As many of you know, I spend a lot of time doing Skype author visits with readers at schools and libraries around the world. I schedule these season by season, after I have my real-life schedule for deadlines, travel, and family commitments. My Fall 2013 Skype visit schedule opens September 10th (that’s today!) which is also release day for my new book, WAKE UP MISSING.
WAKE UP MISSING is one of those books that kind of defies genre. It’s probably best for readers age 10 and older, , and if I had to define it, I’d call it a “concussion-swamp-survival-DNA-science-thriller.” If you’re intrigued, you can learn more about the book and read the first four chapters for free here. If you know you’re going to buy this book for your classroom or library or just for your family, it would be GREAT if you did so this week (first-week sales actually help authors a lot). I support independent bookstores and hope you will consider buying your books at your local bookstore, too.
Now…about those Skype visits. Here’s all the information you’ll need to set one up for your readers. I offer two kinds of Skype visits:
SKYPE AUTHOR PRESENTATIONS – 45 minute presentations that include visuals, short readings, discussions of writing, research, and revision, an optional mini writing workshop with kids, and time for Q and A. Students may read one of my books ahead of time; this is optional but does make the experience more meaningful.
Availability: I offer paid Skype presentations on a flexible basis as my schedule allows – please email me (kmessner at kate messner dot com) with a few dates/times that would work for you and we’ll figure something out.
SKYPE Q AND A SESSIONS – 15-minute Q and A sessions with groups that have read one or more of my books and prepared questions in advance. Please note that these free sessions are often scheduled back-to-back, so they must be via Skype only and can’t be scheduled with other videoconferencing platforms that would take time to launch & set up.
Cost: free – (one per school, per year – additional sessions may be scheduled as paid visits)
Availability: 11:00-2:30 EST on the following days only:
Note: If you would like to book a Q and A session for a different date/time or using a videoconferencing tool other than Skype, it may be scheduled as a paid visit (see above).
With both kinds of Skype visits, I’ll be offering the opportunity for students & teachers to order signed, personalized books through The Bookstore Plus in Lake Placid, with books for fall visits to be delivered in late November. If this is something that your group chooses to do, I’ll send an order form for you to distribute. I’ve worked with The Bookstore Plus for Skype author visits in the past. They do a great job taking orders and offer free shipping anywhere in the U.S. for orders over $50.
Here’s how to schedule your Skype visit:
(Sorry to be picky, but I’ve found that having a strict format for these emails saves loads of time, which leaves me more hours to write books and chat with your students, too!)
Please email me (kmessner at kate messner dot com) answering ALL of the following questions in a numbered list:
1. What’s your name, and where do you teach/work? Please include your city, state, AND time zone.
2. Which type of visit (free 15-minute Q and A or longer paid presentation) would you like to book? (If you need more than one Q and A session, the first is free, and the second may be scheduled as a paid visit.)
3. What are a few dates/times that would work well for a Skype chat? Please list your TOP THREE choices for days/times, based on the available dates listed above. If your first choice is available when you email, it’s all yours. I’ll get back to you within a few days to confirm. Note: My life runs on Eastern Standard Time – if you’re in a different time zone, please remember to account for that.
4. About how many students will be in the group, and what grade(s) will be included?
5. What book(s) will the students have read prior to our Skype chat? (required for free chats, optional but recommended for paid visits)
6. What is your username on Skype? (If you don’t have one yet, let me know. You can do this part later.)
7. Please provide a classroom/library or cell phone number where I can reach you on the day of the visit in case there are any technical/weather issues. This needs to be a phone that is with you and turned on, on the day of our visit. It is the number I will call at the time of our chat if there’s any trouble connecting via Skype.
8. Do you plan to distribute a book order form to offer students the opportunity to order signed books through The Bookstore Plus after our Skype visit? This isn’t required, but it’s appreciated and helps add to student excitement.
Note: Right now, I’m booking free visits through November 14th and paid visits through December. I’ll begin booking winter/spring visits in early January. Let me know via email if you’d like to be on the list to be notified when those dates open up.