Friday, August 12, 2011
Preparing to Present
Curriculum fairs, teachers' conferences, librarians' conferences and other similar events are great ways to get yourself known by offering workshops and being an exhibitor. Who better to show what you know and get your books in the right hands than this group of folks.
I've been working on my children's workshops for about three years now. What happens when a conference geared for teachers and school librarians asks you to do a presentation? You rack your brain and try like crazy to come up with a workshop that works.
Recently I made contact with the SC Independent Schools Association (SCISA) inquiring about being an exhibitor at the upcoming teachers' conference. After explaining what my books were about and how they would be perfect in schools and/or classes, the lady on the other end of the phone stated, "We would love to have you as a presenter in addition to being an exhibitor." My reply? It was something on the lines of "Well, I usually do workshops for kids and don't really feel I have anythng to offer teachers." No, it doesn't end there. She assured me that teachers love having authors do presentations since they are always looking for creative ways to teach the students writing. So I thought about it a few minutes (or maybe it was an hour or two) and then went on one of my social networks and posted a comment something like this Elysabeth42 wonders what she has to offer teachers when she is but a writer herself?. The replies I received from the teachers in my network were amazing. That one plurk (like twitter but to me much more enjoyable and easier to follow the postings) went on my FB page as well as my twitter page. I received a direct comment from a twitter follower @SCASL about doing presentations for librarians as well. So, now I'm in the process of coming up with workshops or presentations geared for librarians and teachers.
The process will take a little time for me since I have to switch my mindset. I know what I have to offer but it's a matter of putting it into action.
I also may be doing a short presentation to a group of teachers at a curriculum fair but right now that isn't definite.
My question to all those writers who do workshops for groups of adults is what is your process? What kind of workshops have worked for you in the past? Do you do the same workshops at every opportunity you are asked to present or do you switch them out every so often? How do you go about getting the opportunities to be a presenter? I think I will come up with several different workshops geared for different groups - one or two for teachers and one or two for librarians - but on similar lines. This way, if I present to groups in the same area and there are some repeat people, they won't be bored.
Remember, it is all about making the right connections - the ones who will benefit from your books, and the ones who have the buying power to make sure your books get in the right places. - E :)
Ma America, The Travelin' Maven (Elysabeth Eldering)
Author of the JGDS, 50-state, mystery, trivia series
Where will the adventure take you next?
Author of "Finally Home", a YA paranormal mystery coming soon
Elysabeth Eldering is a traveler from birth. She has traveled with her family due to her father being in the military. She has lived in several states and overseas during her childhood. Ms. Eldering calls South Carolina home these days with a mindset of "Southern by choice, not by birth." She entered her first writing contest at the age of 41 and took second place for a children's mystery story, which has inspired her to take that story and write a series for children, the premise being that each state would be the mystery. Her series has a Jeopardy!® like style to it but for guessing the state in the form of a question. Each book concentrates on one state and there are supplemental study guides available, which take the series cross curriculum. For more information on the series, please visit the JGDS website. Elysabeth may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or to place an order.