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Step-by-Step Guide to Persuasive Author Visit Pitches

Updated: Apr 25



In my work as a creative agency owner, I help many talented children's book authors. One challenge I frequently see them face is crafting effective pitches for school author visits. Generic emails often get overlooked, leaving authors discouraged.


Recently, I discovered Dr. Robert Cialdini's "Seven Principles of Persuasion." It sparked a realization: these principles can be applied to craft compelling author visit pitches that resonate with educators and highlight the true value your visit brings to their classrooms. Dr. Cialdini, a leading social psychologist, identified seven key elements that influence decision-making. Let's explore how these principles can be used to elevate your author visit pitches.


Cialdini's 7 Principles

Dr. Cialdini's framework isn't about manipulation, but about understanding the psychology behind decision-making. Here's a glimpse into these principles and how to put these principles into action!


Principle #1: The Principle of Reciprocity

People feel obligated to return favors.


In Action: Offer a free downloadable resource, like a discussion guide based on your book, to educators upon booking. This creates an initial feeling of indebtedness, making them more likely to consider your visit a positive exchange.


Example:  "To support your curriculum integration, I'm happy to provide a free downloadable discussion guide and activity sheet based on [Book Title] to all schools that book a visit."


Principle #2: The Principle of Scarcity

We value things more when they seem limited.


In Action:  Mention limited slots available for visits this semester, or offer a bonus activity, like a signed bookplate for every student, for a limited time. Highlighting scarcity creates a sense of urgency and exclusivity, making your visit seem more desirable.


Example:  "Due to high demand, my school visit slots are filling up quickly! I'm also offering a free signed bookplate for every student who attends a visit booked before [Date]."


Principle #3: The Principle of Authority

Expertise builds trust.


In Action: Connect your book to curriculum standards and highlight any relevant author experience in education or children's entertainment. We naturally gravitate towards those we perceive as knowledgeable and credible. By establishing yourself as an authority on a particular topic or age group, educators are more likely to see value in your visit.


Example:  "[Book Title] perfectly aligns with the 4th grade curriculum on [Subject]. With a background in [Your Background], I can ensure the visit is both educational and entertaining."


Principle #4: The Principle of Social Proof

People follow the lead of others.


In Action: Showcase positive reviews, awards your book has won, or testimonials from past successful visits. Social proof taps into our desire to follow the crowd. When educators see that other schools have had positive experiences with your author visits, they're more likely to be interested in booking you as well.


Example:  "My book, [Book Title], recently won the [Award Name] for its engaging storytelling. A librarian at [School Name] said, 'The students were captivated by [Your Name]'s presentation and couldn't wait to get their hands on a copy!'"


Principle #5: The Principle of Liking

We're drawn to those we find relatable.


In Action: Share a personal anecdote about a past visit or express your passion for connecting with young readers. People are more receptive to those they feel they can connect with. By showcasing your personality and enthusiasm for children's literature, you make yourself more likeable to educators, increasing the chances of them wanting to host you at their school.


Example: "I recently visited a school where a student dressed up as a character from my book! These interactions are what fuel my passion for sharing stories with young minds."


Principle #6: The Principle of Commitment

We tend to follow through on commitments we've made publicly.


In Action: Offer a call to discuss specific needs and preferred visit formats (virtual/in-person). Once someone makes a public commitment, they're more likely to follow through on it. By offering a call to discuss their specific needs, you're encouraging educators to verbally commit to the idea of an author visit. This can make them more likely to finalize the booking.


Example: "I'm happy to schedule a brief call to discuss your specific needs and tailor the visit to your curriculum. Let me know if you'd be interested in a virtual or in-person session."


Principle #7: The Principle of Unity

We desire to belong and feel part of a group.


In Action: Frame your visit as a way to help educators achieve their goals, like fostering a love of reading or sparking creativity in their students. We all want to feel like we're part of a team working towards a common goal. By framing your visit as a way to help them achieve their educational objectives, you're creating a sense of unity between you and the educator. This can make them more receptive to your pitch.


Example: "Many schools are struggling to [mention a specific educational challenge, like fostering a love of reading or integrating STEM concepts]. My interactive presentation on [your book's topic] is designed to address this challenge by [explain how your visit aligns with their goals]. Together, we can create a memorable and engaging experience for the students."


Conclusion

By incorporating all 7 of Cialdini's principles, you can craft an even more persuasive and well-rounded pitch that resonates with librarians and educators, increasing your chances of landing those author visit spots.



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