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Tips for Organizing a Successful Book Event:

Often planners are nervous about an author visit for their schools. Let my experience and these guidelines and tips help! We can make sure that your teachers will see learning, your students will be engaged and your enrichment funds will be spent well. I am here to be sure that you feel comfortable with your choice and that you will know how to put the pieces together in advance so that you too can really enjoy the day!
~ Janet Zade

What to do:

  • Know what your teachers want. They may have had visits which were so well received as to be repeated.
  • Choose committee members for various tasks.
  • Preview the author if possible, or talk to someone who has. Contact Janet Zade for information and references.
  • Check the author’s website for information about work and presentations.
  • Gather information about the number of students and classes for the visit.
  • Work with Janet Zade to set the date, place, times, audience size and age, technical needs, discount book ordering information, and fee.
  • Choose committee members for various tasks. Who will sign and return the contract with the deposit? Who will coordinate with the teachers so that the kids are prepared and the schedule is ready? Who will notify the librarian, who might make a display and help get the students prepared? Who will notify the local press, or put an item in the school newsletter? Who will alert the office that a visitor will be coming? Who will get the final payment ready? Who will order lunch? Who will coordinate book orders, if that is being done? Will there be an escort for the beginning of the day, or longer?
  • Coordinate with your funding source to provide for deposit, travel costs, if necessary, and payment to author on the day of the visit. Ask for a W-9 if needed.
  • If you plan a book signing, send book order form home in backpacks or as school web page download. Order books, check the accuracy of the shipment, and put signing slips in each of the books.
  • Prior to the day of the event, make a display of posters and books, for the library or lobby, so that all will know this wonderful visit is happening.
  • Prior to the visit, urge the teachers to talk about the author’s visit, allow the students to read at least one of the books, and even ask the kids to write questions on a file card in preparation. The visit can be a much more valuable experience if these things are done!
  • Call your local newspaper for coverage, so that the wider community will know about the good things being done with the money raised.
  • On the day of the event, arrange for a host, make sure that all teachers have the schedule, and that the technical needs are met, provide the author’s lunch and payment, and set up a book signing area.
  • Emphasize that teachers should lead by being present and showing interest.

Questions You Should Ask When You Are Planning Your Event

Zade Educational Partners • 30 Talbot Road • Hingham, MA 02043
781.749.2733 • fax: 781-749-5507 • E-MAIL US!

© Brian Lies