I decided to start live readings because of the Covid-19 restrictions and find it a wonderful tool for entertaining people and advertising my book. Everything has not always been perfect, and I am still improving my skills. It would be a shame to keep what I have learnt for myself so here are a few tips I have for you.
I have been using Instagram and YouTube Live. Instagram is very easy to use, and you also have the option of saving the video after the event, which will appear for 24 hours. The drawback to this channel is that viewers must have an account and also follow you. I prefer YouTube because viewers do not need an account to watch, so it automatically opens up the number of potential viewers. Also, the video is automatically saved to your channel and remains there. Top Tip – you have to register on YouTube to use the Live function and it takes about 24 hours for the authorisation. You must use your PC and webcam for YouTube unless you have the 1000+ subscribers required to use it on your smartphone.
I advertise about one week before and on the day itself. I make a nice advert with an interesting picture as this captures people’s attention. I also change my advert design for every reading, so it does not become boring. I send my advert to Pegasus for them to post on their channels, I email it to friends, send it on WhatsApp and also post on Facebook and Instagram. YouTube has a wonderful function - the reading can be planned in advance with a holding video on your channel and a link you can send to people. Top tip – remember to state a time zone so everyone around the world knows when to watch.
Make sure your camera is at eye level, so you look natural, check that everything is fully charged and test your equipment before you start. Think of your background as you do not want everyone looking at your private things, and also consider noise both in the house and outside. Have your book ready at hand and with page markers so you can jump easily between what you want to read. And do not forget a glass of water! Top Tip – If you are using Instagram Live, have your phone upright as that is the best format for the live stream.
As soon as you go live, the recording will begin so consider introducing yourself and speaking, even if there are no viewers. If you do not do this, the video, which is saved automatically, looks really silly at the beginning. This happened with my first one . I normally introduce myself a few times for people who join, and it also makes the whole event more personal. The hardest part of doing a live reading is just talking to a camera and not seeing anyone, so try to be as natural as possible. Always introduce yourself, explain what you are going to read, why you are reading that part and do not forget a correct goodbye. I would advise not reading for too long; most of my parts only last about three to four minutes and my whole event is about thirty minutes. I find the viewers are more engaged if you tell them about the book, yourself and how you wrote it. I also ask questions to the viewers to create a dialogue and it especially works well if you ask a friend to help you beforehand. You can see the live chat whilst reading and actively pick up on what people ask you or comment. Top Tip – everyone can watch YouTube, but to take part in the live chat they need their own channel.
If you are interested in how I do it, follow me on: www.nickponter.com, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and see when I’m live. Please also feel free to contact me should you need any advice.
MORE FROM THE BLOG
Tony Bury is one of our returning authors who has published eight books to date. He is most well-known for his serial killer series - the Edmund Carson series - and his crime series - the Alex Keaton series. Can you give us an overview of your books? What are they about and wh...read more
Annie Woods is a Swedish author and the creator of The Angelheart Saga. With the second book, Forever Disguised, having been released in June 2018, we wanted to catch up with the author and ask a few questions. Can you give us an overview of your books? What are they about and who ...read more