Author reading / book signing / flogging at school – am I being a miserable git

  • This topic has 32 replies, 24 voices, and was last updated 7 years ago by  ski.
Viewing 33 posts - 1 through 33 (of 33 total)
  • Author reading / book signing / flogging at school – am I being a miserable git
  • Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    So my 8 year old comes home with a note from school about a book reading by the author session at school. For those who would like to buy the book, he’ll be selling signed copies at £7.99

    So this author has got a captive audience of the local primary schools – do a book reading and peddle a few books to an audience of young kids who’s parents have neither been invited or had an opportunity to review the book before buying.

    Call me that bike spoon engineer from Edinburgh, but I feel a little bit like I’m being taken advantage of.

    What am I missing?

    Notes for editors
    1. Of course I don’t have to send the money t buy the book, but I assume their will be significant peer pressure applied.
    2. We are lucky, in that £8 is not a significant outlay for us, but there are plenty of families at the school, who it would be.
    3. Flogging 20 copies each at 20 primary schools would be a nice little earner!

    am I being a miserable git

    Not IMO……sounds bang out of order to me.

    transapp
    Member

    think I’m with you on this one. I wonder if the school gets anything donated to allow this to happen…

    project
    Member

    why would you need to buy the book if he is reading it out.

    Premier Icon bruneep
    Subscriber

    How much is the book online? If its available at all.

    Local primary school used to do book sale days but the books were almost double the amazon price. The school argument was that they get a % of the sale

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    tough one really
    i imagine it is a good way to generate intrest in books and reading at school

    but 8 quid sounds steep, id raise your concerns with the governors

    meehaja
    Member

    buy book from amazon for 1p or whatever, get child to take book into school to get it signed. Author can’t refuse to sign it without making a scene, you can feel like good has been done!

    project
    Member

    Its not Tony Blair still floging his book cheap is it.

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    They do a book sale where the school gets a cut every year, and I’m happy to spend a few quid there, as it is clearly stated at the school gets a cut – there is no mention of the school getting a cut with tomorrows event.

    I’ll have a chat with the head tomorrow morning.

    The school argument was that they get a % of the sale

    So it’s commercial interests which were the motivation then.

    It would be nice if educational needs were the motivating factor rather than commercial interests.

    But I guess that’s the way British society is going.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    As an adult I’d buy a cheaper copy if I wanted it signed, and take it along- he’s not likely to complain about someone already having bought his book. But not sure I’d tell a kid to do that.

    Is £8 more than it normally costs?

    project
    Member

    whats the book called.

    rogg
    Member

    Same thing happened at my daughter’s school, I was tempted to say no, but peer pressure is even harder to resist when it’s on your child’s behalf, so basically I folded like a cheap suit and gave her the cash. The book turned out to be pretty good, and the kids were all excited about meeting a ‘famous author’. Can’t remember her name though. Seemed more aimed at girls than boys (a bit like Jacqueline Wilson), so not sure how the boys’ parents felt about it.

    Premier Icon bruneep
    Subscriber

    It was probably cheaper for me to give the school £5, I would’ve saved £5, the school got more money and we wouldn’t have an unread book in his bedroom. 🙄

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    Stuart Reid – Gorgeous George and The Giant Geriatric Generator

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gorgeous-George-Giant-Geriatric-Generator/dp/1907746021/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

    Same price on Amazon.

    TBH any price differential isn’t the issue, its the captive audience approach I’m not impressed with.

    scuzz
    Member

    For those who would like to buy the book, he’ll be selling signed copies at £7.99

    Why don’t you ask your kid if they want the book. If they say yes, ask them why. If you’re satisfied with the answer, get them the book. I don’t see how peer pressure really comes into it.
    Any reading is good reading, right?

    Premier Icon convert
    Subscriber

    I spent the morning (yes, it’s a Sunday – pleasure of working in the independent sector!) at a bit of staff training where the lecturer was talking about gender divide. Some of the recent evidence shows that gender divide is reduced (in terms of results at GCSE and A level) in educational systems where boys have been pro-actively encouraged to read independently; preferably from an early age. This is not just the literature oriented subjects, it’s across the range of subjects.

    So irrespective of the morals of this case if your 8yr old is a boy and you think he might be motivated to read this book because he met the author and got hooked; it’s probably money well spent.

    druidh
    Member

    Gie the laddie a fiver and tell him to haggle.

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    He’s really into his reading (for an 8 year old boy anyway) and reads a large cross section of stuff from Roald Dahl through Horrible Histories, stig of the dump, tin tin etc, so that isn’t really a concern.

    I’ll see what the head says.

    butcher
    Member

    It doesn’t seem right to bring business into schools imo.

    Buy one or two copies for the school library, or even one for each child and stick it in the curriculum. But selling signed copies…..I wouldn’t be too happy either.

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    He’s been putting the miles in!

    Since October 2011 Stuart has read from his book, Gorgeous George & The Giant Geriatric Generator to over 15,000 children. As the tour continues into 2012 he expects to read to at least another 50,000 children at various schools and venues throughout the British Isles.

    http://www.mylittlebigtown.com/gorgeousgeorge/?page_id=105

    We used to have a chap called H.E. Todd come to our tiny, rural primary school once a year, flogging his Bobby Brewster adventure books. It always felt like a treat, I loved the books, as did most of the kids and he did a pretty good job of entertaining us all for a couple of hours.

    Can’t see a problem at all to be honest.

    Premier Icon takisawa2
    Subscriber

    Your lad doesnt have to buy a book though.
    He’s 8. Give him £8 & let him make his own mind up…

    Some teacher really make my piss boil, do they not realise some parents cannot afford this? My school runs a ski trip every year. Teachers spend a considerable amount of time planning it. Most kids cannot afford to go on it and it has minimal educational benefit…. makes me mad. Its fair enough you feel put out by it. But some kids will not even mention it to parents, how do those kids feel……

    a_a

    My school used to run a skiing trip as well which the vast majority of students couldn’t afford and had extremely limited places anyway (10 places from a student body of 600).
    To make it worse they had a massive display in the foyer that had the last 3 or 4 years trips laid out in nice photo montages. Hyped it up for weeks in advance in assembly then had an assembly where the students who could afford to go talked about how amazing it was when they got back.
    I remember when the letter about it first got handed out in form period and a bunch of us just chucked the letter in the bin, my tutor asked what was going on and those that had chucked it just said that we aren’t asking something of our parents that they can’t afford. He was very embarassed.

    As for the OP, give him the money for the book, if he doesn’t want it then tell him you will get a different book instead.

    hora
    Member

    3. Flogging 20 copies each at 20 primary schools would be a nice little earner!

    Bloody hardwork to sell so little IMO. After all he wont be getting anywhere near 7.99 per book will he.

    marco
    Member

    I think its great that 8 yr old kids get to meet an actual author of real books!! Imagine that eh? words written on paper!
    Ten years time they wont even know what a real book is i.e Kindle, ipad etc

    It starts early nowadays! Found myself in that situation but a bit more jaded and had a response on the spot. I had a middle eastern feminist poet read in one of my lectures at uni from her new book. Groundbreaking stuff, blah blah. She was signing books she was selling at the end. I joined the long queue, got up to her and shoved a piece of A4 lined paper on the desk where she was signing and said, “I’m not interested in the book, but I drew you from where I was sat up there, can you sign this instead?” She was so stunned she signed it.

    My kids were forced to read x number of books at primary school one year, twenty or something. They had a form to fill in, title, author, etc. After reading those 20 books none of them have read another novel for pleasure, saying it is “work” and that reading is not for pleasure. Major literacy fail. Whoever came up with that genius idea needs to be shot!

    But then, on the last days years of my lads final year at primary school a woman from the office came to assembly (let’s call her the political officer) and spoke to them about the cuts, saying the cuts are good, the government/schools must make cuts, they are the only option. My son sat there shaking his head, too embarrassed to speak out, knowing what I do from time to time when the occasion calls for it.

    Give your child the money and say it is up to them if they want to part with it. If they decide not to buy it, ask them what book they do want instead and wave that money around and buy them it. Better it is their choice, than a rigid system that may be seen as “work”. They’re going to face that in another 12-14 years as it is.

    nsaints
    Member

    Another vote to give him/her the money and stop so sceptical

    Same situation at our school, our 8 year old was full of enthasium and wonder-ment for meeting an author, buying a book, and getting it signed

    It’s only £8 FFS..hardly break the bank time/can’t buy a round of drinks at the pub for that

    CaptJon
    Member

    if the author/reading is good i imagine it will inspire some of the kids and give English lessons a boost for a couple of weeks.

    when i was at first school we had a book week with author readings – i got to meet Janet and Alan Ahlberg!

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    My kid’s school had a similar thing with yo-yos.

    Troupe come in to demo fancy yo-yo moves, then sell them (3 types, £8 upwards) to the kids.
    Taking the piss. I bought my kid a yo-yo for £4 off eBay to shut him up, and yep a few months later the fad has gone, but the yo-yo troupe have improved their bank accounts.

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    I’m not interested in how much it costs, it’s the principle which I’m objecting to – £8 is neither here nor there.
    FWIW I’ve told him that he can’t buy it today, but if he comes home and says he would like it, then I’ll order it for him. Alternatively, he can spend the money on something else of his choosing.

    I’m all for promoting reading, and the author coming along to inspire them is an excellent idea to get kids interested – they just shouldn’t have the opportunity to peddle their books on the day. The kids should be able to buy them the day after, once the parents have been persuaded.

    3. Flogging 20 copies each at 20 primary schools would be a nice little earner!
    Bloody hardwork to sell so little IMO. After all he wont be getting anywhere near 7.99 per book will he.

    You’re right, there’s no point whatsoever in him doing it. 🙄

    ski
    Member

    I am with you all the way on this Geoffj, had three authors do this so far at my little ones school!

    Nothing wrong with authors inspiring kids at school, all for that btw.

    Every week at her school she seems to need money for this and that and for us it does add up, not being a miserable git but money is very tight at home at the moment and kids feeling peer presure, because everyone else buys in, it feels all wrong to me.

    I wonder how many books the school buy for their library to lend out?

Viewing 33 posts - 1 through 33 (of 33 total)

The topic ‘Author reading / book signing / flogging at school – am I being a miserable git’ is closed to new replies.