March 5, 2021-As we continue to answer your most asked questions this month, you’ll see that some of them are relevant to what is going on currently during the pandemic. These questions need to be discussed because we must find ways to connect with our readers using innovative ideas and technology. As the world opens up again, some things will never be the same as they were and we won’t know what those things are until much later. Here is the question of the day:
Q: “I’m getting discouraged with not being able to go into schools to read my new children’s book to students! How do I book speaking events for my book during the pandemic?”
A: This is a great question and I admire your tenacity to continue to get your book out there and into the hands of your readers even during a global crisis and to connect with them in a meaningful way. Thankfully we have lots of technological options when it comes to staying in touch virtually. I would say that you should approach each school individually, starting in your area, to see if you can schedule a Zoom/Google Hangouts/Microsoft Teams and even Facetime where you can read your book to the class and do the same things that you would do as if you were sitting in front of the students in a classroom. Be sure to have excellent discussion questions and show the teacher how much value you provide in terms of being a guest author. Perhaps you could even mail a signed copy of your book to the school for their library collection or you could send over digital files that the teacher could print to be used as colouring pages, word searches, or other reading activities that go with your book. Also, we are fortunate because technology allows us to connect with our readers globally! I’ve done virtual book readings for children in the United Kingdom, the US, and South America. The sky is the limit for reaching kids and their classrooms.
Personally, I think that if this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s not only to be grateful for what we have, to appreciate the little things (like visiting family, going out to dinner, and coffee dates with friends), but it’s also allowed us to get creative when it comes to connecting with others.