Peg366's Blog

Dori Butler’s Skype Presentation

Posted on: May 10, 2010

Dori Hillestad Butler

 What do you get when you add a sick co-presenter (Sarah Prineas went home sick) and complete and utter computer malfunction together? You get soft-spoken veteran picture book author Dori Hillestad Butler giving it her best as she shared her Skype experience with fellow SCBWI members.
The use of Skype is relatively new. During these financially tough times, it makes sense to do a “Skype” visit instead of the traditional school visit, for both the author and the school.

The author can do the visit from their home and can even include their animals in the presentation, while not incurring expenses for traveling or food, etc.   Skype for an author can be a great way to promote their work. It gets their name as well as the names of their books out there. It can be used as a part of the author’s press release kit.

The school can pay less and still have an author visit their school. It can be recorded for the school to review later. It makes long distance visits possible so even authors living far away can come to a school. One neat thing about it is that it still gives the student a chance to see the author’s face. so there is still the face-to-face feel to the visit.  It is a win-win situation

After telling a little about Skype to her audience , Dori took time to answer questions. Questions asked included: (some parts of her answers were included in this blog entry.)

1.     How often do you do Skype presentation? Sarah does more.  Dori does fewer.  

2.     How long do sessions last? Times varied from 15 minutes to 45 minutes depend on the interest of the students and the author’s own schedule. Apparently that is one thing that the author needs to spell out when doing the contract for the visit. 

3.     What type of format is used when doing a skype visit? Do you do “Questions and Answers”? The “Question and Answer” format seem to work for both Sarah and Dori. Dori shared that kids line up with their questions and then come up to the mike and ask them.

4.     How much do you charge? Neither Sarah or Dori, according to Dori, charge for their Skype visits but that would be something that each author could decide on their own. 

From my perspective using Skype is a winner as Skype is free. It is easy to download and learn how to use. I use it for visits with my relatives that live out of the state, even out of the country.

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peg366


I am an aspiring picturebook writer with some magazine credits just no picture book contract yet. I know it is coming and I am more than willing to work for it.

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I love the children's movies Wizard of Oz and the Neverending Story. Both movies make me feel the lesson that hope is alive and well. After seeing UP this past week, it just might have a chance at being added to this list.

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