Thursday, October 11, 2012

Author Visits

Now that my book, DON'T LET THE BEDBUGS BITE!, has officially been released it is time for me to start scheduling author visits. You would think that once that beautiful picture book was in my hands, it would bring relief. After all, the hard work is over, right? Wrong! Now there is a whole new chapter I find myself embarking on. It is called promotion. (Yikes!) For me, and I’m sure for most writers, the writing was the easy part. Not that writing is easy, it’s not. But it is the area in which I am most comfortable. I am a writer, and I think as a published author I can consider myself a professional. So writing is what comes natural. It is an extension of who I am. It is what I do. But promotion, well, that is a whole different animal and something, I must confess, I’m a bit nervous about.

Being a writer is a solitary commitment. I sit by myself every day to write. In my little office, dressed in sweats or jammies, I disappear into a world inside my head and if all goes well, I put that world on paper and make it real and exciting for my readers. Promotion is the exact opposite. It is NOT a solitary thing. It is a very social thing. And if I showed up in my jammies and disappeared into my own head, they’d put me in a straight jacket for sure! But, maybe a glimpse of what’s inside my head could be my marketing strategy. What if I could take others with me into the dark recesses of my brain? It sounds scary. It sounds ridiculous. It sounds really awesome! A little ride on my “train of thought” might not be a bad idea.  

So, with that in mind, I’ve come up with a plan. Not only would I enjoy reading my book to the little ones, but I’d also like to talk to them about stories. Where they come from and what an imagination is. Then, I’d like to kick start theirs with a fun prompt so we can come up with a silly and exciting story together; one with a beginning, middle and end. I will have activities planned for them as well as giveaways based on my book. And hey, let’s not forget some educational tidbits about lady bugs and other beneficial insects to go with my book!

For older kids I’d like to do a small workshop. Since “Bedbugs” is a rhyming picture book, I think a lesson on poetry is in order. I hope to bring some excitement to my presentation by getting everyone involved in a quick and fun Mad Libs style game where we create a poem about their school. I can only imagine the creativity those kids will bring to the table! (Watch out faculty! It could get messy!) I will also be happy to answer any questions they have on the craft of writing as well as the business side of it. 

And speaking of business, (which is what my publisher is most interested in.) the whole point of this is to sell books. I hope to autograph many of them for my cute little fans along the way. But the whole reason I write for children is not for fame and fortune, (But I wouldn't turn down a guest appearance on Oprah!) but because I want to reach them. I want to open their imaginations and show them that anything is possible. Dreams are worth having and goals are worth perusing. I want to teach as well as entertain. This is my ultimate goal. Besides, books are just cool. How lucky am I to be one of the many who create them? 

So at this point, I am scheduling some book signings and visits in my home town and vicinity. As you can imagine the response has been tremendous. I knew the awesome folks of Ware, MA would rally behind me. That’s why my heart is still there.  I am also planning to book some appearances here in the Concord/Charlotte area. And hey, just to make it clear, I’m always willing to consider other venues. (Hello, Hawaii, are you listening?) If you’re interested in having me visit your area, shoot me a message. Let’s see what we can work out. 


  1. Hi Niki,
    If you'd like to visit a Home School Bookstore in my area, please contact Kelly Rogers at Pilgrim's Journey Home School Bookstore in Fayetteville, NC. Here's the web address: Kelly usually charges for the use of the classroom space and you would charge parents who have their child attend one of your workshops or you might can use the room at no cost and have a reading and book signing. I volunteer there once a month for Story Time. Kelly is so enthusiastic and makes you feel so welcome. It's a great little place. I don't know of other leads at this time. Schools are hard to book here because most don't have funds for author visits. Good luck to you!

  2. Your plans sound crazy, scary, fun and exciting!

    Enjoy the ride.


  3. I know that Donna is going to contact Kathy Greenfield, the media specialist at Covenant Day school in Matthews. Maybe (and I have no idea about this) you guys could come together? Her contact
    Make sure you tell her I sent you. If you do get a gig--you'll have to stop by my house for lunch or a visit. I'd have my mother here to meet the two of you!

  4. Thanks everyone! I will look into those!

  5. All the best, Niki. Yes, it is a whole new endeavor and so different from working at home. But you are figuring out a plan which sounds great!

    Congrats on Bedbugs! I am eager to read it.

  6. Congratulations, Niki! I read your book at the Charlotte SCBWI. It's a cute story. Sounds like you have some great ideas for school visits. I wouldn't have taken you as the shy, non-sociable type. You seemed quite at home in that crowd of writers in September! See you next year!


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