Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ready for school visits

Couple days ago, I mailed out more than 100 flyers (front, back) to Austin area librarians, advertising my school/library program. Beyond my website, this is the first time I've marketed directly to librarians.

I began by downloading promotional materials of other authors and illustrators. Once I had a taste of the competition, I wrote, designed, and then had the flyers printed and folded at Kinkos.

Author friend, Brian Anderson, shared a list of AISD librarians he'd already compiled. Only thing I had to do was to confirm his list with the AISD website, just in case some librarians had moved. I also sent flyers to private schools.

The most exciting thing about this flyer was making a last minute revision. Normally, I'm not thrilled about stopping the presses to make a change. But in this case, my newest book, Ron's Big Mission, has been selected by the Junior Library Guild. I think that's good enough news to throw away a few flyers to make that addition.

This year, I adjusted my pricing down a bit. I'm charging $600 for a full day (three presentations). Four hundred for a half day (two presentations). And all that is negotiable. Some of my colleagues have suggested that I should charge more, that the going rate for an author/illustrator visit is at least $1,000.00, and that's low. But I've been doing school visits for about 10 years now, and at that price, I'd have not visited many schools, if any at all.

Typically, I visit about 6 to 7 schools per year, and I also speak at maybe one or two conferences. But with a slowdown in educational work, and two trade books that won't provide any income for well over a year, I could use a boost from school visits. And besides, school visits are a blast!

Wish me luck!


PJ Hoover said...

Good luck! Doing this is on my to-do list for the first week in September!

Lisa said...

Pursuing school visits in a serious way is something I want to do soon, too. That flyer looks great -- I agree that adding your cool award (congrats!) is worth it!