Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What Authors Must Do to SELL Books - Fun Stuff + Hard Work.

Okay, let's get the important things
out of the way first.

I am this week's guest on

With host:
Suzanne Lieurance.

Date / Time: 9/2/2010 12:00 PM
Call-in Number: (646) 716-9239

This week's show is a previously recorded
interview with me, chatting about

my 9th book + other fun stuff.

I am the featured author this week on

National Writing for Children Center
Adding a comment could win you one of my books!

Read their terrific review

"Ruthie and the Hippo's Fat Behind."

I am still basking in the afterglow!


for some serious business . . .

School Visits

This week, an author's list I am on has been
batting around the pros and cons of
doing school visits.

Here are my thoughts:

A few years ago, many authors made a lot more doing school visits than they did on royalties. This has changed. As daily newspapers, CNN and radio news tells us, public schools are in deep financial trouble. Most don’t have the big bucks to spend on our fees, and many parents can’t afford to buy our books. However, if you are lucky enough to live in a more affluent school district, remember that each school has its own ideas about how to handle an author visit. There is NO one rule that fits all schools. What I advise, is to personally contact whoever is in charge of author visits, and ask what they want from you: time allocated, any small teaching element needed, the number of classes you will visit, etc. Then you have to negotiate until you are both satisfied with what YOU bring to their table. Fees are very negotiable.

Never do it for free. It is very true that people do value what they pay for – schools included. Yet where once you might have received $500 for the day, now you might only receive $100.
Yet remember, whatever you are paid, you are still putting your name and titles out there in the hope of HOOKING KIDS on READING.

Always ask for some sort of fee when you go to a school, visit classes, read your books, and provide whatever else the school wants you to do for each class. Even if it is only $50.00. Schools will really value you , your time and your writing talent, if YOU put a dollar value on it as well. For some reason, many writers feel what they do is somehow unworthy of payment. Their time and talent is not worth hard cash. PHOOEY! If we don’t value ourselves, then no one else will either.

When schools are in an affluent area, they should pay a reasonable fee for your services – at least several hundred dollars for a well presented visit and book reading. In the less affluent areas, negotiate a fee you are both comfortable with. But some fee should be paid in acknowledgment and respect for your services, time and talent.

If you are famous, with awards and lots of books, you can probably charge big bucks - and get it! However, in these tough times, look into the financial situation of the school districts you plan to visit. Then negotiate you fee. Sometimes, you have to negotiate what they want from you, with what you are prepared to do. These days you need to go in with negotiating everything a probability – especially your fee.

Once you get the go-ahead, consider
pre-selling your books to the school.

When I did school visits, I gave them order forms ahead of time, to send home with the kids. This listed my books, a small blurb about each book for the parents information, + the prices. It also had my e-mail address, and the website where parents could go and view the books and illustrations for themselves.
I knew ahead of time the number sold, and ordered them from my publisher in one large lot. Some publishers, like mine, offer schools a nice discount. This worked well for me, and saved the teachers having to make up the order forms themselves.


Books for Kids - Manuscript Critiques

My 9th Book

"Ruthie and the Hippo's Fat Behind"

Saturday, August 21, 2010

SCBWI - Authors that HOOK KIDS on READING.

(Society of Children's Writers and Illustrators)

Nurtures a Hotbed of Writing Talent.

Maybe it's the rain, or the snow capped forested mountains,
the trout streams, or simply something writerly in the air,
but these Oregonians write books kids love to read.

I offer you just a few of the titles that will be available this fall:

These are authors who know how to
Hook YOUR KID on Reading,

OR - Lure that reluctant reader into
turning page-after-page.

Inara Scott

"Delcroix Academy: The Candidates"

Release date: August 24, 2010
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

ISBN: 978-142311636-3
Can buy anywhere

@inarascott (Twitter)

Inara Scott (Facebook)

Must view Book Trailer


David Michael Slater

"The Book of Maps"
(Sacred Books, Volume III)

Illustrator: David Michael Slater
Publisher: Blooming Tree Press/CBAY

ISBN 978-1933767031
All fine bookstores!

Margie Boule writes of the increasingly controversial Sacred Books series:
"What would you get if you combined Indiana Jones, Harry Potter and Sherlock Holmes?...If you were David Michael Slater, you'd get the 13-year-old Wax twins, Dexter and Daphna. The intrepid stars of David's "Sacred Books" adventure series. These books...are starting to make waves." The Book of Nonsense and The Book of Knowledge pleased and teased readers with a provocative blend of action and intellectual thrills. The Book of Maps (Sacred Books, Volume III) launches the twins on an even greater and more perilous journey of discovery. Oct. 16th,


Carol Riggs

"Junction 2020: The Portal"

( young adult novel )

Cover designed by Carol Riggs
ISBN/EAN13: 1453730877 / 9781453730874

Publisher: Create Space

Where to BUY:
Carol's Website

When 16-year-old Mari Stratton attends a New Year's party with her brother and her hearing-impaired friend, she joins in a game outside in the dark fields. As midnight strikes, she finds herself and four others propelled by a violent green storm into a confusing landscape of beauty, danger, and mystery. In this alternate world, ruthless black-cloaked riders on horseback hunt them down, and Mari encounters the very things she fears the most. Somehow, she must discover how they can get back to the real world.


2 Books

Judy Cox

"Carmen Learns English"

Picture Book

Illustrator: Angela Dominguez

Publisher: Holiday House
ISBN: 978-0-8234-2174-9


Bookstores and online booksellers
.Judy's Website

The first day of school can be scary, especially when you don't speak English. But when the time comes for the class to learn a new lesson, Ms. Coski needs help, and Carmen's special talent just might come in handy. "This charming celebration of bilingualism captures both the fears and delights of learning a new tongue."--School Library Journal

PLUS. . .

"Nora and the Texas Terror"

Chapter Book - Ages: 6-9

Author: Judy Cox
Illustrator: Amanda Haley

Publisher: Holiday House
.ISBN: 978-0-8234-2283-8

Bookstores and online booksellers

Judy's Website

Nora tries to be a good sport about having Ellie's family as long-term guests now that her uncle has lost his job. However, her brash cousin Ellie, the Texas terror, is taking over Nora's life! This warmhearted chapter book about families doubling up during hard times is timely and engaging. A Junior Library Guild Selection.


Carmen T. Bernier-Grand

"Sonia Sotomayor: Supreme Court Justice"
(also available in Spanish)

Illustrator: Thomas Gonzalez
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish
ISBN: 978-0-7614-5795-4


A Children’s Place Bookstore
Carmen's Website

In elegant free verse, Carmen T. Bernier-Grand describes Sotomayor’s remarkable journey from her childhood in the projects near Yankee Stadium to her stellar academic achievements at Ivy League universities to her rapid rise in the legal profession.


Tom Birdseye

"Storm Mountain"

Publisher: Holiday House
ISBN 978-0-8234-2130-5

.Online and local booksellers
Tom's Website

A muffled whump beneath her feet cut Cat short. She looked down to see a jagged crack shoot out across the surface of the snow. . . . Avalanche!

The world went dark. Blocks of wet snow pummeled her from all sides. She tumbled as if tossed by a giant ocean wave. Crashing, spinning, Cat couldn't tell up from down. . . . Gagging, frantic for air, Cat grabbed blindly, pulling, swimming, clawing to get to the surface, but seemed to just sink deeper. . . . Like a fool she had walked right into the dragon's trap. . . . Stupid, she thought, as the dragon's fist closed in on her. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

It was Cat's impulsive, irrepressible cousin Ty's harebrained idea to spread the ashes of their late fathers from the summit of the same treacherous mountain that had claimed both their lives. Now Cat must put all of her mountaineering knowledge to work if she and Ty are to survive Storm Mountain.

with some of these terrific books!


Books for Kids - Manuscript Critiques

"Ruthie and the Hippo's Fat Behind"