Author Experience Program

The AU Author Experience Grant Program was created to provide underserved and/or underfunded schools and youth programming organizations the opportunity to host an author, regardless of their resources or funding. Our authors have agreed to donate one 45-minute virtual visit per year, which AU will arrange at no cost. We ask that each hosting organization facilitate the webinar interface by providing join links, and limit participation to a single school or district (no public streaming or recording without prior permission).

How it works

At Authors Unbound, building meaningful relationships is our highest priority. As a small, quality-driven agency we take the time to get to know the hosts we collaborate with, and work closely on every detail from start to finish. We’re proud of our strong, long-lasting partnerships with hundreds of hosts across the country.

No matter where you’re at in the process, A|U can offer expert guidance.  We love to brainstorm with hosts on programming goals, recommend authors and most of all… talk about books.


We’re happy to quote individual fees and expenses for the authors we represent… just give us a call or drop us an email (Contact AU).  Once we’ve had a chance to chat with you and get a better understanding of your event, we can also recommend additional authors/titles that might be of interest, or fall within a specific budget range. Our services come at no cost to you. That means that once the fee and expenses are negotiated and finalized, there are absolutely NO additional charges, even if you take advantage of every single added value service we have to offer.

What we typically do is get a sense of a host’s resources (budget), any programming targets (topic/theme/genre) and possible timeline – and then curate a list of suggestions we think might appeal. We believe that goals are very important, so we’ll first (and foremost) ask what it is you hope to accomplish with your event. We represent 200+ authors in all genres, but will always recommend the right book/author for the gig, and can co-broker with our friends in other agencies when needed. So if you have a few authors already in mind, just let us know and we can tell you fee/availability info, and any feedback we’ve gathered from other groups who have hosted them!

A|U can help you vet this list based on your available budget, programming goals, and feedback from previous hosts around the country. We can also get you review copies for the committee to read, and any other information that will help as you make the final decision.

Even if we do not represent the person you are looking for, chances are we have a very good idea of their fee and availability. If it’s an author we haven’t worked with before, we’re happy to reach out and serve as intermediary for our hosts.  If it’s an author represented by another agency, we can broker the event on the hosts behalf. We regularly partner with our industry colleagues – as long as they are members of the International Association of Speakers Bureaus, as we are. We maintain solid relationships with many other authors, publishers and agencies, and are happy to advocate for your event!

No worries! We can help connect you with anyone you might be interested, regardless if they are a published author or not. We can also suggest possible alternative speakers who can address your goals and program topics when the author of a selected title isn’t available.

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, fee reductions for virtual formats have been all over the place, so we understand the confusion.  For events booked in person that end up going virtual (typically booked before March 2020, or directly related to pandemic concerns), we extend a 25% fee reduction.  For new virtual events, fees vary by author, and tend to be more flexible than in person rates. Some authors do not extend reductions; the reasoning here is that the prep time for the author is at least the same, and in many cases increases for virtual events, as authors figure out the online interface in terms of pacing, visuals, etc. But no matter what the circumstances, we can help you navigate through this tricky new event world!

Unfortunately, we can’t help with publisher supported appearances (which, in the wake of the new virtual event market, have sharply decreased since early 2020).  But one thing we CAN do is help you identify authors we know will already be in your area for other events.  In those cases, we can typically help save you money on both the fee and expenses. Just get in touch to explore that possibility!

Helping to launch a brand new One Book program is one of our specialties. We can let you know what to expect as you start planning, what titles work especially well for your specific goals, provide a checklist of important tasks and deadlines,  and strategies to build your “brand” so that your program earns support and continues to grow.

You’re not alone, and we totally understand.  We’re sensitive to the sometimes limited resources available to many libraries, rural communities and non profit organizations . We’ll do everything we can to help you find local partner, convince your stakeholders to invest in your program, and even direct you toward state and federal funding for the arts. We are completely sensitive to these challenges, and provide the same level of support and care for every potential host, regardless of budget.