Hosting a Memorable Visit
Tips for hosting a successful author/illustrator visit:
Before the Visit
Request an author for your event, up to a year in advance
Agree on a date that works for your organization and the author/illustrator
Electronically sign the agreement
Make or coordinate travel arrangements, if needed
Make hotel reservations if needed. As a general guideline, choose a place where you will be proud to drop them off. Having a light breakfast available is a plus.
Order copies of the author/illustrators book(s) and make sure students are familiar with them. Schools should be sure to order in time for all class
One great way for students to have a lifetime memory of this visit is to allow them to order the author/illustrator's books. Create a book order form/order books (see final section)
Share a proposed schedule with the School VIsit Dot Connector prior to the visit. Allow a minimum of 15 minutes between presentations.
Make arrangements fo transportation for author/illustrator from the airport, if needed.
If the author is driving, reserve a place to park and inform them of thwere to park and enter the building.
During the Visit
Arrange meals while teh author/illustrator is in town. Low-key dinners are best because the author/illustrator may need to have evening work time and will need down time after a full day of presenting and interacting. They may choose to eat on their own, so provide a list of nearby places. Check with them to find their preferences, they may want company for dinner.
Make arrangements for transportation to your school or library and back to the hotel the day(s) of the visit.
Provide a hospitality room in a quiet place with limited distractions with a few snacks and bottled water or coffee for breaks. This will also be a good place for them to sign books if you are selling them.
Have technology available for the author/illustrator- Projector, dongles, spare computer, power, etc. What the author needs will be shared before the visit.
Make lunch available with the author's dietary restrctions and preferences in mind.
Make sure payment arrangements are made. It is good form to have payment ready the day of the visit whenever possible.
Make time available for book signing and breaks. Authors aren't used to talking non-stop all day like teachers are.
Make arrangements for the return to the airport, if needed.
After the Visit
Make sure payment requirements are met.
Share pictures of your event on social media and tag the author/illustrator
Although not required, having kids create thank you notes is a nice touch for the author/illustrator and always appreciated
Fun Ideas to Make the Visit Extra Special
If the author/illustrator is flying, create a fun welcome sign for the airport. If they are driving, create a sign to mark their reserved parking space.
A unique arrival experience is fun for kids and the author. Perhaps capitalize on one of the author/illustrator's titles.
Have students/teachers create welcome signs to place in areas the author will be present.
Book Sale Options
1- Have students pre-order books and then the school can purchase books directly from
the publisher at typically 40% off. On the order form have students/parents/patrons
indicate which books they would like, collect payment, allow them to have the book
personalized. It’s best to limit the space provided on the form for personalization to
include just a name. This option can be made difficult because the author/illustrator
may use more than one publisher. Some publishers require an account set up through
your accounts payable and some require a credit card. Orders can take up to four
weeks to process, though frequently less, so plan ahead.
2- Order books from the publisher without having student preorders. Books are
returnable in most cases, but shipping returned books is expensive.
3- Work with a local indie bookstore to order books in advance. Many will offer a small
discount, but you will support a local store and that is good for the community. Order
forms can be created while working with a bookstore to minimize the risk for that
School Visit Dot Connector is willing to walk you through any form of book ordering!