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How to Pay for An Author Visit

In a nation-wide survey of over 600 teachers, librarians, administrators, and parents who hosted author visits, 88% said money was their top obstacle to hosting an author visit.

Teachers love the idea of inviting an author to visit but often lack of money to make it happen. Funds are available for school visits! The benefits are too big to neglect investing in author visits. The same survey mentioned above stated that the biggest benefits of author visits are motivating students to read more, inspiring creativity and expression, and motivating students to write more.

The Librarian Leaps makes author visits a priority! Check out her video all about author visits from the School Library Connection. BONUS: Educators can earn professional development for it!

Fundraising for Author Visits

In-School Field Trip. Ask each student to contribute $2+ to cover the cost of the author visit for an in-school field trip. 
Share the Cost. Team up with another local school to request a discount. The author might visit School A in the morning and School B in the afternoon. Or maybe the author will provide a discount by splitting the visit between two days. 
Fund Raise. Bake sales and dunking booths are just a couple of ways to fund raise for a future goal. You could even raffle lunch (or a muffin) with the author (with the author's consent). Consider multiple events to raise enough money to cover the school visit fees.  
PTO/PTA. Ask your parent-led organization to help cover the cost of the author visit. Can they cover travel expenses if the school (or grant or...) pays for the author programs? (They may be more eager to help if a staff member contacts the author and the PTO only writes the check.)
Government Funding. Title I schools and others who receive special literacy funding such as through Intermediate Units might take advantage of combining an author visit with a family literacy night or professional development to use available funds. Chat with other Title I schools for more ideas.
Grants. Donors ChooseArts Agencies, or SCBWI may be able to fund your author visit. MANY more grants are available, too. Those are listed at some of the links below. Intimidated by grant writing? Here are some grant writing tips for schools! 

More Ideas to Pay for Your Author Visit

Check out these resources. They include fun ideas, grants, and more!
35 Ways to Fund Author Visits
Funding an Author Visit: There's Money Available
Ideas for Raising Funds for Author Visits

Ask the Author 

If you have an author in mind for a school visit but your budget doesn't quite meet their fees, ask if s/he has any flexibility in pricing. Tell the author what your budget is and see if it might work for what you have in mind. He or she may have some ideas to make it happen!

MANY children's authors make a significant amount of their income through author visits. Despite some figures you may have heard from big-name authors, most children's authors don't make a living from writing. They supplement their income with author visits and most still depend upon another income (second job or spouse/partner) to pay bills.

Edited 2023: Despite having 12 published books since 2016, I do not come close to making a living even with the contracts, author visits, and writing workshops I present. Author visits are a vital part of my direct income. Most authors who provide author visits are serious about providing high-quality presentations which help teachers meet standards, encourage, excite, and motivate students--and not just a story time. 

I love visiting schools. I'm a nonfiction children's author living in Pennsylvania--near Maryland and Delaware. Can I encourage and excite your students about reading, writing, science, or history? Learn more about my programs or check out my Author Visit FAQ!

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  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Great post! Promoting reading for pleasure is one of the hardest things when it comes to children. My child was an early reader though. He was reading without anyone else when he completed prekindergarten.

    He went through about fourteen days in kindergarten before the school educated us that since he was reading so easily, they needed to propel him to initially grade.

    How could we do this? As others have stated, I read to my kid as often as possible. Books are constantly present in our home.

    My significant other and I both love reading and composing, so we read to him continually, including books that outlined the letters of the letter set, so he took in his letters and how they functioned.

    But most importantly I definitely think that every parent needs to check out "" if you're serious about giving your children a head start in life.

    Good luck!

    Father of 2