Friday, March 3, 2017
PBJ: Author Visits
Today, I am spending some time preparing for an author visit on Monday. I thought I'd share what a J. C. Phillipps author visit is like.
An author visit is when an author comes to a school. They may talk to the entire school or they may work with one grade. It's a very fluid, flexible process that depends on what the author is most comfortable doing and what the school wants to get out of the visit.
Most of the time, I'll do one or two large group presentations that last about an hour, and then spend the rest of my day doing art or writing workshops with individual classrooms. Those last 35-45 minutes each. Add in lunch and some bathroom breaks and possibly some time to sign books, if the school has been kind enough to do a book sale, and that's my day.
When I started out with my first book and my first presentation, things were pretty simple. I did a large group presentation on Wink: The Ninja Who Wanted to Be Noticed and talked about how the idea for the book grew into an actual book. It chronicled my experience. Then I'd jump into classroom and taught students to make Wink collages.
But, as I made more books and I visited more schools, my menu of presentations and workshops has increased. I now offer about eight different large group presentations, four art workshops, and several writing workshops. These days, I find out what the school wants me to focus on and the grades I'll be with, and I cater an activity just for them.
School visits are great because I really enjoy spending time with kids and teaching them. But they can be challenging too. There can be technical difficulties, long distances in traffic, and scheduling nightmares. And sometimes, I'm just plain exhausted by the end of the day.
But, it's a part of the job and I get paid. Cha-ching! And it's an excellent way for me to connect my target readership.
So that's what I'm doing today.
Thanks so much for stopping in! Have a great weekend!