Updated August 2018

Organising an Author Visit

Author Reviews - available to ISLN Financial Members Only

Local Authors

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We are often asked by authors and teacher-librarians if there is a standard way to decide how much to pay / charge for an author visit. This tends to vary depending on the kind of visit, the profile of the author and the school that they are visiting. The budget dedicated to author visits in our schools varies a great deal between schools in Singapore. The suggestions below are just that, suggestions, and a starting point for negotiations. If your school has radically different arrangements, please let us know so that we can adjust this page to reflect that.

Visits organised by publishers or booksellers.

These are usually free of charge as they tend to be for a short duration (up to ½ a day) and the publisher / bookseller might organise the sale of books at your school in the lead up to, or on the day of the visit

Authors who are based in Singapore or visiting Singapore at their own expense

If authors want the librarian to coordinate booksales the visit is usually free of charge.

½ day visits (3 hours face-to-face) are usually start around SGD500

A full day visit (5 hours face-to-face) usually start around SGD1000

The table below is a rough guide (in Singapore dollars – subject to currency fluctuations) from Societies of authors

Society of Authors


Australian Society

of Authors


(Data to be added)

Range paid for Authors

visiting our schools

½ Day

SGD270 - 1400


SGD 500 - 1800

Full day

SGD620 - 1800


SGD 1260 - 2000

Per week

SGD 3500 - 4500

Book reading only

Online (1 hour)


Online (1/2 day)

Adult session (1 hour)

Authors invited to Singapore by a school

In addition to the daily rate above authors may expect the following payments:

Booking agents fee

Per diem (ranges according to school from SGD65-SGD100)

Airport transfers

Accommodation – some authors will homestay, but allowances could be up to SGD350 per night

Insurance – author may be required to provide this themselves

Taxes - Depending on their citizenship/the country in which their company is based, visitors  fees may be subjected to between 15-22% withholding tax by the Singapore Tax Authorities.  Check with your Finance department as it may be necessary to absorb this in the fees

The host school usually organises a dinner for the visiting author and may invite members of ISLN to attend. The cost of the authors meal is either paid for by the host school or divided between attendees.

Sharing authors between schools

One school usually organises the entire visit. The total cost (the sum of all the costs above) is then divided between the schools depending on the time spent at each school. For example a recent author visit cost SGD6056 for 5 days. Three schools shared him and the costs were:

Time allocation


School A........

3 ½ days


School B

1 day


School C

½ day


Sample letter of invitation to an author

Dear «Name»

I am pleased to inform you that I have received financial approval from the Head of the «Relevant School» for your visit to xxxxxx School from «Dates» «Year». I hope that you are still available on those dates.

We are happy to arrange and pay for return economy flights from «Point of Origin» to Singapore for you and «Number» nights accommodation. We usually accommodate our guests at Txxxxxx Hotel. Check for current hotel being used by school and add hyperlink

If you would prefer to arrange your own flights and/or accommodation (for reasons of flexibility, frequent flyers or accommodating a travelling companion) we can provide you with an allowance for this. The allowance is the cost of an economy class return ticket from «Point of Origin» and up to $«Current Amount» per night for accommodation. You can bill us for your flight soon has you have a receipt for this and we will reimburse you as soon as possible. The accommodation allowance is usually invoiced by the author with their professional fee.

The professional fee of SGD$«Fee»for «Number» days will be paid by way of a bank draft or direct transfer to your bank account when you arrive in Singapore. Please provide us with an invoice for this amount 4 weeks prior to your arrival. As an overseas school we do not attract «VAT/GST». A total per diem allowance of SGD$«PD x working days» will be paid to you in cash on arrival. This is to assist with taxi fares and meals during your stay.

Visitors are expected to provide their own travel insurance.

Please be aware that depending on your citizenship/the country in which your company is based, your  fees may be subjected to between 15-22% withholding tax by the Singapore Tax Authorities. This tax is usually deducted from your fee by our Finance Department and paid on your behalf.

Can you please provide us with your «Country Name» bank account details to enable us to pay you via direct credit if necessary.

The information we need is:

Account name BSB number Account number Swift code Bank name and address

If we are organising your flights we will require:

The full name on your passport

Passport number, date of issue, date of expiry, place of issue

Date of birth

Frequent flyer numbers

Special requirements (diet, seating etc)

Visitors to Singapore are required to have six months remaining on their passport from the end of their visit until it expires. Please organise appropriate visas yourself.

Could you please plan to arrive in Singapore on or before «Date» to ensure that you are rested for your appearances? I will meet you at the airport and ensure that you are comfortable in your accommodation. It is our usual practice to take our visitors out to dinner once during their stay. This enables interested staff and colleagues to meet with the visitor. I hope that you will be our guest on this occasion.

At this stage we would probably like you to work with «Year Groups». We generally try to have workshops that enable students to produce some work that they can be proud of. Some sessions may just take the form of “Meet the Author” talks. I also try to organise controlled book signings in the library over a couple of lunch breaks. I am always conscious that visitors need breaks and will factor those into your timetable. Once you have confirmed that you would like to come, we can work on the detail. It may be that we “share” you with another school if we cannot use you for the full 5 days, but this looks unlikely at this stage. Personalise to suit individual needs

The school day at our school begins at *am and finishes at *pm. During your residence at the school no visits to other establishments should be entered into without prior approval.

Can you please confirm whether or not this proposal is satisfactory? Please feel free to contact me with any questions that you may have regarding your visit to our school or to Singapore generally.

For you information my mobile number is +65«Number» and home is +65«Number».

We have recently hosted «Relevant Names» at our school. If you require information as to our reliability, please feel free to contact them.

Yours truly,

«Librarian's Signature»