Monday Marketing: Librarians

Blog- LibrariansLibrarians
by: Tracey M. Cox

Marketing through librarians?

Yes!

Why?

Why not???? They have a finger on the pulse of publishing. Librarians know what is out there and what is needed. Really and truely, they are a valuable resource you should include in your arsenal.

Many of them can open doors for you for school visits or other programs that are offered in your area.

If you live in Georgia, USA, The Georgia Pines system offers #SummerReadingProgram with a theme for you to wrap a performance around. This year (2015) is Super Hero. I decided to offer a program this year and was able to book a few public libraries. I am really happy to report that I am loving it and have one more to do. I also visited my local library when other performers were there. I wanted to see what they did and how they handled their program and any situations that came up.

Here’s my super hero:

#SuperStoryteller

SuperStoryteller.02

 

Also in Georgia, School librarians (media specialist) are your contact person for school visits in most schools. I make a point to email them at least twice a year to introduce myself to new ones and to remind those established that I offer school visits.

authorvisit1       authorvisit3       authorvisit2

 

Here’s another thing librarians do… BOOK AWARDS. Yes, some of them are on committees or go to conferences where they nominate books. If they like you and your book enough, it will get talked about.

They will also talk about you and what you have done with them, in your community, and with your writing. Word of Mouth!!! Remember that marketing tip? You can’t pay for this, but it is one of the most crucial boosts to your marketing. Do the right things and give them something positive to talk about.

So make friends with you local librarians (school and public), see what they are interested in and what is needed, volunteer to read, really invest some time with them. They can be your biggest cheerleaders!

DON’T FORGET:

Summer Sparks#SummerSparks writing challenge will be wrapping up July 11th, 2015, at 11:59 pm et. You still have time to complete the challenge.   🙂   You will need to make sure you have:

  1. Commented on all blog post that list a prize.
  2. Comment on Day 14 post by promising you have at least 14 sparks and leave your name.

Need to see a list of blog post? You can visit the Summer Sparks page. You’ll see all bloggers and their corresponding blog posts.

 

:::LEAVE A COMMENT:::
What other resources have you found with your librarians?
Do you know of another marketing tip you would like me to go in depth on?

 

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~World Read ALOUD DAY~ March 4th!

litworldWRAD15logo-web

Did you know WORLD READ ALOUD DAY is approaching fast?

Well, it is!
~ March 4, 2015 ~

And I’m participating!

I’m offering 15 minute *FREE* Skype visits that day.

What will I do?

  1. Smile and wave
  2. Read one of my stories
  3. Allow your students to ask questions

What do you need to do?

  1. Contact me! email me at authorvisits@traceymcox.com or leave a comment below
  2. Pick out which  BOOK  you would like me to read
  3. Prepare questions

Check out my EVENTS PAGE on my website to see what times are available. Book your spot N-O-W!!!

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what you think of this idea.
Are YOU participating in World Read Aloud Day?
How? What are you doing?

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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*** Sign up for my  N E W S L E T T E R ! I will be sharing writing challenges and other
tidbits related to the kidlit industry. Click  ~HERE~  to be directed to my
Newsletter sign-up page.
Shaping Up The Year book       RibbertsWayHome8x300[1]       LGHL-small       justthethingtobe8x300       ADT-8x150       Arachnabet

Tuesday Tips: 7 Different Types of Presentations

presentation_01.svg.med7 Different Types of Presentations

 

Today I’m continuing my block of post on…

SCHOOL TIME + AUTHOR VISITS = LEARNING STUDENTS

 

 As I begin winding down my SCHOOL VISITS blogging block. I thought I would touch on the seven presentations that come to my mind when I try to make up, or revise, one of my presentations.

  1.  Reading
    Read a book or two. It can be all yours or mix it up. Ask them what they liked about each book. This can help you in seeing what’s interesting to them too! Research. 🙂  This presentation works great for the younger ages. Although I have had high school students who love this too. I don’t think we ever grow out of liking to hear a story being told.
  2. Writing Process
    Take the students through your writing process. They will see that you have to do several things just like they do. This helps make the connection of carrying-through for life on what they are learning. This presentation works great for mid-elementary all the way through high school.
  3. Different Genres
    This type of presentation you can bring different books for each genre. You can go into word count and content on how each genre is different and how they can build on each other with information. I like telling them my ya version of a nursery rhyme and seeing if they can guess which one it is.
  4. How to Submit
    For this type of presentation you can go into revisions, researching publishing houses and magazines, show them what different rejections look like and what an acceptance letter looks like too. You can also let them know that the work isn’t done then. We market, promote, send in for awards and reviews, etc. This takes them into the business side of writing.
  5. Writing Workshop
    This type of presentation is where you can show them how characters need setting and conflict, how to pace and move the story along, and how to come to a conclusion. Most of these will have a ‘book’ that the students can keep. Here’s a video:

6.  Illustrating How To Draw
This type of presentation is where you can show students how a character develops.
Check out this video:

7.  Specialty Program
Do you have a book that is geared toward an event or something specific? If so, having a presentation which features this is a great way to get a message across. Maybe is it about the Underground Railroad, or Women’s Rights, or Native American oriented, or Stranger Danger issued. There are tons of topics that schools like to address and a great way to get your foot in the door.

 

So what do you think? Any of these get your brain buzzing with ideas for a presentation? Let me know what you think.

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Do you know of any other presentation ideas?
Have any questions?

Until next time,

Happy Writing!
~t

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Free Pass Friday: Q&A SCHOOL VISITS… How to Prepare

GoldenTicket

Today I’m continuing my block of post on…

SCHOOL TIME + AUTHOR VISITS = LEARNING STUDENTS

Every now and then I will have interviews, Q&As, and such that give you an inside look. I will be posting them under my Free Pass Friday series.

I held a live Q&A the other night and would like to share the result with all of you. There were a lot of great questions. So here is the video:

I hope you enjoyed it and that it answered some of the questions you might have had about Preparing for SCHOOL VISITS.

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what you think about what all I said.
Do you have any questions?
Is there another angle you would like to see covered?
What do you do to prepare for a school visit?

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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www. WHERE Can You Hold a School Visit

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www. Where Can You Hold A School Visit

Today I’m continuing my block of posts on…

SCHOOL TIME + AUTHOR VISITS = LEARNING STUDENTS

A few people have asked me where am I able to hold a SCHOOL VISIT at? My answer to this question is literally almost anywhere! In today’s technology, we don’t have to physically be somewhere to be able to see and hear someone.

While I absolutely LOVE going to a school and holding an in person visit, that may not always be an option. Distance and school budgets can be a big factor.

BUDGETS:
Schools budgets are getting tighter and tighter. While they encourage interaction, they may not be able to afford an author’s honorarium, plus traveling expense.

DISTANCE:
I have had several schools in-state that want to book me, but because of the travel expense they cannot afford it. There is mileage rate. I charge $0.56/mile, which is Federal Standard Mileage Rate. For places where I have over 2+ hours driving time, I request a hotel for the night before. If there is an extended drive, authors can ask for plane tickets too.

???So What To Do???

Welcome to the internet! 🙂

You can still visit schools by offering online visits. I offer these through Skype or Google+Hangouts. If you do a Google+Hangouts On Air, you can record the event for later use too.

Set up is simple.

If you have a Google email account you are ready to go. Hangouts selection is on a column bar on the right-side of your screen. Add your contact person to one of your circles and you can connect with the via Hangouts.

For Skype, you’ll need to create an account and download the free software. Add your contact person and you are ready.

I always like to do a test run with the school. This helps get any bugs out, wiring difficulties, sound check, and visual components.

There is a website you can sign up with: Skype In the Classroom, where you can post your presentations.
PROS: Great place to get your name out there. You are seen world wide. Your not restricted by regions.
CONS: Your presentations have to be free. I do ask them to send home a few flyers. (One on me, my bio, and one about my books, which also includes my website.) I also send them a flyer so they can announce that I will be ‘visiting’ their school.

It’s a wonderful experience. I have visited New Jersey, Alabama, Texas, and a few other places with this great avenue.

If you choose to do this: For the free ones, may I suggest paring down one or two of your presentations. Maybe do a quick reading and then allow 10 minutes for q&a. Maybe send a form before-hand letting them explore the writing process and then you can go over it and give them 10 minutes for follow-up and/or q&a.

The point being, the only thing to stop you from visiting a school is your own creativity. So that shouldn’t stop any of you. We are writers and illustrators after all. 🙂

Hopefully this gave you some ideas and maybe got you thinking some too.

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what you think about online visits?
What do you think about in person visits?
Do you have any questions about online or in person visits?
Let me know.

Until next time,

Happy Writing!
~t

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Marketing Your School Visits… WHO to contact

contact

Marketing Your School Visits… WHO to Contact

Today I’m continuing my block of posts on…

SCHOOL TIME + AUTHOR VISITS = LEARNING STUDENTS

So you  are a published author. You have several presentations ready.You want to get the word out that you are available for visits. Now you have the daunting task of trying to determine who to contact.

Here are some things I learned by trial and error:

START LOCAL / BUILD A COMMUNITY

Most of the people in your local community will probably already know you are a writer… especially your local librarian.  🙂
Contact the public libraries in your area and see if you can come in for story hour. Or maybe the would be interested in starting a story hour and you would love to help kick it off.

Contact your local schools. I call the front desk and speak with the receptionist. I tell them several things:

  1. Who I was.
  2. What I did.
  3. Where I lived.
  4. What I wanted to achieve.

Hi! I’m Tracey M. Cox, a children’s author. I live here in Georgia. I would like to send your contact person some information about my presentations I offer for school visits. Can you help me with that information?

By using those keywords of “author”, “school visit” “contact person”, I usually don’t have a very hard time finding out who I should contact.

CHARGING A FEE

Ahh, The sticky question of money. I will confess this. The first year I did not charge a fee. I went around locally and didn’t ask for mileage reimbursement either. I DID require them to allow me to sell my books. I wanted to get my ‘sailor legs’ under me. They were my guinea pigs *heehee* and I learned more than they could ever pay me for.

Now? Now I charge a fee, I charge for mileage (outside a 30 mile radius), and I require them to allow me to sell my books. Sometimes I can get them to pre-sell my books too, which is wonderful! Because I hate to run out of a particular book.

I think you should base your fees on three major things:

  1. WHERE are you located?
    Think honestly about this. I live in a rural community, 1 1/2 hours from a big city, 2+ hours from any major city. They will not have the funds a major city will have. They will not have the resources (unless they have an amazing volunteer-parent program) to do research on funding, grants, donation out reach. Because of these factors, I do not charge as much as someone in Atlanta or New York City.
  2. WHAT can you offer?
    How much knowledge do you have?  Experience is key. The more you know, the more you can offer.
    What all do you have to offer? Presentations are key here. Are you going to read a story? The writing process? Ideas session? How to become submission ready? Writing workshop? Specialty program? All this can lead to different types of presentations.
  3. AWARD-WINNING
    Well-known awards speak volumes. Lesser known awards may or may not help with the rate you charge. So take into account of this.
SPREADING YOUR WINGS

Once you’ve gotten some great contacts locally, spread out. I radiated out of my local area and eventually put together a list of contact people in my whole state. After a few phone calls, you will begin to notice a pattern of who your contact person will be. I switch over from phone calls to websites. Most school’s websites list an email for you to contact.

I have found that your contact people can change from state to state…

  • Principal / Head Master
  • Media Specialist
  • PTO/PTA
  • Superintendent / Chief School Administrator

These are the main titles I have found for the contact people.

INFORMATION OVERLOAD!

To keep all my information straight, I store everything on a spreadsheet. This helps keep everything in one spot. I include the school’s name, address, and phone number, and the contact person’s name and email. This way when I do a follow up OR begin again in the next school year, all my work has been done. All I will need to do is update any information as needed.

This is my School Visit Information spreadsheet. Feel free to use or modify to suit your needs.

GET YOUR NAME OUT THERE…

Now that you have a contact person, start sending out your introductory email. Keep it brief, but informative. Get them hooked into wanting to book you. Kind of like all those queries we’ve been writing.  😉

Don’t forget to do a follow-up email 2-4 weeks later. This is a great ‘reminder’ that you had contacted them already and know they have busy schedules.

Contact them at least twice a year (this doesn’t include follow-up emails) I will do one at the beginning of the school year and then another one after winter break. You want to remind them about you and your presentations, but not seem too pushy.

I hope this helps break the ice on you getting your name out there. It’s another scary place us writers/illustrators put ourselves in. First with our stories and editors/agents. Now with our books and schools. Good luck!

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what you think about this post.
Do you have other tricks on finding out who your contact person is?
Have a suggestion on something you would like to see covered?
Let me know!

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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Thinking Thursday: “WHY” Should Schools Invite Authors and Illustrators

authorvisit2“WHY” Should Schools Invite Authors & Illustrators

Today I’m continuing my block of posts on…

SCHOOL TIME + AUTHOR VISITS = LEARNING STUDENTS

I want to touch on the WHY part for schools to schedule a visit.

WHY take the time out of classroom time?

While Classroom Time is extremely valuable, having a break in the routine can help snap students attention back into focus. Trying something different is a great way to increase your attention. Think about seeing and doing the same thing over and over again. Such as this simple example:

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Did you spot the “7”? Stuck out didn’t it. Now you tend to look back at it to make sure it’s there right? Something different, something new. Can get the most out of you. Taking the time to see and/or do something out of the ordinary routine will help stick it into your brain better.

WHY you should encourage students to look into the presenter?

Here are two senarios:

  1. You book an author and tell the students they are coming. Then the presenter shows up. They look out into the crowd and see blank faces staring at them…
    Yes, I have had that scenario played out before my very eyes. They were told I was coming a month ago, but they forgot. Now all they know is they are getting out of class and I’m here for SOMETHING.OR….
  2. You book an author and tell your students they are coming.  The books your purchased are displayed where everyone will see them as they come into your library. You sent home the author bio and book order form flyers, so the parents can ‘meet’ the author too. There are extra author bio flyers available for the students to look at. They look the author up online, read their background, watch the book trailers, and read the books. Then the presenter shows up. They look out into the crowd and see smiling faces and a few students shyly wave and mouth, “Hi!”. They know who the presenter is and have a few questions ready, in case they get called upon.
    Yes, I have had this scenario played out before my very eyes too.

Guess which one the presenter is hoping for? By getting the students involved BEFORE the presenter comes will encourage not only a better session, but research, planning, and expectation.

WHY should you promote and sell the author’s/illustrator’s books?

Quite simply, you are showing support of them and their products. Authors and Illustrators work hard to get where they are and one way they get paid is in royalties from books sold. While we don’t make much, every bit counts.

WHY should you allow your students to meet an author/illustrator?

By allowing a presenter to come to your school it not only adds a new element for the day, but it also introduces them to someone who is knowledgeable in the field. Everyone likes to hear what experts say and do. So here’s your chance to allow someone with first-hand knowledge of the book industry into your school.

We can tell you the struggles of writing, editing, and just how scary it can be to see something you created go out into the world.

WHY will you see the effects of an author/illustrator visit?

I like to think of it as a rock being dropped into a still pond.

You have the immediate reaction of the presenter being there. Then after they have left you will see ripples as your students read more, talk about writing/drawing more, having to work hard for something you want to accomplish.

There are many ripples too.
Reading
Writing
Creativity
Researching
Preparation

This will expand to the outer reaches of their learning. Maybe even influence them in some way.

WHY you should incorporate this into your learning curriculum?

Bringing an author or illustrator into your school can be incorporated into the Common Core Curriculum. You can talk about where they are from (Social Studies), What background they have in their learning (Literature), How long it took to get their book published (Math), as well as many other things when you incorporate a book of theirs into the equation.

The learning never stops!  🙂

 

So what can hold a school back?
I’ll say it…

::MONEY::

It costs money to bring presenters in. This is something not all people realize. But think about it…

WHY should you pay for them to come?

You wouldn’t expect a doctor to do their job for free. Or a police officer. Or a cashier. The same should be applied to an author and illustrator. They have spent years honing their craft, submitting to houses, and getting ready for this day. Plus this person is taking time out of their schedule to come. That can include writing time, drawing time, revision time, gas, dry cleaning, time while at the school, you get the picture, right?

BUT… budgets are tight and getting tighter.

Here are a few things to help out:

  • Fund-Raisers
  • Title I Monies
  • Bake Sales
  • Sponsorships from business/organizations
  • Donations
  • PTA/PTO
  • Grants

Check out my Fund Raising/Grants page on my website for more ideas and information.

 

So I hope I made you pause and consider WHY inviting an author or illustrator is important and I hope you will consider encouraging your local schools to invite one or two or three or more this year!

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::

Do you know of any other WHYs as to why you should invite an author or illustrator?
Have a question? Ask in the comment section and I’ll do my best to answer it.

Happy Writing!
~t

 

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