Plan Your Author or Illustrator Event
Welcome! We’re glad that you’ve picked HarperCollins Children’s Books to help set up your author/illustrator event. Please take time to read the information below, especially if this is your first time inviting an author/illustrator to visit your school. If you have any questions, we are more than happy to help!
1) The Author
If you have an author or illustrator in mind already, great! If you need suggestions to match your event or lesson, we are happy to make recommendations. Please fill out the request form to begin the process, or email email@example.com if you need author/illustrator suggestions or have any questions.
2) The Date
Do you have a specific date in mind? We suggest inviting an author/illustrator 6 months to 1 year ahead of your scheduled event. Some authors book two years ahead of time! The earlier you plan, the more likely it is that you will get your first choice.
For conferences and larger events, it can be easier to book an author/illustrator if they know your event dates are secure.
For regular school or library appearances, please be prepared to be flexible in coordinating your calendar with the author’s and finding a date that works for everyone.
3) The Event
Do you have a specific event in mind? Authors prefer having as much information as possible on what they will be presenting and who will be in the audience.
Is your event going to be in person, virtual, or hybrid? Most of our authors offer flexible virtual options if an in-person visit isn’t an option at this time.
4) The Audience
How many people will be in the audience? Who will be in the audience? Remember that kindergarteners and 4th graders have different needs and attention spans.
5) The Presentation
How many presentations will the author/illustrator be asked to make? Most authors will make up to 3 presentations per day. Anything more is exhausting!
6) The Visit
How long will the author/illustrator be asked to stay? Are other schools, libraries, or bookstores interested in joining you in hosting the author/illustrator?
THINGS TO CONSIDER:
1) Your Budget
Travel and hotel expenses are not included in the author’s honorarium and are typically paid for by the hosts. Most authors have an established fee, however, many of these can be negotiated. If, for instance, an author is already in the area, travel fees will be lower. If the school extends an invitation for fewer presentations, author’s fees could be lowered. The honorarium for an author/illustrator visit can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand.
2) Cost-Cutting Options
Are there any other schools, libraries, or bookstores in your area who would be interested in having the author/illustrator come to present? If so, this might help to defray some of the honorarium and travel costs.
MAKING YOUR AUTHOR REQUEST
Once you have decided on an author/illustrator, please fill out our request form. If you have any questions or need author/illustrator suggestions, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please allow up to a week for your request to be answered.
It’s always a good idea to include the author’s most recent book in your order, as this title will most likely be a focus of the author’s presentation. If you order books for your author appearance through the HarperCollins warehouse, you will receive a 40% discount off of trade and paperback editions and 25% off library editions. We encourage schools and libraries to contact their local independent bookstore to order books for your event. If you do not have a local bookstore, you can order through the HarperCollins warehouse at a discounted rate. Any books not sold during the event can be returned for reimbursement.
Please call 1.800.242.7737 for Customer Service.
HOW TO HOST A SUCCESSFUL AUTHOR VISIT
1) Hosting Basics
The host will provide travel, hotel, visit schedule, and an escort (unless otherwise negotiated) for the author or illustrator. The host should inquire if the author/illustrator has dietary restrictions, allergies, etc. or preferences for book signings and photographs.
2) Publicize the Event
The more people that know about the event, the better the turnout and support for this and future events!
3) Educate the Audience
If the audience is aware of the titles and the work of the author/illustrator, they will be more enthusiastic and involved in the presentation. This makes the visit more fun for everyone!
4) Prepare Your Space
Make sure that you talk to the author/illustrator about any materials and/or AV equipment they might need for the presentation(s). For virtual visits, check with the presenter to see if they want to do a dry run ahead of the presentation to familiarize themselves with the platform.
5) Create a Schedule
Make sure you run all the activities that are planned by the author before the event occurs. Be sure to schedule some breaks for the author in between presentations.
If you need additional information, please send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Best wishes for a successful and fun event!