At this point in my career, I've written twelve books for the nonfiction school library market. Makes me an ideal candidate for school visits, right? Except that I don't consider myself an expert in any of the topics about which I've written.
So? I talk about writing. Research. How a book Gets Published. And I've just added some creative writing topics to my repertoire. Up until now, I've done all my school visits for free. What? Yes, Free.
I've wanted to get it right. Make sure I feel like I'm worth the money that someone is going to pay me.
Things I've learned:
1. Expect any question. How old are you? How much do you get paid? Things like that. Be prepared to answer what you want to answer or defer what you don't.
2. Be prepared with writing exercises if there are NO questions. Probably won't happen, cause the kids LOVE asking questions, but just in case.
3. Come w/ props. Visual aids, etc.
4. Be self deprecating. This works for me--I'm not a natural comedian, but if I use myself as an example of something, it's almost always worth a laugh. For example, when talking about the definition of constructive criticism, I'll sometimes say "it wouldn't be constructive for you to tell me that my shoes are ugly." Or something like that.
5. Go see the experts at School Visit Experts--they are a great resource and I can't give you better advice than they can. http://schoolvisitexperts.com/
6. Lastly, if you're familiar with school looking for inexpensive author visits, send them my way! I've recently updated my school visits information page -- http://www.kristineasselin.com/school-visits.html