Who Wants Storytime?
Earlier this week, I caught a news story about a principal who read bedtime stories on Facebook Live for her students (and anyone else who wanted to listen.) It got me thinking about maybe doing something similar with my own stuff.
So, who might be interested in the occasional live reading of some of my stuff? I’m currently thinking about doing it via Facebook, but there are plenty of other platforms, and I’m not entirely sure what’s easiest for everyone.
I’d probably start with doing maybe one a month and see how things go.
Because of audio rights and contract stuff, I don’t think I’d leave a public archive of the readings. Maybe keep them up for 24 hours for anyone who missed them?
I’m still at the beginning of thinking all this through. What do you think?
March 9, 2019 @ 11:10 am
Live reading can be effective. I got turned on, for example, to Natania Barron’s work because she decided to liveread her “Pilgrim of the Sky”
March 9, 2019 @ 11:26 am
March 9, 2019 @ 11:40 am
Would love that, but please, not on facebook. Yes, there are still people who avoid it.
Jim C. Hines
March 9, 2019 @ 11:57 am
For folks who don’t like or don’t use Facebook, what would be the best alternative?
I’m not sure there’s a perfect platform for what I want to do, but I’d be happy to look at the different options so I can make a better choice.
March 9, 2019 @ 12:07 pm
YouTube, perhaps? I’ve seen what amount to audio recordings there – someone reading or speaking over a still image (You could use your book cover, for instance.) And that should be accessible to anyone with an Internet connection.
March 9, 2019 @ 2:25 pm
I vote for YouTube. They don’t make it near impossible for you to enjoy their content without having an account.
March 9, 2019 @ 3:11 pm
YouTube, or Daily motion maybe? My gf is very into Twitch but I don’t really understand the platform myself. If you’re fine with pure audio maybe something like SoundCloud?
I think live reads would be pretty awesome, but would prefer they be left up for a day as suggested so people in other timezones can watch along as well.
March 10, 2019 @ 6:00 am
If your site-host has a widget for posting a podcast, you could put up the audiofile here on your own site.
That might be easier than making videos, and a little less likely to run into digital rights issues, but you only reach your online fanbase, not potential new readers.
It might also be a good idea to run your plans for promoting your stories this way by your publishers, if you plan to read from anything that’s still under contract. Getting their approval before you start eliminates a lot of chances for trouble later.
As an alternative to putting them on the open internet, if that creates a problem with rights, you could consider putting up a Patreon and posting a reading there once a month or once a season as a reward. That way the readings will help bring in some money, but it would be less effective at reaching new readers.
Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, who write the Liaden books, did that for a while. They’ve got lots of short stories out, so plenty of short reading material to pick from; and a largish fanbase online to make it worth their time. Even so it can be hard to maintain a monthly schedule when life intervenes, so they made it clear up front that you signed on to Patreon to support them, and couldn’t count on a reward being put up each month. Make it clear that people are not paying for the readings but to support the author, else it could be against a digital rights contract if you’re reading from books that are still in the control of the publisher.
As one can sign on for as little as a dollar a month, the financial burden to hear the occasional story is not very high, but it does create a bit of a disincentive compared to just clicking on a YouTube video or a podcast button on this site.
March 12, 2019 @ 11:14 am
YouTube would be great–one can use it without logging in at all. And thank you for being open to non-Facebook platforms! My favorite radio station, kalw.org, leaves some programs up for streaming for 7 days after broadcast–maybe some rights owners would be up for that, especially if you include all the information on obtaining their works right at the beginning of the stream?
March 14, 2019 @ 2:06 pm
I think it’s a great idea. My son would love it (and so would we). Something that covers multiple time zones sounds ideal.
March 14, 2019 @ 3:32 pm
That would be really awesome! I love hearing books read by the author whenever possible.
Checking In Again
March 22, 2019 @ 9:31 am
[…] Storytime idea I brought up last week is still evolving into its final form. I have an idea for it that I […]