This is how I imagine reading aloud . . . an adult, a couple kids, and a book. I used to read to a whole classroom of kids. I miss it now that I’m retired . . . until I thought of Saturday Reads.
I tried reading Twenty-One Steps like I’ve always done, but reading in a video isn’t the same as reading live. I felt like I was the star, and it should always be the book. Then I remembered eBooks. I can read them on zoom. I’m tiny, and the book is the star. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.
Step 1 – Picking the Book: On Sunday afternoon I post a new vlog. By Sunday night I have the next post picked for the following week. Coming up – Leaving on a Jet Plane – Surviving the Bumpy Ride. It was about my trip home from Texas. How it took me two days to get back to Ohio, when it was supposed to take one.
Once I pick a post for the vlog, I look for a book that’s on topic in The Ohio Digital Library. Sunday night I searched planes. I didn’t like the fictional picture books, but I found three nonfiction ones. I checked them out, read all three, but kept the one that was just right.
This is the book I kept. It doesn’t talk down to kids. It has great information about how planes and helicopters work. AND, it shows how they’re alike and different.
Step 2 – Writing a Script: I always use a script when I make a video. I don’t have to read it word for word, but it keeps me on track with what I want to say. I write a single page for Saturday Reads.
I start with a question about the topic. Add in another sentence or two. Then I introduce myself. I tell you a little about myself, the book I’m reading, and why you should stay tuned. Next I transition into the book itself. After reading, it’s time to say goodbye, time to invite you back for Sunday’s vlog and for next Saturday’s Read.
Step 3 – Revision: I revise everything! I use narrator to listen to the script. I make at least three rounds through my words. I want to make sure that I’ve said what I wanted to say, that I said it clearly, and that it sounds good to my ear.
Step 4 – Video Taping: I video tape my script and book on zoom. But first, I practice going through the whole thing one time, without hitting record. Even though I’ve gone through the script 3 times, I still practice.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve caught a mistake, something I thought was in the script, like a sentence, but I forgot to write it in. Or maybe it was a slide that was in the script, but I forgot to make it.
Practice helps me move from slide to slide, from page to page. It also helps me transition from Zoom to the book, and back out again. Practice doesn’t make perfect, but it sure helps me do my very best Saturday Reads for you.
Step 5 – Social Media: The final step! I do 3 rounds on social media. On Thursday afternoon, I put out an announcement on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter with the title of Saturday’s book, plus a little more. Think of it like a tease – something to get your attention so you’ll tune in.
On Friday or Saturday depending on my schedule, I tape the video and put it into my business Facebook account. On Fridays, I schedule it for Saturday at 4. On Saturday afternoons when I’m running late, I let it go live as soon as Facebook processes it. Usually it takes at least 30 minutes. If I’m at the lake, I head to McDonald’s to schedule it. The lake is heaven, but the internet stinks.
Once the video goes live on my business page on Saturday, I post it on my personal Facebook account, Instagram, and Twitter. Then . . . I’m done! Sometime Sunday night I start thinking about my vlog for next week, and a book to match. By Monday . . . my book is checked out.
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When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!