Virtual School Visits

Visiting elementary schools doesn’t require leaving the comfort of home. How can professionals get paid to present in schools while working a 9 to 5 schedule? Below are three suggestions for working professionals.
1.  Virtual presentations.
Virtual presentations allow authors to inspire students without physically visiting schools.  Authors can arrange Skype school visits that fit within their work schedule. This can also be achieved using time zones.  An author on the east coast can Skype with schools on the west coast.  Those authors wanting a longer time delay should consider United States military and private schools in foreign countries.  
2.  Pre recorded videos.

Authors can use a pre recorded presentation video followed by answers to student questions.  The questions can be provided in advance by the school.  This technique provides a personal feel to a generic video.  These author must record a video in a professional setting and allow schools time to review the video.  YouTube is also an option for providing a generic video.

Note:  Authors can generate additional income through links to archived video downloads, books, eBooks, and other merchandise!

3.  Leveraging employers’ benefits.

Authors can use sick days, vacation days, and half days through their employer.  Authors should keep their employment status anonymous while utilizing these company benefits.  Loosing a day job playing hooky isn’t rewarding.

By scheduling school visits within reasonable driving distance, a day visit is possible.  Pairing school visits with Book Festivals is even more beneficial to building an audience in a specific area.  A good example is:  Friday school visit near a Book Festival.  Attend the weekend festival.  Follow with a Monday school visit.

The key is selling while working the 9 to 5.  Authors should overcome obstacles of a day job to create successful second income.

Must Read List: Schools: A Niche Market for Authors

This month’s MWA, Inc. Must Read List selection is also a repeat favorite. I stumbled into public speaking through a teacher invitation. Elementary school visits are so much fun! I visit between 45 and 90 schools each year.

Jane R. Wood author of Schools: A Niche Market for Authors, finds that schools are a unique market for authors. Whether an author writes children’s picture books, young adult books, or even adult fiction or nonfiction books, the goal for most authors is the same – to sell books!

As the author of four juvenile fiction books, Jane Wood has been selling her books to schools since 2004. More than 50 percent of her annual revenue comes from book sales to schools, speaking fees to schools, and book sales to students at those schools. For Jane this is a win-win.

Jane’s visits are a valuable benefit to the schools she visits. As a former teacher, her goal is to inspire reading in students. By creating characters that children can relate to, and scenes that engage their interests and imaginations, she promotes literacy. When she participates in an author visit at a school, she makes a connection with her readers, which is beneficial to both of parties. And when she talks about the writing process, she reinforces what their teachers teach them in language arts lessons.

There are many things to consider when targeting schools as a market for book sales. In her book she shares many strategies: how to make books attractive to educators; how to promote books to schools; how to develop presentations; and ways to generate revenue from this niche market.

Jane R. Wood can be reached at her website: