Cost and Availability
My rates are reasonable, and travel expenses can be kept to a minimum with enough lead time. Whenever possible, I try to schedule multiple days in the same area so that schools can share travel expenses. (If you have special financial concerns, please don't hesitate to let me know.)
For information about available dates and my rates, please contact me by e-mail.
Number of Presentations
A full day visit includes up to four presentations. Each presentation can be different depending upon your needs. I am also happy to give an extra presentation to teachers or parents, before or after school.
I am always willing to eat lunch (or share a snack) with students (sometimes this is a select group of student writers or simply students who are interested in meeting an author or sometimes students who have won some type of contest). Use your imagination and dream up an activity; I have done "Donuts with Deem," pizza parties...whatever it takes to give kids a memorable day.
I schedule half day visits (one or two presentations) only in my local area (Tucson, Arizona).
Size of Audience
As a former college professor who taught reading, writing, and study skills, I am comfortable speaking to any size group. However, smaller groups will probably benefit a little more from a presentation. The key to a good presentation is the amount of preparation the students have had before the visit. Even a very large group can benefit if they have been well-prepared.
What You Can Do In Preparation for a Visit
Children who know about me or my books ahead of time will get much more out of the presentation. Students who have read one of my books will benefit the most.
To help prepare students for a visit, I have posted two scavenger hunts. One is a website hunt; the other is a catalog hunt. Both may be used as is, or revised to better suit your purposes. At Lounsberry Hollow, students who had the most correct answers were given an autographed copy of one of my books.
I'm happy to provide any other information that will help teachers or students get to know me in advance; just let me know what you need.
At the end of my presentation, I share my website address with children and ask them to visit it and, if they wish, write me.
As you can see, my website has many things for children to read and think about, to reinforce my message about reading and writing. I also take a camera to my presentations. When possible, I post a few photos to my website (hopefully by the next day) as well as a letter to the children. This, I hope, keeps the experience fresh in children's minds.
I am always happy to autograph books when I make a school visit. I don't sell books myself, but books can be ordered from your local supplier or from my publishers (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Enslow) who will offer a substantial discount when I make an appearance. I can provide you with contact information; please e-mail me for more information.
If you choose to offer my books for sale, it is helpful if you organize a pre-sale of my books to students and staff. Here are some suggestions:
1. Decide which books you would like to offer for sale and create an order form. Here is a flyer (.pdf) that you can adapt for use in a pre-sale. This form lists all of my books that are currently in print; you can delete any that you do not want to offer and adjust the price to offer students a discount, if you wish.
2. Choose a bookseller. You can use a local distributor/supplier, or contact my two publishers (Houghton Mifflin and Enslow) directly. They both offer discounts. E-mail me for contact information. Contact the supplier to determine the date your order should be placed, so that books will arrive on time. Add an additional five days onto that time to plan for unexpected delays.
3. Make sure you have at least one copy of each book that will be sold. Encourage teachers to share the books with their classes. If this is not possible, the librarian could request a few minutes of class time to show the books to the students and pass out pre-order forms. If possible, a copy of the pre-order form should be printed in the weekly parent newsletter.
4. If your budget will allow, order a few extra copies of each title for last minute purchases. You will usually have students or teachers who wish to purchase books on the day of the visit.
5. When the books arrive, please note any special autographing instructions by attaching a sticky note to the front of the book. Please check to make sure that the names to be personalized are legible.