Author Packets

I’ve spent most of the day creating materials for my author packets…well, that and writing out the Toastmasters speech I came up with on my bike ride this morning. So far, I’ve written every one of my Toastmasters speeches on my bike. What am I going to do when it’s too cold/snowy/icy to bike??? I don’t know if I can write a Toastmasters speech anywhere other than on my bike! This one is Project 5: “Your Body Speaks,” which, as I’ve blogged about before, is something I struggle with in Toastmasters. So…my speech is on how to make better use of movement during a speech. Maybe I’ll actually learn something from myself?

But anyway…back to the author packet. I don’t know why I never made up author packets before. Probably the most useful page in there is the one that lists the contact info for the school visit person at each of my publishers. I tell you, tracking down that info at six different publishing house is a real PAIN. No wonder I’ve had a couple schools lately that didn’t want to deal with book sales. If it’s a pain for ME, I can only imagine what it must be like for the schools. Perhaps having a sheet of paper that lists all this info (assuming I’m good about keeping it updated) will help?

I’m also struggling with my “Tips for a Successful School Visit” sheet. I’ve seen these in other people’s author packets, but I didn’t pay close enough attention to the WORDING of these tips. I know other authors borrowed their “tips” from Toni Buzzeo and Jane Kurtz’s Terrific Connections with Authors, Illustrators and Storytellers (which is a great book for both schools AND authors!). But it’s one thing for Toni and Jane (Toni is a media specialist!) to say it in a book; it’s quite another thing for ME to say it in something I’m specifically sending to a school that has already invited me. (How do you politely tell a school to pay you the day you’re there or don’t make you stay in a stranger’s home or don’t forget to give you time for lunch?)

I am having fun with some of the activities and “curriculum connections” I’m trying to draw to all my books. It is entirely possible I’m getting a little carried away with STUFF to put in my author packet…tonight my husband and I are going to make bookmarks! I’ve never had bookmarks of any of my books…that’s why I was so excited when that school in Cedar Rapids had a contest last spring and asked the kids to design bookmarks to go with my books. I still have most of those bookmarks! I’m afraid to use them too much because I don’t want to damage any of them. I really should go laminate them or something.


13 thoughts on “Author Packets

  1. Dori,

    If it’s a local school, one you’re driving to, with six publishers, maybe you want to become a bookseller and provide the books yourself? You can set up a Baker & Taylor account and become a one-woman bookstore, just for your own books and just for school visits. I’ve done this, and besides having to file a sales tax form, it’s not too difficult. And since I started doing it, there is less of a chance that a school will choose not to sell my books.

    I’m still not using contracts myself (well, I sign one if the school provides one), but contracts can spell out things like being paid on the day of the visit, etc.

    I find if you remind people of the importance of lunch in a humorous way, it sticks in your craw less.

    Good luck!
    Jennifer J.

  2. When it gets too cold and snowy…cross-country skiing!

    Good luck with those author packets. My editor put a good fright into me because she wants to talk on the phone next week about school visits. What do I know about school visits? Nothing, that’s what. I assume all the teaching I’ve done will help, but my students have been college students, not grade school kids. Eek!

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