Why do authors charge so much?
The fees authors charge are usually the standard fees set by the ASA (Australian Society of Authors) You can visit their site (ASA) to check what they recommend. Authors and illustrators work long hours when doing presentations and school visits and preparation is required, just as teachers do for preparing classes. Each visit is catered to your specific needs. The fees charged are the equivalent to casual rates (which cater for sick leave, super and holidays). Authors and illustrators are professional people and this is their source of income. Without it, they wouldn't be able to do what they do best. You probably pay more for a tech' person to repair your computers or a trades person to repair your buildings.
Check out the hints and tips page to help with ideas to budget for a visit.
Why can't they visit for free?
This is their job. If they work for free they just can't keep doing it. Authors and illustrators have families to support and mortgages to pay just like anyone else. It is a myth that they earn a lot of money just from their royalties. Most earn less than if they worked at MacDonalds!
Can we negotiate the fees?
You can always ask but please don't be offended if they are unable to.
Why do we pay for travel and accommodation?
Travel and accommodation cost money and time. Authors will charge for both as it takes them away from their 'creative office hours' and they are out of pocket expenses. It is only fair that if a considerable distance needs to be travelled that travel is paid for. Accommodation is also necessary if travelling a distance away from home. Short, local distances are not charged for.
Can the author stay at a teachers or parents house to save money?
Sorry, no. This can lead to awkward situations. Your visiting author needs their rest and will have spent the whole day talking to everyone. They need quiet time and space and will often need the evening to work and prepare for the next days presentations.
Often an author will stay with their own family or friends if they can to keep costs down but this is not always possible.
Where will you travel to?
I will travel to most places both within my home state, the mainland and overseas. Travel fees, petrol and accommodation charges will apply except in my immediate local area. I will do my best to find the most practical means of travel and accommodation to help keep the cost down.
Who will you visit?
I will visit anyone who requests a visit. Schools (K-12), interest groups, parents, libraries, conferences, staff PD's, dinners, universities, post year ten students etc. Just ask. I will cater to your topics and needs.
What age groups do you work with?
All age groups. I can package a program that suits every age. My audience range to date is babies to 90 year olds.
What topics do you cover?
Illustration, writing, book production, career choices, my personal journey as an author/illustrator, literacy, reading, art. The topics are limitless (but I'm not good at brain surgery!).
Will you sell your books?
Yes, if my publishing contract allows. I will ask you to take pre-orders as books are heavy and I like to have enough to cater for everyone. I will be able to sign them as well. However, it is a good idea to let me know well in advance how many I need to bring as I will need to order them in. Also, please do not be offended if being allowed to sell books will not result in a reduced fee. The sale of books rarely covers costs, authors have to buy their books also.
Will you work with our budding authors?
This depends on the circumstances. If it is a part of the session and it's structure then yes. If it is outside of the booking then no. I am asked this so often that I wouldn't have enough hours in the day if I said yes. Sorry. However, if this is a part of what you require in the visit then by all means request it be built into the package.
Can we write to you?
Yes. Go to my contacts page for details. I love to hear from my audience, it's what it is all about. Where appropriate, I will always try to write back.