Isabella Media works with our author partners to schedule events at schools. An author visit can have a significant impact on your students. It helps them get excited about reading, learn about the writing process, and hear from a creative professional who makes a living doing what they love. We can coordinate these visits with the help of a media specialist, PTA, principal, or teacher. Each school that wants to host an author selects the appropriate contact person to work with Isabella Media to plan the author visit. Our goal is to make the process as simple as possible for educators.
A typical author visit consists of a talk, a reading from the author’s newest book, a Q&A session, and a signing. We will communicate A/V equipment and set-up needs to the school in advance of the event.
Who does what?
What Isabella Media will do:
- Coordinate with the author’s publicist and the school to schedule details of the visit
- Provide a flyer/pre-order form for students to purchase books (*see sample attached)
- Inform the school of the author’s A/V requirements
- Order books for the event
- Accept the return of any books not sold at the event
- Invoice the school for the amount due for books sold at the event
What the school is responsible for:
- Promote the author event to students, staff, and parents
- Make copies of flyer/pre-order form and distribute to all students who will be attending the author’s presentation. This should be sent home in weekly folders, posted in hallways, or distributed through any other communication channel the school
- Collect preorder forms and money for book sales from students and report the numbers to Isabella Media 1-2 weeks before the author visit
- Send Isabella Media payment for books sold
- Receive Isabella Media (typically a week before the event) and accept responsibility for their care
- Prepare A/V setup and signing area for author presentation
- Introduce author at event
- Distribute books to students who purchase them as preorders and during the event
- Return any unsold books within one week of event
What discount do schools get on books for author events?
Isabella Media offers up to a 20% discount on books for author events. Many schools choose to pass this discount along to the students. Alternatively, schools have the option to sell the books at full price and use the proceeds as a fundraiser for the school. If sales go through the school’s PTA, the books will not be taxed. These details can be worked out after the initial scheduling of the author visit but must be determined before Isabella Media sends the flyer to the school contact person.
How much time do you need to plan an author visit?
While the initial scheduling may take place further in advance, the event logistics can usually come together in about 4-6 weeks. This gives Isabella Media enough time to finalize the flyer/pre-order form, collect pre-orders, and order books, and gives the school enough time to promote the author visit.
The authors are able to offer these free programs when they have a new book coming out because their publisher absorbs tour expenses. The book sales from an author visit, especially from pre-orders, are key to give the publisher a reason to continue sending authors and illustrators to Isabella Media in the future. It is very helpful when teachers can build student excitement before an event. It leads to better book sales as well as increased student engagement during the presentation.
Here are some examples of what other schools have done to promote author visits:
- Post flyer/pre-order form on schools and PTA’s website
- Share flyer/pre-order form on schools and PTA’s social media outlets
- Email a blast to parents from school or PTA
- Include author visit info in the morning announcements (some even do it daily in the week leading up to the pre-order deadline and some have students make the announcement)
- Create a welcome banner for the author and place it outside the school’s entrance
- Have the librarian print a list of all the author’s titles that are available in the library
- Have the librarian create a display of the author’s other books (maybe include comparable titles by other authors to recommend to students)
- Have the librarian talk to all classes during their Media/Library time about the author’s background and other books they’ve written. Read alouds are helpful to familiarize students with the author’s work.
- Have students write blurbs for the author’s books. Ask them if they have any questions, they want to ask the author
- Suggest to teachers that they read the book (or some of the book) aloud in their classes, do writing assignments based on the book, or conduct a book club around the title
- Have a contest where a student can be selected to introduce the author or to escort the author around during their visit
- Just have fun and get creative!
Typical timeline on the day of the event
Setup and Arrival
- Do any setup required for the event space including A/V requirements
- Set up a table for the author to sign books. Please stock this area with a few pens or Sharpies and a bottle of
- The author will typically arrive about 30 minutes before the presentation. A school official should greet the author upon arrival. If the author has personal items, such as a jacket or bag, please provide a space to store them during the
- Show the author the event space and let them do a quick check on any A/V Assist if necessary.
- A school official should welcome everyone, introduce the event and Isabella Media, and introduce the (Some schools will have a student introduce the author.)
- The author will give their presentation and take questions from the
- When the author has finished their presentation a school official will return to the microphone, thank the author, and direct the students in how and where to form a signing
- In some cases, there is not time for the author to sign with the students present. If that is the case the students should be dismissed, and the author should be given a space to sign the books that have been purchased. These books will need to be delivered to the students in class later in the
- If the author plans to personalize books for students, please have a staff member with sticky notes and pencils help the students tab the title page and write the correct spelling of the student’s name for the
- The author will sign books for students as long as possible. They may have a tight schedule to get to their next event or the airport. This information will be given to the school during the planning process.
- Sometimes students will enjoy the presentation so much that they try to buy a book the day after the author visit. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to get a few extra books