Fans of Sherlock Holmes, particularly those that love the BBC "Sherlock" series, were invited to enjoy an author Q&A, crafts and an escape room. Texas author Alan J. Porter presented his experiences writing Sherlock Holmes stories, then patrons participated in activities. Crafts included Perler bead character magnets, adult coloring, and decorating mugs and 221B Baker Street notebooks.
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Since COVID-19 struck, many libraries, like mine, have moved their author visits to virtual spaces. Cuyahoga County Public Library in Ohio has hosted about 50 virtual events since April, about three per week on average.
These have included major ticketed events for Hank Green, Jodi Picoult, Christopher Paolini and Connie Schultz and dozens of events for bestselling and award-winning authors such as Ibram X. Kendi, Jason Reynolds, Karin Slaughter and Meg Cabot, just to name a few.
Here are a few things I've learned in the process.
So, you want to host an author — either in person or virtually — at your library. Where do you start? When do you start? And what do you say in the dreaded pitch email?
Library marketing contacts at each publishing house are happy to work with you to arrange author visits, but it helps to be prepared. We spoke to several publisher marketing reps and asked how library workers can make their requests stand out from the pack. Here's what they said.
Also, scroll down for a helpful directory of publisher contacts.