|Q: Do publishers give well-known authors precedence over lesser known authors when booking school visits?
Unless the publishing house is arranging an author tour with school visits, the opposite is generally true. Oftentimes schools will contact publishers to ask to have a very well known author or illustrator, only to find out that the honorarium that person charges is more than they can afford. At that point, the appearance coordinator at the publishing house is likely to recommend that the school consider inviting a newer author or illustrator, or one that is locally-based to keep honorarium and travel costs down. From the publisher’s perspective, it is advantageous to increase a new author or illustrator’s visibility. In addition, having them do school appearances provides authors with extra income beyond the royalties from their books.
To gain increased speaking opportunities, tell your publisher’s appearance coordinator you would like to do more school visits. Also ask school coordinators where you’ve had a good experience to recommend you, and tell other authors and illustrators you know that you’d like to do more speaking. Many school visits happen as a result of word-of-mouth, and authors on the road are often asked for recommendations of others who would do a good job. 6:7/95