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RandiLynnMrvos



November 14, 2017

Don't be a Vampire


Children's Writer's World warmly welcomes a guest blog by Melissa Carrigee.

October is the month for vampires - the creatures that stalk you from the shadows and come to suck the life out of you, draining you.  Well in the writing world, vampires are around year-round.  

Have you ever had just a small success and the minute you do, you have people coming out from places you didn’t even know existed just to ask you questions like:  

Tell me EVERYTHING.

How did you get your book published?

Where do I go to get my work published?

Can I have your contact list?

Can you look over my manuscript and tell me what’s wrong?

Do you have an agent?  How did you get one?

And the list of questions goes on and on and on.

DON’T BE A VAMPIRE!

As a writer, you know how much work you put into it.  It’s a 24/7 job.  If you aren’t physically writing, you’re mentally writing and plotting.  And when you are not writing on paper or in your head, you are navigating the confusing waters of the publishing business.  

So now you have a writer who isn’t willing to do all that work – they want it all for free.  From you!  The writing world is one of the nicest communities there is.  We understand each other and share as much as we can…but there is a limit.  

Sure, I will tell you everything I’ve learned in the past 3 years working in the business, but you better buy a dang book from me or have something else to offer.  I know it sounds cruel and bitchy, but try to understand how it feels when people want to pick your brain.  Those people had not purchased a book and didn’t even intend to.

They wanted one thing – to suck an author dry.  That’s just bad etiquette.  If you ever want to talk to an author and you know it’s an in-depth conversation, for goodness sake, buy their book and ask them to autograph it and THEN ask your question.  Authors make so little off their book and hardly anything on conferences. We need to buy groceries too!



November 1, 2017

Tips for School Visits


I am meeting new fans of Maggie and the Summer Vacation Show-and-Tell by doing school visits.  The young kids are great listeners and they ask thoughtful questions.  

Doing school visits is new for me, but with each visit, I learn more and more how to make it go smoothly.  

Kids and teachers LOVE authors.  Here are a few tips:    
  • Google the directions to the school if you've never been there before. 
  • Bring something to drink and ChapStick (you'll be doing a lot of talking)
  • Show up a little early to use the bathroom or to go over your notes.  
  • Sign in at office.
  • Have a time schedule printed so you know where you're going throughout the morning.
  • Wear a watch to check the time (it's less distracting than checking your phone).
  • Silence your phone.
  • Bring extra books and a pen for signing them.
  • Wear comfortable clothing and shoes.  Often times school are warm, so wear layers.
  • Read slowly and with expression.  
  • If a class is rowdy, continue with your program. Pause to get their attention or read louder so they can hear you. 
  • Ask the students questions before you read the book.  This will get them engaged.
  • After the book is read, tell the students about the theme of the book, or the points you would like them to takeaway. 
  • Have a hands-on activity or a game to play afterward. Young kids like guessing games. Older kids like word scramble puzzles or crossword puzzles.
  • Hand out signed books and tell the students you can bring more if they would like to buy a copy.  
  • Stick around and get your picture taken with the students.