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Seven Read-Aloud Tips

Thanks to Chrissey Harrison for mentioning my suggestion to film an author read-aloud in her excellent post. Here she offers ten ways to promote your book and I have to agree with her number one suggestion, which is to write another book. Another book is your best marketing tool and you're a content creator after all. Check out the rest of her suggestions that include everything from writing a press release to filling in your Amazon profile.

I suggested filming an author read-aloud in her article. I'll expand more here. The first few read-alouds, I didn't even have a microphone, so they were absolutely free and people still gave me great feedback. A few tips if you're planning to do a read- aloud:

1. In spite of what I said about the microphone, it is really way better to buy one and I have one now. It cost about $50 and it's completely worth it. One of the reasons is because the best light is outside but the hardest place to control the noise is also outside!

2. Think about an interesting background if you can. Okay, this is a more pre-corona virus days trip, but I tried as much as possible to film myself in authentic backgrounds that would reinforce the message of the book. Thus, I read from my short story Rivka's Tomb in a tomb-like structure in Jerusalem's Old City, I read from my novel Passport Control in Jerusalem's Ben Yehuda market--an actual book location and yes, that was my first one, pre-microphone, and I read from No Entry at the foot of Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa because you guessed it, the novel takes place in South Africa. You get the idea. 

3. Don't hesitate because you think no one would be interested in hearing you read. Those were my initial thoughts, too but my feedback tells me otherwise.

4. Re-use, recycle, recreate. I find the read-alouds make excellent additions to your newsletter if you have one. If not, how about posting them in someone else's newsletter for a collaborative marketing project?

5. A tripod is ideal but you can manage without one. 

6. Reread what I wrote in number one about lighting. It's not a footnote, it's really important. If you have long hair, try to keep it offer your face with a band of some kind. The wind blowing your hair into your face works in some movies, not in author read-alouds. Ditto for hiding half your face behind your hair. Readers want to see authors read their works.

7. If you are in lockdown and cannot travel to a location that would highlight your work, talk about it. Tell the readers to imagine it before you start reading i.e., set the stage if you cannot actually present one. 

I am by no means an expert and I'm learning more about how to film read-alouds all the time, so please send in more tips if you have them. I recently learned you can add subtitles on YouTube, something I plan to try for my next one.

Here are few more of my Read-Alouds:

Reading from my short story Spider Places in my White Zion novel-in-stories.

Gila Green on elephant poaching, a message from No Entry.

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Wednesday, 21 February 2024

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