Friday, May 25, 2012

F³A: Why I like school visits

School visits for me is one of the most rewarding things about being an author, and right now, I don't even get paid for it. Then why you ask? Why do I love school visits so much?
(to the left, Danny Marks, me, Marissa Meyer, J Anderson Coats, and Jennifer Shaw Wolf at North Thurston High School)
  • I like to connect with teens. They are who I write for. I like to know what they're reading, what kind of books they'd like to see on the shelves in the future.
  • I like to make teens laugh. I sometimes worry that they won't laugh in the right places of my presentation, but they always do.
  • I like to shoot SWAG at them. They love SWAG and it engages them and gets them to ask question they may be timid to ask if they know they'll get something for it. Yes, I'm bribing them, sue me.
  • I enjoy telling them that in this age of technology, word of mouth is still the best form of publicity for an author, and if they like a book, they should tell someone. This always surprises them.
  • Mostly, I like to encourage and inspire kids to pick up a book and read, whether it's my book or one of the books I mention in my presentation (I mention a lot of books, it's not just me me me). I feel like when I leave, kids are excited about reading. Even if just one more kid picks up a book that normally wouldn't I've done my job.
If you know of a school that would like a guest speaker, doesn't matter where it is, Skype is a beautiful thing, I love talking to the students about reading.

I encourage all authors to do school visits. If you're nervous, climb out of your comfort zone. I was terrified at my first visit, but once I started talking, I was fine. And I feel that I get better and better with each one. Or, if you have other authors in your area, do a group presentation, I've done that too and it's great fun!

Okay, time for the Friday Scribbles.

Random Pandora Song (Nirvana Radio):

Book of the Week: May B. by Caroline Starr Rose. Terrifying and wonderful. A story about a young pioneer girl with dyslexia trapped in a cabin alone for months, including during a winter storm.

Redbox of the Week: The Vow. One of those heartrending movies. I love Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum, swoon.

Quote of the Week: “I bet if you look at the average teenager and the average adult, the average teenager has read more books in the last year than the average adult. Now of course the adult would be all like, 'I'm busy, I got a job, I got stuff to do.' WHATEVER! READ! I mean, you're watching CSI: Miami. Why would you be watching CSI: Miami, when you could be READING CSI: Miami, the novelization?”
John Green
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John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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