An Author Visit is defined when an author comes to a school and speaks to a portion of its student body, usually on the topic of reading, writing, or the content of the author's book. It's a memorable and rewarding experience and furthers the goal of getting kids to read. And it's free to the school! Publishers send authors on book tours when they have a new book coming out to get exposure for the author and to sell books. There are always new books coming out, and publishers are constantly sending authors on these promotional tours.
Typically, an author will visit two schools per day--one in the morning and one in the afternoon. An author may have certain audio visual (AV) needs, will want to speak with specific grades, and will sometimes want a particular audience size. All of this information will be provided for you before you decide if you'd like to invite the author to your school.
How do I schedule an Author Visit?
Periodically, TKE will send an email to schools letting them know which authors are available. If you see one who looks like it would be a good fit for your school, please fill out The King's English Bookshop Author Visit Request form.
Are there any requirements for the school?
There are three key requirements:
1. To read and sign the Author Visit Contract.We've arranged to have hundreds of authors in schools and have streamlined the process. It all starts with reading, understanding and signing the contract. (Each author visit requires a new contract to be signed.)
2. By committing to host an author, the school agrees to purchase a minimum of 25 copies of the book being promoted. Schools usually hit this number very easily. We can help you with promotion ideas too!
3. To handle all the money that comes in from the students. The school keeps all of this money and The King's English Bookshop will send a single invoice to the school after the visit.
I've scheduled an Author Visit, now what?
As soon as the event has been confirmed, TKE will email you an official confirmation, which will ask you a few logistical questions. Following that, you'll receive a "next steps" email that will include an Order Form. We'll order the books for you to sell at your school and let you know when they come in so you can pick them up [or arrange for delivery.]
What is an Order Form?
An Order Form lets students and their families know about the event, the author, the author's book, and gives them the opportunity to buy a book in advance of the event so they can have it signed by the author (either at the event or beforehand, depending on the author’s schedule.) This Order Form is a requirement of the publisher. [It's also designed for use before and after the event.] A benefit of pre-ordering the book is that the author will be able to sign it. Please see SAMPLE Order Form below.
How do I prepare for the Author Visit? Or, how to get the school excited!
It is the responsibility of the school to promote the event and distribute Order Forms.
Getting ready for the Author Visit can be a lot of fun, and a learning experience in and of itself! The author is a guest of the school... how would you like the author to be welcomed? This is your chance to roll out the red carpet and show off your school. By no means is any of this required, but you can use it as an opportunity. Feel free to ask us for ideas; we are happy to offer up suggestions.
What logistics do I need to take care of in advance of the event?
It's really only three things: provide the information below to TKE so we can prepare the Order Form, have the books for sale and collect the forms and money, and promote the Author Visit.
TKE will create the Order Form for the school to distribute. It will be emailed to you as a PDF file. Although it’s in color, it copies really nicely in black & white.
INFORMATION NEEDED TO CREATE THE ORDER FORM
- Exactly who will collect the forms/money? (The main office? School librarian? PTA?) The line on the Order Form/Flyer that says, “Please return order forms to your teacher or the Main Office.” needs to be determined for your school.
- Typically, schools or PTAs can accept cash and checks. If they can accept credit cards, please let us know and we'll add it to the form.
- Who should the checks be written out to? The line on the Order Form that says, “Payment: Cash or check. Please make checks payable to…" Is it the school? The PTA? Please provide exact wording.
- The author will need to be introduced at the beginning of the event. In addition to having a school administrator welcome the author and get things started, it’s often a unique and memorable opportunity to have one of the students do the introduction.
BOOKS FOR SALE & MONEY COLLECTION:
- About two weeks before the Author Visit and for about one week afterwards, the school will have books available for sale. TKE will have these books ready to be picked by the school. The school will make them available to students. We'll note the titles and quantities at the beginning, then whichever books are leftover at the end of the time frame, the school will return to TKE. We'll tally what sold and send the school a single invoice for payment for whatever books sold. So, one invoice for all pre-order sales, on-site sales, day-of sales and post sales. This way, students can buy the books on the spot when it's convenient for them. It works like a consignment type thing. We know how many we start with, and however many we end up with -- we subtract to see how many sold.
- Hopefully, any books ordered via the Order Form in advance can be fulfilled with the books at the school for sale. If not, please let us know ASAP by the deadline date so we can get them ordered in time for the visit. (The Order Forms will need to be matched up with the books, so please have them handy.)
*Please note: Sometimes the book that the author is out promoting, doesn't come out until just days before the Author Visit -- or sometimes that very day. Therefore, the book wouldn't be available to you (or us) until then. We'll let you know if this is the case, and adjust accordingly.
Why do we have to work so far in advance and why are there deadlines?
SCHEDULING THE AUTHOR: Publishers schedule authors on their book tours 4-6 months in advance. That's when they contact TKE. There are a lot of moving parts when trying to coordinate travel logistics for an author who will be traveling all over the country. While we don't need to do everything 4-6 months out, the publisher needs to know that the school is committed to hosting the author, that there won't be any testing going on that day, and that students won't be out on school break.
EVENT LOGISTICS: These should begin 4-6 weeks in advance of the Author Visit. This has to do with preparing a Pre-Order Form, giving the school enough time to share it, time for the school to let us know which books have been ordered by the students, allow TKE to order the books, receive them at our store, process them, and get them ready to go to the school. This takes weeks. Please pay close attention to the deadlines!
How is money collected from the students who buy books?
The student will pay (however the school has this sent up - a check, cash, online school account to the school directly. Then after the Author Visit, TKE will send an invoice to the school. The school will then write a single check to TKE for the full amount invoiced.
What happens on the day of the event?
ARRIVAL, SET-UP & INTRODUCTIONS:
- The author should arrive 30-45 minutes before the start time of the event.
- The author may be accompanied by a media escort or a representative from TKE.
- They’ll need a place to set any jackets, bags, etc.
- Determine a place for the author to sign books for the students.
- They’ll want to see the event space and make sure all A/V and the room is all set and ready to go.
- It’s always nice for the author to meet and say hello to the principal -- and any other important school officials, too.
- In addition to possibly having a student introduce the author, we’d like the school to welcome everyone, introduce the event and The King's English Bookshop, and hand it over to the student (if there is one introducing the author) – if not, then the school can proceed with the author introduction. (Either way, we can provide you with info about the author.)
- The author will present. [We usually request the school to set aside an hour time block, but the author is usually flexible when it comes to school schedules.]
AS THE PRESENTATION ENDS:
- At the conclusion of the presentation, please have school staff come up on stage to thank the author, dismiss the students and talk about any school-related housekeeping needs.
- Feel free to post photos and such on social media to let the community know about this fun event and please tag us! (#kingsenglishbookshop) Tag the author, too. (It’s usually just “#” and their full name and/or book title. Just ask us if you’re not sure.)
- The author can sign books for the students.
- The Order Form should be distributed at the end of the event, or sent with the teachers to hand out that day, while the event is fresh is the student’s minds.
What happens after the event?
The school will return any unsold books to TKE (over the inital 25 that it agreed to purchase) that were left on the day of the Author Visit. (TKE will coordinate the timing of this in advance. It's usually about one week after the event.) We'll tally all books sold and send a single invoice. If the books aren't returned by the agreed upon date, the school will be charged for all the outstanding books.
Some students are ambitious and like to send thank you notes. We can send them to the author via the publisher, if you'd like to do this.