So, you want to take your show on the road, or at least into the classroom. . .

8:03 AM Posted by Danika Dinsmore

School visits may seem like a no-brainer for a children's book author, but what if you've never stepped foot in a classroom other than as a student or a parent?

How do you set up such visits and what do you charge for the service?

How do you go about creating and providing an engaging visit, one students and teachers talk about for days?
I am fortunate not only to have a teaching credential and experience, but to have taught in public, private, and alternative settings as an artist-in-the-schools. I had been teaching for 18 years before my book was published, so I was jazzed about getting back into the classroom.

Recently a friend asked me how much I was going to charge for my visits and I blanked. Okay, so perhaps I have loads of teaching experience and am not afraid to pick up the phone and present my curriculum, but I don't really have a breakdown of my fees or a way to manage the visits. I realized I still had work to do.

There's so much to learn about classroom visits as a debut author that it can be a bit overwhelming. Lucky for us, there's a brand new blog called School Visit Experts, which was created by, well, a school visit expert named Alexis O'Neill.

Alexis has an M.S. in Instructional Technology and a Ph.D. in Teacher Education. She's the author of 4 award-winning picture books and has written fiction and nonfiction for Cricket, Spider, Cobblestone, Calliope, Faces, Odyssey and Writer’s Digest. She's also a former elementary school teacher, teaches writing for the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and is a Regional Advisor for SCBWI California.

I'm assuming it's because she's been called a slacker that she put together this useful site, which is billed as "a place for published and soon-to-be-published authors & illustrators to find and share advice on how to create and deliver quality programs for kids, teachers and librarians."

Its purpose is to help you deliver beneficial presentations and manage them professionally. I haven't seen any other sites quite like it.

There are only a few posts up so far, but they all contain practical information. I am looking forward to seeing how the School Visit Experts community develops.
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