4 Tips to Pitching School Visits
Have you ever considered pitching school visits instead of waiting for an email from a teacher or leveraging your personal relationships?
I’ve listened to many authors and illustrators say they want to start landing school visits once they have published a book. However, there is a belief that you need to have a few published books before schools will even consider you for a visit.
Well, I’m here to say that it’s a good thing to be in control and pitching school visits puts you directly in the driver seat.
Below, I’ve put together a list of 4 tips to help you pitch for an opportunity to share your books and love of literacy at schools.
Tip #1: Create an Author Visit Webpage
The best way to let schools know you are ready for school visits is to actually create a dedicated page on your website. Make it your landing page or the first thing anyone sees if they were to google your name.
I know this can make many authors and illustrators nervous because your work or latest book isn’t front and center.
However, if landing paid school visits is a priority, then you need to shout it from the rooftops. Don’t bury the webpage and make it difficult for schools to find the information.
Remember, you are pitching school visits!
a description of your presentation
pictures or video clips of you in action
a list of schools to provide credibility
testimonials from schools
and most importantly pricing.
Your main goal is to make the decision process easy for schools when they are shopping for author or illustrator visits.
Tip #2 Consider Pitching to Private Then Public Schools in Your Area
Based on my experience, pitching to private schools versus most public schools for author visits yields success. I would say it’s based on private schools having more accessible funds.
But don’t let that deter you from pitching to public schools once you have exhausted the private options.
The best way to find a list of private schools in your state is to google the following:
‘private <elementary, middle> schools in <CITY, STATE>’
For public schools you can usually type in:
the city you are interested in with the words ‘public schools’
and a district wide site will appear listing all the available public schools.
Create a spreadsheet to keep track of the schools and contact names for pitching.
Tip #3 Send Your Pitch Letter to the Decision Maker: HOS
So what’s next now that you found the school’s website? Take note of the Head of School’s contact information since he or she will be the one you need to call or send your pitch to about school visits.
Unfortunately sending your pitch to the school’s Media Specialist, Librarian, or teachers will result in either their spam or trash folder.
Indeed they are the ones who love your work and want you to visit their schools; however, it’s the decision maker or HOS that your pitch needs to convince.
Tip #4 Personalize your Email and Include a Media Kit
Finally, as you prepare to send your pitch emails to the HOS for your target schools, draft a template that outlines your presentation, who you are, and what you hope to share with the students during your school visit.
Personalize the emails by addressing the HOS by her name instead of a generic salutation like, “To Whom It May Concern.”
Attach your media kit to your pitch email that includes:
an author one sheet (head shot, a short presentation description, contact info)
list of books published along with reviews
and a fee schedule.
Again, you are pitching school visits and your goal is to make the decision process as easy as possible.
Finally, I’ll add one last tip just for giggles – have fun! You are an amazing children’s literature author and or illustrator for taking the time out of your busy schedules to share your love of literacy with these amazing schools. The students, teachers, librarians, and parents are your biggest fans and consider each one of you celebrities.
Create an amazing and memorable experience so they will ask you back over and over again.
Once you are done reading this blog post, make sure you review 4 Simple Items to Include on Your Author Website.
I even created a Quick Start Guide to Landing Paid School Visits so you can see all the steps I walk my students through over a 4 week period. I’d love for you to download a copy.
Are you ready to pitch school visits? What’s your biggest obstacle?