What do authors do on a virtual visit?

This is entirely up to you and the school, but here's what I usually do during my free 20 minute Skype sessions. After saying hello to the class, I do a 5-10 minute reading (a whole picture book or a fiction excerpt) and then spend the remaining time answering the children's questions. However schools sometimes want to use the time to show something to me. Some schools have shown me short performance or presentations inspired by one of my books. Other schools have shared the results of 'favourite book' votes, with individual children telling me about their favourite page in their favourite book.

How can virtual visits help sell books?

While book purchases should not be a requirement of any "free" visits offered through this site, you may wish to offer a book list or order form to make it easier for schools to arrange for books sales to coincide with your virtual visit. You might also offer to send out signed book plates for any books purchased in this way.

Why does Virtual Authors only list authors and illustrators whose books are in print with a traditional publisher?

This site was inspired by similar directory sites in the US which have a similar policy of only including authors whose books are currently in print with a traditional publisher. The policy is intended as a crude quality control measure. I accept it’s inexact and that there are some great authors and illustrators who are not traditionally published, but I run the site on a voluntary basis and I don’t have the time to vet the quality of authors and illustrators’ work on an individual basis.

Please read the following guidelines and advice before submitting your name for listing on the site. There is no charge for being listed.

At present I’m restricting this directory to authors and illustrators who currently have their work traditionally published in the UK (not at the author or illustrator's expense and not solely in print-on-demand/ebook format).

PLEASE NOTE: I don’t have time to offer technical assistance, so if you are new to Skype please make sure that you have Skype installed and you have familiarised yourself with how to use it by making some video calls BEFORE you submit your name. You will need:

HARDWARE: A computer (Mac or Windows) with a broadband connection, a web-cam and a microphone.

SOFTWARE: Skype software installed on your computer and a Skype account set up. You can download Skype for free here. If you are already using Skype for personal video calls, you might want to set up a separate Skype account for use with schools rather than give schools your personal Skype-name. You can easily switch between accounts by signing out and signing in again (with your alternative Skype-name and password) under Skype's "File" menu.

If you haven't already done so, I strongly recommend setting up a page on your own website or blog outlining what you offer during a virtual visit. Feel free to copy and paste the text from the virtual visits page on my web site and adapt it for your own use. If you don't have a web site or blog of your own you can set up a Skype sessions page on the Microsoft Educator site or, if you're happy to Skype with US schools, you can set up a page on the US Skype an Author Network site.

If you are offering free 15-20 minute Skype sessions, you may want to limit the number you offer and the times you are available to do them. I limit my free sessions to one a week and I only do them on Wednesdays during UK term time. I also limit schools to one free session booking per year.

If you live outside the UK, I'm happy to list you on this site providing you're able to offer Skype sessions to UK schools during regular school hours and currently have your work traditionally published in the UK.

If you'd like to be listed on this site, fill out the form below and I’ll add you to the directory. If you have any queries, you can click here to email me.

If you wish to revise or withdraw your listing, please contact me so that I can update the site accordingly.

You can find more advice
for Skyping authors in my
10 Top Tips for Great
Virtual Author Visits




I've created these graphics for use on my own site, which you're welcome to use to link to your own virtual visits pages.

To Save a copy of the images below to your computer:

On a Mac: Control-click on an image and select "Save image to "Downloads".

On a PC: Right-click on image and select "Save image to Desktop"

FREE Virtual Visits Banner
Virtual Visits Banner
FREE Virtual Visits Badge
Virtual Visits Badge
FREE Book Link Badge
(transparent) for use with individual book pages
Book Link Badge
(transparent) for use with individual book pages


If you'd like to link to this site, there are some graphics on this page that you can use.


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