The website's certainly paid off for me already.
I found it very easy to add my details to Contact an Author, and school bookings have flown in ever since. The majority of schools who contact me through the site make a booking, so it's an amazingly efficient use of both my time and theirs. Contact an Author certainly works for me.
'Contact an author' has been a revelation for my career and development as a children's writer. Even only on a financial basis it's the best investment I could ever hope to make. But there are so many other benefits - without 'Contact an author' I would never have been able to develop such a wonderful two-way relationship with so many readers, both new and established. Not to mention the librarians, teachers and booksellers who now know about my work, know me, and know who to recommend my books to!
At this stage in my career as a writer, while I'm still building a readership and recruiting new fans to my series, I couldn't have imagined anything more suited to what I needed. I learn something every time I go out to do an event, so the more events I do, the more I've been learning. Thanks to your site, I've been able to accelerate the rate at which I gain that experience, and enjoy it all along the way. (By the way, my publishers are constantly surprised and delighted at the volume of events I do.)
Since joining Contact an Author I've seen a huge increase in invitations to visit schools, with no extra effort on my part.
I've had LOADS
of invitations lately, almost one a day, I think, and several show that
they're because of Contact an Author. I think even more of them may be and I'm sure it's A Very Good Thing, so thank you.
One school visit organizer who booked me through contactanauthor wanted someone to talk to children in Keystages 1 and 2 (ages 5-11), and was quite specific about their needs. These included a session on historical research and how to turn it into a story, a workshop on writing a non-fiction historical book, as well as more general sessions on fiction writing and being an author. The organizer was easily able to narrow her search down to appropriate names and, as I write quite a bit of history (both fiction and non-fiction) for the target age ranges, I fitted the bill. I was told she looked at my page and said, 'She looks nice,' so I think having a photo on the page definitely helped in this case! Sometimes writers get contacted for different reasons. I've been approached by an adult author who wanted to know if I'd be willing to collaborate on a project for children - unfortunately, I was too busy at the time to even consider it, but it did sound intriguing. You never know what's coming next!
Contact an author has been invaluable. It is a wonderful, reliable link for schools to source just the writer they're looking for.No more mix ups. No more confusion. I love the fact that when I get a call via the site the school knows exactly what I offer.
I've had lots of bookings through Contact an Author and the inquiries have been well-informed, so I don't waste time talking or writing about what I'm willing or unwilling to do. It has been a great help to me professionally and I'm so grateful to Contact an Author for setting this up.
I changed my tag line to read 'still available for World Book Day' and within 2 hours had a confirmed booking!