/or book.
- Having kids use the book as inspiration to do an art project or other activity, e.g. making a video book review or preview, making welcome signs for the author to see as they enter the school, or making decorations for the space in which the visit will take place.
- Having a student or students meet and greet the author upon arrival to the main office. Ask a student to introduce your author to the audience. Always make sure front office staff is aware of the visit.
Authors always remember the schools and teachers who take the extra steps and go out of their way to make the author feel welcomed, and the preparation means kids are much more engaged and excited for the visit. Overall, preparation makes the visit more valuable for everyone involved, especially the kids.
Please email our Author Visit Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org!