Thursday, August 23, 2018

Back to school: Tips and resources for a succesful author visit

It's back to school time! I'm always inspired by this fresh start, and by the promise of new notebooks to fill up with stories. I buy at least a dozen of these at the beginning of the year. 

This time of year is also when I get a wave of Skype (that's virtual) school visits, and in-person author visits. School visits are my favorite: I love talking to educators and readers. There's just nothing better than talking about our favorite books and writing new stories. Hurrah for school visits! 

I'm excited to be part of Tattered Cover Bookstore's Educator Night on September 5th and 6th. If you're an educator in the Denver metro area, consider signing up and joining the fun.  

I love doing school visits so much, I even do a presentation on how to plan author visits at book festivals and educator conventions. I thought I'd share some of my tips and ideas, in case you are an educator looking for a place to start: 

Quick tips for a successful author visit: 

1. Decide how big you want the event to be. Consider starting smaller, with a Skype visit, or a short assembly visit arranged by the local bookstore (if available)

2. Build your team. It’s more fun if you get the community involved—plus, that way you’re not doing all the work yourself. Create a committee, enlist fellow teachers, parents, even kids.

3. Think local for less expensive visits—and kids love it when an author lives right where they do! I can attest to that :-) Try bookstores or referrals from other schools for author names. Local book fairs and festivals are a great way to meet authors.

4. Collaborate with other schools for bigger, pricier visits. Plan far ahead to allow time for fundraising and scheduling.

5. Apply for grants or organize fundraisers. PTO, book fairs, book sales are great fundraisers to get money. For travel expenses for the author, see if someone can donate miles/points for flights and hotel stays.


Authors who Skype for free (a list compiled by author Kate Messner) 

Skype in the Classroom (through Microsoft, not necessarily book authors but any educational resource

Grants for school visits (these are just a few I found):

(You can contact any business for a grant, really, but these have existing forms)

Want me to come to your school for a visit..? Find out more here, or email me at author-at-ftbradley-dot-com. 

Any educators or authors have tips or resources to share?

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

August Is For Reading

It’s August, and Summer is still kind of lingering for me. I’ve been reading lots, going on hikes, and I even tried fishing. I caught nothing, so don’t expect me to bring dinner…

August usually means back to school here in Colorado (kids start early in my neighborhood), but I’m resisting like a rebellious twelve-year-old. I’d rather be reading and taking naps.

Speaking of reading, here are some notables to share this month:


In middle-grade, I’ve been reading lots of chapter books, and picked up the Greetings from Nowhere series by Harper Paris. 

Such a fun travel-focused chapter book series—recommended for your early reader.

A lucky find at ALA in Denver earlier this year, I finally got around to reading Copyboy by Vince Vawter. This might be one of the best books I've read this year, about a young man traveling to the Gulf Coast to spread his mentor’s ashes. A great coming-of-age story that defies age classification. Plus, it was a nice trip down memory lane, as we lived down south for a few years.
I ended up reading Paperboy first, which is another awesome read that precedes Copyboy. Go read both, you won’t regret it.

For adults, I read Paul Tremblay’s Cabin at the End of the World, which is super creepy and suspenseful horror. A great book, though I wonder if it would’ve been even better as a novella. 
Or maybe that’s the impatient reader in me talking…
I've been finding myself skipping past large passages in longer books lately, preferring shorter works, short stories and novellas. 

In any case: I recommend this book by Paul Tremblay. Horror at its best.

Where to Find Me

On the web, I wrote a post for Career Authors on the difference between MG and YA, in case you’re interested in learning more. 
And I’ll be hitting the road. going to BookBar on August 11th, for their mother-daughterbook club. If you’re in Denver, come join us!

To close, here’s a picture of Apollo, who really knows how to get the most out of a good nap... 

Follow along with the MIDNIGHT AT THE BARCLAY HOTEL blog tour!

I'm so excited for the Aug. 25th release if MIDNIGHT AT THE BARCLAY HOTEL...!  If you want to join the fun, follow along with the bl...