I thought I would share something with you that happened to me today in the hope that it might encourage you to go beyond just illustrating your children's books, and consider school appearances. I think I've harped on this topic before. It's pays so well, it seems like every illustrator would want to pursue it.
Donating your book to a school library is a great way to get invited to do a school program. (The two authors at my wife's school will be paid $1200 and $1800 for one school day.) It works like a charm for me. It seems that schools are always excited to make contact with authors.
I normally drop by a school at the end of the school day so I can catch the librarian at a time when she's not in class with the students. So this afternoon I walked into the school office with my book in hand and said that I had a book for the librarian. The office person was a little reluctant at first. "Are you a salesman?" she asked.
"No, I'm the author and illustrator of this book," I replied as I placed the Washington for Kids book in front of her. Suddenly, her whole demeanor changed.
"Oh! I think Miss Jones is still in the library," she said as she picked up the phone to call the librarian.
Miss Jones picked up immediately. "Miss Jones? We have an "actual" author here with a book to donate to the library!" The librarian was in the school office within a minute. We had a good exchange, and she indicated that they would like to have me bring my program to their school next year.
Today's experience made me glad that I'm an author, and not a salesman. Though I actually am a salesman, selling my school appearances, but they don't think of me in that way.
I hope this anecdote might encourage you to try promoting yourself to schools as an author. You will then have a brand new income source.