Wednesday, October 30, 2013

How to Support Reading, Get a Signed Book or a Free Skype Visit, and Other Reading Gems

Me, with the inimitable Paul Hankins
and Sarah Darer Littman

Paul W. Hankins is a wonderful teacher (or as he often refers to it, "lead learner"),

a friend,

and a Book & Reading Champion Extraordinaire.

This morning, on facebook, he posted this fabulous little video BOOK PEOPLE UNITE from RIF, and got me thinking...

For those of us who know RIF, and remember it fondly, we may remember it like this:

It was such a simple yet startling truth for 9-year-old me at the time: some kids actually don't have books. And we could get some to them, and change the world.

Or, as Mr. Hankins put so eloquently this morning on my facebook page, "the message is that one big difference we can make in the life of a child is to assure that they have access to books. This is important work. I will get behind it."

Me too, Mr. Hankins, me too.

And, with holiday time coming, what better way to place books in a child's hand by:

*  adding RIF to your holiday donation list (a mere $5 or $10 puts a book in a child's hand! It doesn't have to be more!);

*  sharing that new wonderful video up there on your social networking sites and in your classrooms; and, of course

*  buying a book for a child you know, or donating one to a charity, this holiday season. One way to do that is through Donors Choose, a website that helps teachers fund book projects in the classroom... Several wonderful teachers have put classroom sets of THE PULL OF GRAVITY in their classrooms using Donors Choose. And, yes, I ALWAYS donate a copy or copies when they do.

Okay, Gae, I get the whole classroom thing, but who wants a crappy old book for Christmas when there are Lego and video games under the tree?

I believe the answer is: more kids than you know.

At least WITH the Lego and  video games, especially when the book comes personalized (autographed, sometimes with what we MG & YA authors like to call SWAG).

And guess what? It's easier than you think to make this happen:

How to get signed copies

Most authors, unless they are JK Rowling or Stephanie Meyer (and maybe even them, who knows?) want to reach their kid, tween, and teen readers and connect with them. WE WANT TO.

We have facebook pages, twitter accounts, tumblr pages (even if we don't know how to use them) and more. We have websites that will lead you to our email addresses or other contact info. And, if you want a signed book, we will direct you on how.

Sometimes local indies keep a small amount of signed stock on hand. If they don't and you buy a copy and mail it to us with an SASE, we will sign it and send it back. If you can't afford that, and send us the name of the recipient and your address, we will mail out a signed bookplate.

Often there will be signed bookmarks, buttons and other book-related goodies tucked inside.

My swag bag from a school visit included bookmarks, buttons,
wax lips and mini troll dolls. Oh, but we had fun! 

Classroom or Book Club Skype Visits

And while we're at it, here's another thing to know: if you buy at least a few copies of our books for your book club selection or your classroom use, most of us will Skype with you for free. Some will Skype for 15 minutes, some of us will blabber on for hours. The only requirement we have is that you're helping to make this possible by supporting our books by buying a minimum number.

If you want to see a short list of authors who Skype for free, the awesome Kate Messner has put one together HERE.

So, how about that for a holiday package? Donate to RIF, share a favorite SIGNED book with a kid, tween or teen you love, and get a Skype visit for the book club or classroom they frequent for free!

Whatever you do, support reading. Put a book in the hands of a kid (or adult!) you love.

November's upon us. What are you waiting for?

xox gae

p.s. If you are an author who offers free Skype visits to book clubs, classrooms or libraries who use
your book and are not included in Kate's list, PLEASE feel free to provide your titles and contact information in the comments. 


  1. As the shy nerd kid who lived for reading and loved exploring every inch of the library, thank you.

  2. A wonderful organization--thanks so much for making everyone aware. My check went in the mail last week. Always an easy donation to make!

  3. Well, hey... I thought I was on Kate's list - but am not.
    XVI and TRUTH - Julia Karr email = and website is
    Thanks, Gae!