Sunday, March 19, 2006

Author visits

I was at a booksigning by Lisa Scottoline last night. Now, I've been to a number of signings with Lisa before and know how much she loves libraries. She's witty, intelligent, and a very entertaining speaker. I heartily recommend contacting her to anyone considering an author visit as a program.

Authors can be a wonderful draw for a program at your library. If you don't already know who the authors are in your area, make a point of finding out. Authors can usually speak on a wide variety of topics, from the writing process to what it takes to get published to research they had to do for their book (even if what they write is fiction). Finding local authors may be a little daunting. One of the local Romance Writers of America chapters in my area has an annual dinner for booksellers and librarians for us to get to know their published members better. Contact local writing groups, sit in on one of their sessions if they allow visitors and network. National writing organizaitons such as RWA and the Mystery Writers of America may have local chapters. Another way to find local authors is to check for a database that lists authors that you can approach to do a program, ex. the Illinois Authors Directory. Also, never underestimate the power of your library's newsletter. You can never go wrong with asking local authors to come forward. When they do, create your own contact database.