Thursday, 8 December 2016

Lessons plans may help you sell more books – Lynne Garner

I'm going to assume that as a published author you want to increase the sales of your books. If so then have you ever considered trying to increase your sales into schools? If your answer is yes then a great way of encouraging teachers to purchase and use your book in their class is to write a lesson plan they can download (you may even wish to make a small charge – after all it’s going to save them a lot of time).

Now as well as writing I also teach on a part-time basis, so have written loads of the things. So as Authors Electric is all about sharing I wanted to share with you a little info I hope you find helpful if you want to explore this route for boosting your sales. So here goes…
 
Basic lesson plan template
Before I write a lesson plan I need to know:
  • What book I’m going use as the basis for the session
  • What age range I'm working with
  • What part or parts of the curriculum I’m going to focus on (this is why you need to know the age range, so you research the subjects they're studying)
  • How long the session is going to be

Once I know the answers to this I can start to plan. My basic ‘recipe' for a session is:
  • Introduce the topic and why it's being covered
  • Discuss what's going to happen or give a demo or show samples if they are going to be completing a task (getting them making or writing is always good)
  • Do this as a group, in small groups, in pairs or individually (show in the lesson you will be giving feedback/providing suggestions/asking open questions and giving support as needed) 
  • Peer feedback - if they create some art work then ‘gallery time’ works well (they all put their work out for everyone to see and give positive/constructive feedback). You could write questions on the board that they could bear in mind whilst looking at the work e.g. What do you think works well? What do you like? Is there something you would change and why? Or if it’s something written give time for a percentage to read work out and gain feedback (set the expectation there isn't time for everyone to read out their work) 
  • Round off

Note: The organisation I teach for loves to see us including a little ICT in the session, so we’ve been given tablets to use. So I now have a bank of writing apps loaded onto said tablets. Click here and here to read about those I use.  

I’ve recently had some coaching and three things I discovered you should include in your lesson plans are:
  • Lots of open questions being asked - to aid memory I either place these in the body of the lesson plan or add to the tutor notes at the bottom of the plan
  • Include different levels of differentiation - so perhaps include an idea for something simple (a bolt on to the previous task) then something that will push the brightest (something slightly different but still linked to the book – apps are good here)
  • For older children they like to see peer feedback taking place. Tip: Include in your tutor notes what the ground rules are for this (which is a great way to embed tolerance and respect BV - see below).
I also have to include embedding of the following:
  • British Values (really big in schools at the moment - these are democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs)
  • Equality and Diversity
  • English
  • Math
  • ICT
Thankfully not all of the above have to be included in the single lesson but they have to be included at least a couple of times in say a five-week course.

I hope this information is of help to those who feel lesson plans may increase their sales.

Lastly if you write lesson plans on a regular basis for a particular age group and I’ve missed anything, please do share your knowledge below.

Lynne

Now for a blatant plug - don't say I didn't warn you:

My latest short story collection Coyote Tales Retold is available on Amazon in ebook format. Also available Meet The Tricksters a collection of 18 short stories featuring Anansi the Trickster Spider, Brer Rabbit and Coyote is available as a paper back and an ebook.    

I run the following online courses for Women On Writing:

2 comments:

griseldaheppel said...

Very useful - I will study this carefully! Can I just confirm - do you use your own books exclusively in lessons, or relate them to others relevant to the topic? Thanks for sharing your expertise.

Lynne Garner said...

Hi

I tend to use my own books - as I want to increase sales. However if there are other books that compliment my own I'll suggest them.