Educators and Librarians: Your problem
We saw the need for a booking service that would provide educators and librarians with up-to-date information on children’s and young adult authors who were willing and qualified to do school and library presentations and writing workshops. We understood that VSS clearance was something more and more schools may require, and in 2017 we made this part of our criteria. All ABS members have been fully vetted and their status is confirmed on a yearly basis.* (see note at bottom) We recognized that many smaller schools and libraries could not afford an author visit, nor did they have time to co-ordinate an author visit with area schools and libraries in order to minimize the cost. We also realized that many schools and libraries were not aware of funding programs available to offset some of the costs of an author presentation. We knew that crises happen. What if an author or illustrator is sick or has a family emergency and cannot visit at the appointed time? Sometimes funding approval comes so close to the deadline that a school or library is left scrambling for an appropriate author or illustrator.
Educators and Librarians: Our solution
Immediate contact Each presenter page on our site has an email form that connects you directly with the author of your choice, and we’re copied in, so we can follow up in the background if you don’t hear back from the author in a timely fashion. Each presenter page gives you pertinent and timely information at your fingertips — costs, availability notes, grade range and audience size. Feel free to use the email form to ask more questions. Browse our site We provide timely information about authors and illustrators who are currently touring Ontario and who live in Ontario. We list the areas and dates for touring authors on our website and this information is updated on an ongoing basis. Check out our News and coming to the GTA sections. As well, we send out notices of availability, promotions and other author news via Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. Please follow us! This service is provided to you at no charge. If you would like to be included in the newsletter mailing list, please contact us. If you would like assistance in finding the presenter who is just right for you, please contact us with the contact form on this page.
We assist in clustering bookings so that schools and libraries can pool travel costs. Looking for an author for a literacy night, P.A. day workshop, creative writing workshop or something else? We’ll help you find the perfect presenter. We advise you of applicable grants or subsidies to offset the cost of author visits. In the event sickness or emergencies, we can usually find you a suitable replacement author or illustrator so your event can go on. While it is always best to plan an author visit or event well in advance, we are aware that this is not always possible. If you find yourself in a time-bind, we will pull out all stops to assist you. Subscribe to our Newsletter.
Authors and Illustrators: Your problem
Over a number of years, we had both experienced a good deal of frustration over our inability to properly manage our own school bookings. During that time we hired two different booking agents – neither of whom delivered a service that was actually beneficial to us. (Incidentally, we brought two very different perspectives to this, as Marsha lives in Ontario while Valerie lives in New Brunswick.) Early in 2006 we talked about the problem and decided that we were going to take it on ourselves. (I think the correct phrase is “fools rush in”) We worked like mad for months, setting up a database of contacts and ironing out the wrinkles. And during that process, we realized that what we’d accomplished, mainly in order to solve our own booking problems, would work for other authors as well. So, we began to expand. As our service has expanded over the years, we have resolved newer problems. For example, schools and libraries use email filters to combat spam, but those filters are so powerful that they frequently filter out emails from individual authors and illustrators as well. Even if a librarian or educator has contacted a presenter directly, the response can be filtered out.
Authors and Illustrators: Our solution
Our primary objective is to assist members in arranging school and library bookings. We set up an information page on our website for each author we represent. Each individual page provides information on that member’s publications, presentations, fees and so forth – details that teachers and librarians need in planning their events. We let educators know when our members will be available for bookings in their area. We promote our authors through social media and on our website, listing announcements of nominations, awards, new releases and various other literacy-related news and articles. We send out a general monthly newsletter to educators and librarians who subscribe for that service. As well, school boards and library organizations with whom we partner send dedicated newsletters from us through their portals. We field questions about dates, discounts, expenses and many other things that can become bothersome. We offer assistance if there are negotiation/arrangement difficulties that would benefit from third party intervention. We generally do not organize schedules, although there are rare exceptions. We do not plan routes, nor do we arrange transportation or accommodations. It is up to the author and hosting agency to work out the time and other details. We endeavor to keep our members informed on new technologies that impact author visits. We are proud to say that Authors’ Booking Service has helped to establish an acceptable professional fee for authors and illustrators.
*PLEASE NOTE: The transition period for our members to get their VSS in place can take up to three months. Only members who have initiated the process have their pages visible. As police checks are done, more presenter pages will become visible. Those whose police checks are registered with the TDSB can be found by searching in Categories under VSS. Please note that TDSB educators who are also our authors cannot present in TDSB schools.
Questions? We’d love to hear from you: