What is an Author Visit?
Author visits are an amazing opportunity to connect your students with a touring author! These events are usually publisher sponsored, meaning the publisher pays for the author’s travel and lodging, and ask only for a minimum number of books to be sold for the event. Author visits are typically about an hour long and include a presentation with time at the end for Q + A with students.
How do I sign my school up for an Author Visit?
How do I know if my school meets the requirements for a particular Author?
The requirements for each author are listed on their specific author page and will also be included in the Memo of Understanding that will be sent to your school prior to the author visit. If your school does not meet the minimum requirements, you can try working with another school to arrange a joint visit or work with the PTO/PTA or community surrounding your school to help you meet those requirements.
Do all Author Visits have the same requirements?
Although most of the author visits have very similar requirements, each visit is unique with requirements specific to that author. Requirements include audience size, A/V equipment and book order minimums.
How does the book ordering process work?
Second Star to the Right has a unique book ordering process that takes much of the burden off of the school and allows for direct selling to the students with a range of options. Second Star provides an online ordering link for those that wish to pay with credit or debit cards. This link can be shared on the school website, social media, newsletter and anywhere else that families can access it. We also provide a PDF of a paper order form that can be downloaded, printed and distributed to students in their homework folder, as well as sent out via email to all families. Students who wish to pay with cash or check can print this form and bring it back with the cash/check attached. A Second Star rep then processes all orders, including making change for the cash orders and collecting the checks. We also provide envelopes to collect the paper order forms as well as a digital spreadsheet to be updated with all orders, so educators can easily keep track of how many books have been ordered.
What does our school need to do to prepare for an Author Visit?
There are countless things that schools can do to prepare for an author visit! We have found that the more people and classes involved in a visit, the better the visit is for both the school and the visiting author. Second Star provides a school flyer announcing the author visits, including details of the date and featured book(s). This flyer can be posted at the main entrance, in the office, on the library bulletin board, in the cafeteria, etc. A Second Star rep is also available to schedule in person, Skype or video Book Talks to give more information about the featured title and visiting author, as well as answer any questions that students or staff might have about the ordering process, the author or the book being featured. You can also involve other classes by having welcome banners or posters made for the author during Art class, use excerpts from the author’s books for English class exercises, etc. If the book being featured has not been published yet, an Advanced Readers Copy will be provided to your school so that you can share the newest title with students ahead of the visit. The more the details of the visit are shared with students, the more excited they will get and the more successful your visit will be!
What does Second Star take care of for each Author Visit?
Second Star takes care of almost everything for you! We act as a liaison between your school and the publisher to make sure all requirements are met and all details are communicated. We provide the online order form, PDF of the paper order form, school flyer to be posted and displayed through the school, and we also handle all of the book sales so that you don’t have to worry about collecting money or counting books!
What is my school responsible for with each Author Visit?
Your school is responsible for getting students excited about the author visit! This includes sharing the book, information about the author and making sure the order form is sent home and accessible to all families.
Will there be a Second Star rep on site the day of the visit?
Yes, a Second Star rep will arrive 30 - 45 minutes before the presentation is scheduled to start in order to make sure everything is set up and ready to go. Most authors arrive with a media escort about 20 - 30 minutes before the visit is scheduled to begin. This is the time they use to set up and get prepared before the students start arriving. The Second Star rep will need a table or space to set up the books and computer needed for this visit. We do allow for book sales at the actual event and can accept cash, check or credit card on site.
Will books still be available for purchase after the visit?
Books are available for purchase after the visit, they just won’t be personalized by the author. We have each author sign a set amount of stock after their visit so that students or faculty wishing to purchase the book after the event can still do so. The Second Star rep will send out a link for post orders with the modified order form, as well as a PDF of the post order form, which is the same except for the personalization field is removed. We allow post orders for one week after the school visit. Once post orders close, a Second Star rep will process the orders and deliver them to the school within a week of post orders closing. If there is a request for a book after post orders have closed, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to check on stock/availability and to arrange pick up.
What happens if I need to cancel a visit?
We understand that schools are incredibly complex and ever-changing entities and something might come up that causes you to have to cancel a visit. If a visit is cancelled after the MOU is signed, the school will still be responsible for the purchase of the minimum book order requirement for that visit. If the school is able to find another school to replace them/take their spot, the MOU can be transferred to the new school. If the visit needs to be cancelled before the MOU is signed, please make sure to email, call or text your Second Star rep ASAP so that another school can be found to fill this spot.
What makes the most successful Author Visits?
The most successful author visits happen when the organizing educator is as invested in the visit as the Second Star staff. The more enthusiasm and excitement the educator shows, the more invested the students become in the visit. Sharing the online order form in as many places as possible goes a long way for meeting the book order minimums, as does making sure the order forms are sent home with all students at least two weeks before the author visits. Using the author’s work(s) in lesson plans leading up to the visit, as well as involving other classes (such as Art class or Drama clubs) in the preparation also helps make a visit successful. Finally, making sure that the author visit flyer is predominantly displayed in as many locations as possible is also a great way to remind students and families of the visit and encourage them to purchase the book. All of the school flyers have a QR code that links directly to the order page and even includes instructions on how QR codes work!