Here are some suggestions from James M Deem for planning a memorable school visit:
Introduce my books to the students attending the presentation
Faculty members can read selections from my books and ask students to generate questions that they would like to ask after my presentation. 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.
Ask students to complete a scavenger hunt
I have posted two scavenger hunts to help students learn more about me, my books, and their own library catalog. The library catalog scavenger hunt asks students to discover informtation about my books in your library catalog. The website scavenger hunt asks students to location information on jamesmdeem.com. Both scavenger hunts may be used as is or revised to better suit your purposes.
Plan a Pre-Sale of Books
Offering my books for sale before a visit encourages students to read them and become engaged with my presentation. I am always happy to autograph books when I make a school visit, and many students are excited to receive a personalized autographed copy of a book.
Here are some suggestions if you wish to do this:
1. Decide which books you would like to offer for sale and create an order form. Here is a sample form (.doc) that you can adapt for use in a pre-sale. It 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. I don't sell books myself, but you can either contact a local distributor/supplier or my two publishers (Houghton Mifflin and Enslow) directly. They both offer discounts. E-mail me for contact information. Talk to the supplier to determine the date your order should be placed, so that books will arrive on time. Add at least an additional five days onto that time to plan for any 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, request a few minutes of class time to show the books to the students and pass out pre-sale order forms. If possible, a copy of the pre-sale order form could be included in a 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 attach a sticky note (containing student name and any special signing instructions) to the front of each book. Autographing can be handled in two ways. If time is limited, I can autograph books during a break and books can be distributed to students at a later time. If there is more time, students who purchased books can line up after the presentation they attend, and I can autograph their books then.