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to absolutely hate 'Book Week' at d3's school when the activities consist of 2 self-published authors coming in to flog their books?

(54 Posts)
lollington Wed 28-Sep-11 10:03:22

To be fair, KS1 (where d3 is) has a nice morning where they have stories and book discussion in the classroom. But the other two activities for KS2 are two afternoons where two random authors are coming in to talk about their (frankly rubbish sounding) books, of course these books will be available to buy and some of them may even be autographed (big whup).

They did this last year, the author did nothing but school tours and is published by a company that ONLY prints books where people do talks and presentations in schools/clubs to push the books.

I HATE IT. I would rather they get parents in to read aloud/teachers read aloud/get kids to bring in fave books etc that this thinly disguised selling opportunity.

laptoplover Wed 28-Sep-11 10:17:35

What is?
your problem with it exactly?

Just don't put any money towards it ans let the kids have a fun afternoon.

lollington Wed 28-Sep-11 10:19:14

My problem is that the authors coming in make their money from doing these school tours. The school has to pay to book them, there is a lot of peer pressure to buy the books and the whole thing seems wrong somehow.

BeerTricksPotter Wed 28-Sep-11 10:32:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

laptoplover Wed 28-Sep-11 10:38:58

But they [the school] pay a lot of people to come in surely?

We have karate teachers, music teachers, production companies, science experiment companies and they always ask for a few pound.

You take the choice wheather to pay or not, but please don't spoil it for the other parents who welcome the extra activities in order to make the childrens school life fun.


We have had world book day a few times, I tell my son to pick a book write down the name and author and then we buy it on Amazon for pennies rather than pounds.

lollington Wed 28-Sep-11 10:42:23

OK. I'll moan quietly to myself. The books look SHITE though.

Hardgoing Wed 28-Sep-11 11:05:49

I totally agree, I hate all this type of hidden advertising, it has as much integrity as those self-published poem books with your child's prewritten load of old shite heartfelt poem in it which you just must buy.

But then, I hate Tesco, Sainsbury's and Morrisons advertising through poxy vouchers and would personally ban those.

lollington Wed 28-Sep-11 11:21:23

I hate that they have a huge banner in the playground --advertising Morrisons--promoting gardening in schools hmm

BeerTricksPotter Wed 28-Sep-11 11:22:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AKMD Wed 28-Sep-11 11:26:53

YABU a bit because I remember those afternoons from when I was at school and they were quite fun. Even if the book isn't that fantastic, the author makes a living from presenting to small children and so does a very good job of entertaining them. There's no need for you to buy the book and I can guarantee that your DS will forget all about it in a week or so. There is no pressure other than on the actual day so if he doesn't have the money there is no issue.

madamehooch Wed 28-Sep-11 11:26:53

I organise a lot of school events with authors - some famous and some unknown. I always try to choose authors who are good at talking to large groups of children and, I have to say, the majority of those I have seen have been brilliant! The authors I work with are all touring authors - they are promoting their new books and, consequently, the school do not have to pay the very high author fee - the author visits for free. All we ask is that the children are well prepared for the visit and that we do have the opportunity to sell the author's books after the event. However, there is NO obligation on the children to buy a book and no obligation on the school to sell a certain number of books to qualify for the free visit. We always sell the books at less than the RRP too.

I have had such positive feedback after these events, from children, parents and teachers. It is a fantastic way to ignite an interest in reading.

And for those who buy their book on Amazon first? Do that too often and the bookshops who organise these events will go out of business.

lollington Wed 28-Sep-11 12:07:01

Yes I suppose I have to see it as a bit of fun for the kids, rather than a heartless promotion/marketing exercise. I think an enthusiastic parent reading from a book they love would probably do the same job for nothing though!

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Wed 28-Sep-11 12:28:40

I'm intrigued to know who these authors are, OP.

DS has had a few visiting authors, and they've all been pretty well known "proper" writers. I get the impression that school visits are part of any children's writer's job description these days.

StewieGriffinsMom Wed 28-Sep-11 12:38:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hardgoing Wed 28-Sep-11 12:45:26

I think it depends on the quality of the writer, perhaps. I still remember hearing Michael Rosen read his poems at the local library when I was little, I am not sure there was any real attempt to sell books although he may have carried a few copies with him. There was no hard sell and I still remember how magical it was.

So, in comparison to a Morrison's banner and the pressure I get at the til (cashier: 'would you like some schools vouchers?' me: 'no thanks', cashier (looking at children) 'are you sure?', me: 'no thanks', children: 'oh please please mum, everyone has to collect as many Tesco vouchers as possible and post them in the box, oh please, please') every single time I shop, it may not be that bad.

lollington Wed 28-Sep-11 12:49:10

It is a self-published author.

PetiteRaleuse Wed 28-Sep-11 12:52:09

Surely anything that encourgaes children to read is worth it?
You don't have to buy the books, but if your kids get inspired and decide to read and write because of this visit that's pretty good isn't it?

lollington Wed 28-Sep-11 12:57:31

No I dont think 'anything that encourages children to read' is worth it. All children come to books and reading in their own time. Having some shitey author pushing her books isnt going to help and I cannot believe it would make the difference between a child who doesnt want to read and a child who does.

That attitude is why companies that do this exist in the first place!

PetiteRaleuse Wed 28-Sep-11 13:12:32

This shitey author is trying to make a living from this. It's not some massive corporation like Tescos. Why not let her have her moment in the school, sell a couple of books which are probably not as shite as you think, and give the children the pleasure of hearing a reading from someone who has written the book.

I really don't understand your issue with this. Sorry.

PetiteRaleuse Wed 28-Sep-11 13:13:30


lollington Wed 28-Sep-11 13:15:34

She is backed by a company petiteraleuse. She isn't doing it off her own back. It is a company that encourages authors to self-publish (with them) and arranges school tours. It seems very business-like to me!

ICapturedTheKitchen Wed 28-Sep-11 13:19:47

My son had two 'writers' in who proceeded to tell all the, previously enthusiastic, kids how hard it was to get anything published and what a miserable life it was waiting for your muse. They were both getting ready to do self-publishing. When he pointed out that his Mum had 20 odd books published, they told him to stop telling lies grin

BeerTricksPotter Wed 28-Sep-11 13:24:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WilsonFrickett Wed 28-Sep-11 13:25:07

Self published authors usually - not always but 99% of the time usually - means a load of old toot IMHO. There's very little quality control and some of the grammar I've seen is appalling, let alone quality of writing. OP I guess you have to hope that someone in the school has at least checked or read the book, in which case the DCs might have a nice time, but I would be a bit hmm at this too.

WilsonFrickett Wed 28-Sep-11 13:26:56

Petite its likely the author has paid a substantial amount of money to the promotions company as well for the 'privilege' of publishing and getting access to the school, so they're making money off them, as well as the children. It's hardly uncorporate.

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