• Vivian Teo

Reading on Kidlit SEA and thoughts on making book marketing videos

A recent reading on Kidlit SEA's Facebook page and some thoughts on making book marketing videos.

Here's a reading I recently did for Kidlit SEA's Facebook page. It's a great initiative started by local authors to promote and showcase children's literature in Southeast Asia. So do follow this excellent page and support authors and illustrators in our region 😉.


I'm really not one who likes to appear in videos. I'm not a natural in front of the camera and I cringe whenever I watch myself speak in videos 😅 But given the covid-19 outbreak where authors like myself are unable to go to events to promote our books, going online is really the best option.


It takes quite a bit of effort (at least on my part) to make such videos. Putting on make-up, clearing a space to film the video, telling everyone in the house to keep it down for recording, memorising what I have to say and then the actual filming where there is almost always a few takes which don't make the cut, maybe because I said something wrong or I made a funny face or there's a sudden loud noise outside like planes flying by. Yup, it's quite a bit of work.


That said, I did the above recording in one shot and probably sent out the first, or at most second, recording I did to the page's administrators. I think with the more video-ing you do, you either get more experienced with it or you learn not to sweat the small stuff (like it's okay that I had forgotten to straighten my top or I tripped over my tongue in one part).


This morning, I'd just finished a video recording for my publisher for a half-yearly event called Stories about Stories, where authors at Epigram Books get to present about their upcoming books to industry stakeholders. l did my first presentation for My BFF is an Alien earlier this year and I had really enjoyed the opportunity to meet with fellow authors and people in the industry.


But with the covid-19 outbreak, we had to take the event for the second half of the year online instead. So for the event happening in June, I did a video presentation instead for the second book of my book series - My BFF is an Alien: Sabotage - out later this year. I did a few takes for this and this time round, I used an online teleprompter (I used CuePrompter) which ran from my laptop while I placed my phone in front of it for recording. It was a life-saver because there was quite a bit to memorise and I think with age, my memory is really not as good as it used to be 😅


I'll be looking forward to seeing the Stories about Stories video Epigram Books' marketing team will be putting together from all the contributions from all the authors 😊. It should be epic!


I'm a little sad that this time round I won't get to meet people face-to-face, but it's really for the best and I'm grateful we still have the digital tools to showcase our work.

Btw this backdrop you always see in the videos I make is from my kids' room. I really like the cheery vibe of the yellow walls, and tree and bird decals, and there are not many options to film elsewhere because anywhere else in the house is at risk of loud noises (of course warning had been given to everyone outside to keep it down prior to recording, but it's not an easy feat with children around!).


I would like to also take the opportunity to wish my Muslim friends Selamat Hari Raya and hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend safe at home 😊!


©Vivian Teo. All content and photos are copyrighted to Vivian Teo unless otherwise specified.

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