Monday, September 13, 2010

Back-to-Business Monday: THE HONORARIUM QUESTION PART II

First, a quick note: SEPTEMBER 12-18, 2010, is NATIONAL ARTS IN EDUCATION WEEK.   Arts education embraces disciplines from dance, drama, and design to music, media and literature. Does your novel feature an artistic element?  Might be worth visiting the NEA website to learn more.

Now, on to the question of DISCOUNTING honorarium fees.  In general, I think consistency is very important in setting prices for appearances.  That, said, there are certain situations in which a lower honorarium fee or other accommodation may be warranted.

WHEN...
  • It's local.  A lower fee (or waiver of travel/expense costs) can be offered to local or in-state schools and libraries as this is your "home turf" and requires less time on your part.  Some authors even consider offering single-presentations or part-day visits
  • You have a new book out.  To launch a new book into the world and maximize appearances without seeming cheap, consider offering a lower-priced, new-title focused program for a brief, specific duration around your pub date.
  • You're willing to go virtual.  To promote your book, consider Skype visits, online chats or other virtual type appearances which you can offer at a lower price.
HOW...do you present your fees to schools and libraries?  With budgets tighter than ever, it always helps to be flexible. So, whatever you decide to quote, you might finish with a phrase like "please let me know how this works with your budget" so that you leave the door open for them to give you feedback versus just never replying if the number seems too high to them. This is also gives you the opportunity to discuss their needs and suggest some of your lower-priced options if available.

IF...you really want to get exposure for your first (or a new) book and/or experience with presentations, you may want to discount for some period of time.  Just remember there's a notable cost to you in terms of time (aka foregone writing or work time), preparation, travel, and logistics (babysitter for kids, sub for your classroom, etc.), so think it through carefully.  Do the math to make sure you're not actually incurring costs to do appearances.

All of these honorarium posts are meant to help you give thoughtful, thorough consideration to what it means to charge for appearances, just like you do to other elements of your marketing plans.  Taking the time to do this in advance makes answering questions along the way much easier.

NEXT WEEK: Promotions & Incentives

3 comments:

Lisa and Laura said...

Stasia thank you so much for these awesome posts! They've helped us a ton already! We tweeted the links and shared them with our fellow Elevensies.

Kristi Cook said...

Stasia, thanks a million for these posts! This has been very, very helpful.

SWK said...

Thanks for your comments, Kristi & LiLa (and for spreading the word). Did I tell you I'm an official Elevensie? As soon as I get through this final week of revisions, I'll get more involved in that scene. Happy Monday! Stasia