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Connect with Authors Through Skype

One site that quickly gained popularity this year is the Skype an Author, a Wetpaint site, billed at the key to Virtual Author Visits in Your Library or Classroom. Set up by Sarah Chauncey of the Grandview Elementary School Library in Rockland County, NY schools and author Mona Kirby, it is getting attention from many sources, including the School Library Journal.

The site allows authors to set up pages describing their books and how they might do a Skype visit. Skype is the online audio/video free phone service; a Skype visits allows an author to see students and students to see the author.
FEBDarcySchoolVisit
Authors are asked to do one of two types of Skype visits:

  • No Charge – Meet the Author Visit – 10 to 15 minutes
  • In-Depth Visit – 30-60 Minutes – Charge to be determined by author

Why Should you Want to Skype?

(See what Catherine Balkin said in yesterday’s post. )

Set Up Your Page

I recently updated the Darcy Pattison page on the Skype an Author site.

Here are some tips:

  • Look around the site and see what type of information others provide. You want yours to fit in and yet, be distinctive.
  • Think about how you can make the site look similar to your own site, keep your “branding.” Do you use distinctive colors? Special logos? Wetpaint is very easy to customize.
  • Read through the site’s directions on adding your page.
  • It’s wise to have your page planned before you sign up, so there’s no time when you have a blank page. So, gather all the photos you want to use, write the copy and be ready to cut and paste it into place. As you write, think hard about what a librarian would want to know about your books and yourself that would entice them to contact you.
  • Once you’ve updated it, publicize it! Share it with the publicist at your publisher, share it with your editors, post it on your site, etc. Check out Wetpaint’s Droplets as a great way to add an promo to any website, blog or social site.
  • Ongoing tasks: As you have more books published, be sure to update this after you update your own site. Keep the contact information up to date.
  • Set up your Webcam

    One final thing you’ll want to do before going live with the Skype an Author site is to test out your Skype/Webcam set up. I discovered, for example, that the lighting in my office is great for doing work on the computer, but awful for doubling as a video studio. Here is one videos to get you started on simple lighting. Look for other tutorials.

    How to Apply Simple 3-Point Lighting to Amateur Film Making

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