Saturday, January 4, 2020

My "Skinny" on School Visits.

 To  READ "Specific" DETAILS of my "NEW"

My Personal Skinny on School Visits
by Margot Finke

Okay, you published writers, I know some of you shudder at the thought of standing in front of a bunch of beady-eyed kids and trying to interest them in your book. But face it, if you want to sell that sucker, and become a well-known writer, beady-eyed kids are a part of the price. I know, I know! Great writing talent and phenomenal promotional skills do not always live under the same haircut.

What I am writing here comes from my own experience. 99% of school kids look at you with awe. To them, you are a famous author. Just standing there impresses them. And if you go all-out, and offer them fun, giggle time, and some interesting facts to chew over, you become their hero. Teachers also love when you entertain them and their classes but are sneaky enough to wrap the educational stuff inside the fun.

Coming dressed up as one of the characters in your book, or in the costume of the country you were born in, is also a huge plus. You don't have to dance or sing - however, I do enter the class singing Waltzing Matilda, wearing a hobo hat that is cork trimmed, and carrying my "swag" on a pole over my shoulder. A frying pan and a billy for tea complete my ensemble. To say I have their attention from the get-go is an understatement.

Don't let anyone tell you that dressing up or singing, (or dancing if that fits in with your book) makes you seem unprofessional. Hogwash! As long as the school approves your presentation, and it fits nicely with the theme and characters in your book -

I bring aboriginal artifacts, an Aussie map, and a real live coconut I picked myself, on a far northern beach in Queensland, Australia - kids love this story. So bring artifacts, pictures, and relics that relate to your book, and tell the class about them. Leave room for the questions that will surely come. Some are so funny it is hard to keep a straight face. After a while, you realize this is fun, the kids are neat, and you are having a good time - and getting paid handsomely for it. Leave time to read at least one of your books.

I have created a fun PowerPoint Presentation, complete with sounds from the animals in my books. If you haven't seen 75 pairs of eyes grow wider than a barn door, as they listen to the screams of a Tasmanian Devil, from a story I have just read to them, then you are missing a huge treat. PowerPoint allows you to present lots of great ideas in color and movement. Kids eat it up.

If you want more in-depth School Visit details, read my April 2007 "Musings" column: "School Visits Can be Fun and Profitable." Or, go to my School Visits page and read more about what I offer each class.
My proudest moments are when I am asked to sign the Artist's Wall in a school's library.  WOW! They really do think I am a famous author!!!


Margot Finke -
"Margot's Magic" - Books, Content Editing, + Writing Help.

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