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Introduction
About the Speaker
Presentation Options and Descriptions
A/V Needs
Other Materials
Books Sales and Signings
Pricing
Tips for a Successful School Visit
Author Resources on the Web
Recommendations
Let's Get Booking!

 

Introduction Books for Teens

Note to my teen readers. This section of the site is mostly for librarians and teachers. Trust me, you may find it dull. If you'd like me to come visit your school, please discuss it with your school librarian, teacher, or principal rather than contacting me directly, as the school/library/group director has to set up these events. However, feel free to read on if you want to.

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One of my favorite things to do is speak directly to teens in a school, library, or recreational setting. I believe that allowing kids to actually connect with the real person behind the book is vitally important to encouraging them to read and fostering their desires to write. I have extensive experience speaking to groups ranging from five people to 200 people, adults and kids. I spent many hours in the classroom setting as a D.A.R.E instructor and a School Resource Officer when I was with the police force. Of late, I've presented workshops and book groups for schools, universities, libraries, and Girl Scout troops. One of the best compliments I've received from a teen after a presentation was that I was "not boring at all." What more can a speaker ask for? :)

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About the Speaker

I like to think of myself as a dynamic and off-the-cuff presenter. I enjoy engaging the participants in whatever topic we may be discussing, and I'm very open about the ups and downs of this career, a subject that seems to fascinate teens. Some of the places I've visited with and groups to which I've spoken are below:
  • Private book clubs
  • University of Colorado, Boulder, continuing education
  • Young Adult Library Services Association National Convention, Florida
  • Smoky Hill Library, Centennial, Colorado (several times)
  • Excelsior Youth Center Book Group
  • Romance Writers of America National Conference (numerous times)
  • Bouchercon World Mystery Conference
  • Englewood Library, Englewood, Colorado
  • Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers' Colorado Gold Conference (numerous times)
  • Pikes Peak Writers Conference, Colorado
  • Pikes Peak Romance Writers meetings, Colorado
  • Heart of Denver Romance Writer's meetings, Colorado
  • Colorado Romance Writers meetings, Colorado
  • Romancing the Rockies conference, Colorado
  • Heart of the West conference, Utah
  • River City Romance Writers, Tennessee
  • Orange County Romance Writers of America, California
  • Eastside Romance Writers, Washington State
  • San Antonio Romance Authors, Texas
  • Castle Rock Middle School, Colorado
  • ...and more.

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Presentation Options and Descriptions

You may choose one of these workshops for me to present several times in one day to different groups, or a mix of workshops. I'm very flexible. I can also put together a specialized presentation for a school if you have a certain request that isn't covered below.

The Writer's Biggest Asset: VOICE!: In this workshop, I will discuss what is meant by "writer's voice," and the fact that we're each born with our own, just like a unique fingerprint. We'll do exercises through which students can discover their own voices, and I'll give participants feedback on the strengths they show (related to voice) and how to nurture them.

The Life of a Working Novelist: I find that kids are always curious what, exactly, my job entails. I'll discuss what a normal day for me is like, making sales, contract negotiations, and the publishing process, from idea to finished books. Lots of Q&A in this workshop, too.

Publishing Opportunities for Young Writers: In this workshop, I'll provide aspiring writers with tips on how and where to submit their work—from freelance articles to poetry to short and full-length fiction—proper manuscript format, professional etiquette, keeping track of submissions, follow-up. Everything the kids want to know about getting their names and work in print.

Mini Book Club: For a smaller group, all of whom have read one of my books (the same book, preferably), I can conduct a book club type discussion of the particular novel.

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A/V Needs

In a smaller room, all I need is a whiteboard or chalk board. In a larger room, I'd appreciate a clip microphone as well to save my voice.

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Other Materials

I'd like the opportunity to send any handout material to the school(s) in advance so they can have them copied and ready for the kids when I arrive.

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Book Sales and Signings

Naturally, selling books is an important component of my visits to schools. Kids are usually excited to own their own autographed copies. I don't have a minimum number of book sales as a requirement for a visit, but I do have the following requests:

1. Every student participating in a workshop must have read at least one of my books prior to the visit. It's much easier to engage a student if he or she is invested in the material.

2. Books must be available for advance purchase by students and faculty.

3. Extra books should be on hand the day of my visit for last minute sales.

What are the logistics of book ordering and sales?

This varies. Some options are:

1. The school may order directly from the publisher or a distributor.

2. A local bookstore can handle the ordering and sales in conjunction with the school, but you have to give them plenty of advance notice, no less than four to six weeks. In this case, I'd be happy to do an evening signing or workshop at the bookstore to thank them for their help.

Please email me with any questions and I'd be happy to help you with the process.

I offer two options for signings: kids present or kids not present.

If the kids are present, a signing table should be set up and enough people available to keep things running smoothly. I will only be able to sign copies of my books, not notebooks, hands, hats, or anything else. Also, because signings with the kids present take up more time, please let the students know I will only be able to autograph the books with my name. It's often a positive and exciting experience to have a signing with the kids there, but it does take more time.

If the signing is done without students present, each book should be marked with a Post-It note stating the first name of the person to whom I'll be signing. With this format, there is more time for me to personalize the inscriptions. Either way, it's your choice.

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Pricing

LOCAL: My current fees for local (within two hours, driving) presentations are $1,200 for a full day, to include a book autographing, Q&A session, and three 40 to 55 minute presentations. All the participating kids must have read at least one of my books in advance, to facilitate a successful visit. I'd also appreciate a fuel allowance of $50. I'm happy to have lunch with teachers and librarians, but if lunch is scheduled with the kids, that would count it as one of my three presentations.

NATIONAL: My current fee for distance presentations is $1,200 for a full day, and I'd like no fewer than a three-day booking at nearby schools, since my deadline schedule is so heavy. I'd like airfare, transportation to and from the airport and to and from the school, lodging, and a reasonable per diem for meals (I don't eat much!), which can be split between all the participating schools if preferred. Again, each full-day booking would include up to three presentations, a Q&A session, and an autographing, and all participating students need to have read at least one of my books prior to the visit. I'm willing to have lunch with teachers and librarians, but if lunch is scheduled with the kids, I would count it as one of my presentation periods.

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Tips for a Successful School Visit

Before the visit:

1. Introduce the students to my novels. This makes a huge difference in the enthusiasm level of the students. How to go about this?

a. Have students visit my website.

b. Have students read blurbs of my novels and choose one to read. This is especially helpful if the kids want to have a mini book club and discuss the book with their friends.

2. Take preorders for the book. Usually this is more effective after the kids have read blurbs and visited my website.

3. Compile a list of questions. Oftentimes on the day of the visit, kids may have questions but be hesitant to voice them. If they have the opportunity to write their questions down ahead of time on index cards, it is easier for me to get them answered without putting anyone on the spot. Once the Q&A gets rolling, teens tend to feel more confident about asking additional questions that have popped into their minds.

During the visit:

1. Arrange the presentation groups by which book they read and their grade or age. If all the participants are similar in age and have read the same book, things seem to run more smoothly.

2. In preparation for the signing, have sticky notes available. This will help me sign books more quickly and, most importantly, get the kids' names spelled correctly!

3. Provide "show and tell" space. I am happy to bring copies of items related to the publishing process, including but not limited to original manuscript copies, copyedited text, rejection letters, cover flats, advanced reading copies, and more. It's fun to show the process from idea to book and explain how it all happens.

4. Wireless microphone. I'm loud. But if presenting in an auditorium setting to a large group, a wireless mic will definitely help me preserve my voice!

After the presentation:

1. Notes to the author. I love to hear from the kids after a visit! They can send mail to me at:

Lynda Sandoval, Box 265, Conifer, CO 80433, or in care of my publishers at their addresses. They can also email me.

2. Feedback from faculty. I also love feedback from teachers, librarians, and other faculty members. Feel free to write to me at the above addresses.

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Author Visit Resources on the Web

Make the most of the school visit. You can find great tips on these sites, or simply Google "Author visits to schools":

The Perfect Author Visit, by Dan Gutman

How to Arrange an Author's School Visit

Advice on School Visits offers the perspectives of many authors on how to host a successful school visit

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Recommendations

More coming soon, but here's the first one:

"Lynda Sandoval is a dynamic speaker who gets kids. She'll have them laughing and talking as if they've been friends forever. Entertaining, engaging and enthusiastic, she's someone you'll ask to make repeat appearances." —Terri Clark, Teen Patron Services Specialist, Arapahoe Library District, Colorado

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Let's Get Booking!

If you'd like to invite me to present a program or do a signing at your school—or if you want more information—please email me directly.


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