Apparently, my school in Mongolia brings in an author once a year--which, as you can imagine, can get a little expensive. But whether you're in Mongolia or Montana, author visits can be as easy (and inexpensive!) as a Skype call. Started by Ramona Kirby and Sarah Chauncey, Skype an Author hosts a growing list of authors, with an option for a free 10-15 minute "Meet the Author" session, or an in-depth, fee-based visit you arrange with the author.
What a great idea this is, and what a powerful motivator to promote reading! It would be easy to schedule monthly quick sessions, with maybe one or two in-depth visits each year. While nothing beats having a living, breathing author in the building, this would be either a wonderful supplement if you have the budget, or a nice alternative to bringing someone in.
For more information, Joyce Valenza's TL Ning is sponsoring a live webinar on June 7th. You can found out more here.