I've been interested in author presentations this spring because I did one last month and have two more coming up. Many children's authors who do school and library presentations would be embarrassed to have so few lined up, but I find three overwhelming. The next one is an on-line chat, which sounds fun and should be easy. (That means I'm riding for a fall, of course.) But the one in May is at a junior/senior high school. In another state. And the library media specialist said I could eat lunch in the cafeteria with the kids, which means he must have read my website page on presentations (the brochure) where I say I like to eat lunch in the cafeteria with the kids. And I do. But in a junior/senior high school?!! I've written scenes in two books (one unpublished to date) about the horrors of eating in those cafeterias. Who's going to want to eat with me? It would be like eating with their mother.
On top of all that, I have to revise my presentation for that age group.
So, anyway, I've been thinking about all that lately, and I've noticed that Mitali Perkins has been thinking about it, as well, because she's been doing author presentations, too.
I also finally read (skimmed) Terrific Connections with Authors, Illustrators, and Storytellers by Toni Buzzeo and Jane Kurtz. Toni Buzzeo is a kind of guru of author presentations here in New England. Or maybe the United States. Or maybe the world. The book she wrote with Jane Kurtz is filled with information, but primarily of interest to media specialists and teachers planning author events. Though new children's authors looking for ideas for preparing a school presentation will certainly get some from Terrific Connections. In fact, even I got a little inspiration for my high school talk.
For anyone interested in finding an author to come visit a school, I've recently learned about Author School Visits BY STATE!, a new blog that collects websites of authors who do school visits. Which is pretty much what its title says.