Saturday, July 24, 2010
Balkin Buddies Interview
2. Is it just you that works for Balkin Buddies?
3. How could someone join Balkin Buddies to help?
4 & 5. About how many authors do you have? About how many artists do you have?
For others, I set up online chats (usually via Skype, iChat, or whatever system a particular university has). This means, I coordinate dates (for test runs and the chat itself), write contracts, and do occasional invoicing, again depending on the needs of the author or artist. For this type of service, I currently work with 38 authors and 9 illustrators, but nearly 30 of these folks I also set up onsite appearances in schools, etc.
Furthermore, for 14 authors and 4 illustrators, I don't set up onsite appearances for them directly, but there are links to their websites on my website. For about 4 of them, I also set up online chats.
6. How many speaking engagements do you set up daily?
There is no set number. I promote my authors to teachers, professors, school and public librarians, students going for degrees in teaching and library science, conference organizers, and other related folks who defy categorization but tend to fit into all of them. I promote my list of authors and illustrators as a whole and then wait for schools and libraries, etc. to contact me for whichever author or artist they fancy. Whenever asked, I recommend authors and artists who fit the particular needs of the school, library, etc.
I didn’t start setting up online chats until the economic crisis. When that happened, budgets suffered and traditional onsite appearances slowed down considerably. Recently, they have begun to pick up again. However, I’m continuing to set up online chats, as they are more affordable and I believe they are the wave of the future.
7. Which author are you most honored to work for?
I would have to say that I’m honored to work with all of them. The authors and artists I work with are skilled at speaking to children as well as adults. Speaking to an audience is a separate skill from writing or illustrating, so it’s an honor to work with so many multi-talented people.
8. Your site is well organized. Do you update it daily?
I have no set schedule for updating the Balkin Buddies website. Sometimes I update it daily, but sometimes it’s four or five times a day, while other times it’s weekly or monthly. It depends wholly on the information that comes into my office. Whenever an author or illustrator has a new book out, I put it on my website as soon as I learn about it. If an author or illustrator wants to change their bio, has won a new award or honor, is working with a new publisher, or has a new presentation description, I add them to my website. When you look at my site, you’ll find that I also add articles, links, and other information to various sections that I believe authors, artists, educators, and librarians will find useful. There is a good deal of information under the ‘Arrange an appearance’ bubble, for example, even about such things as obtaining grants and how to find an agent.
9. Did you ever think you would be working for so many authors and artists?
10. Is there anything else you'd like to say?