- Allow a minimum of six months lead-time for most author visits.
- After you receive an affirmative reply from the author, have an agreement drawn up. (this can be a contract, provided by the author/publisher or by your library, a Letter of Confirmation or, a Memo of Understanding.) See examples provided.
- Prepare timeline for facility arrangements (book your meeting room or other venue soon!), publicity and purchases (additional titles or related works to be purchased for library's collection to augment the event?).
- If you intend to offer book sales, arrange with the publisher or a local bookstore (know how you handle retail salesdoes your Friends group do it or can the library?). If the library will manage the sales, arrange staff or volunteers to assist at the event. Some bookstores will offer a percentage of sales to the library for the service of providing a venue for book sales. Some publishers will have multiple copies sent to the library before the event and any books not sold are returned to the publishermake sure you know what will be done and who is responsible for payments, mailing, etc.
- Contact community groups, businesses, or neighboring libraries that may have an interest and see if/how they would be willing to collaborate.
- If your library is responsible for making travel and/or accommodation arrangements, do this early. If your library makes arrangements for accommodations be sure to inquire whether there are special needs (i.e. non-smoking room, first floor room). Make sure that you provide the author or publisher with reservation information and confirmation numbers.
Acknowledgement: to the Dakota County Library (Eagan, Minnesota) for some ideas and information used in this material.