Hey cHEwY gum gums

I’ve been really encouraged with authors and illustrators who have taken onto social media and YouTube to entertain and educate from their homes. From daily readings to hosting talk-shows, there is plenty of great things to watch. More on this on a future blog post.

Last week, I filmed a mini-lesson for Littlescribe on Facebook Live, and that was a good experience, I liked interacting with viewers afterwards.

As for me, I’ve decided to start a YouTube channel. I’ve been slowly amassing a few tech things and trying to wrap my head around how it all works. But apart from the equipment, there are other things I’ve had to consider before I upload my first video. Perhaps these are things you may to have had to think about too.

What will you be doing?

Illustrators already have an advantage (let’s face it, not just for YouTube for any school/festival visit haha) with their drawings. They can do drawing/cartooning videos galore.

But what can an author do? You may just want to do readings of your books or talk about them. You can invite guests over via video-conferencing to chat books. Or honestly, you can just unload and let people know how you feel. Whatever works for you.

I want to do three things on my channel.

  1. A behind-the-scenes look at my writing process.
  2. Writing mini-lessons for teachers, parents and kids.
  3. Reviews of my favourite books, games and toys hehe

I want my channel to supplement my author visits and festivals, so students can check out a few videos to build the hype.

Who is your audience?

I guess this depends on your platform. The thing with Facebook and Instagram Live is that kids aren’t meant to ‘use’ them, however given that parents are at home, they’re probably okay for now. But when things get back to normal, putting those videos up on YouTube would probably best for kids (and certain schools) to access.

Are you aiming to reach kids or adults? I reckon direct your attention to kids, which means you have to switch into ‘school visit’ mode and be engaging. Besides, the adults will enjoy seeing you perform.

Will this be any different from your normal material/presentation?

When I was doing a lot of stand-up comedy, comedians were warned not to post their killer routines online. If you do, those jokes would become redundant to your live act.

The last thing you want to hear when you visit a school in the near future is ‘Oh, we heard you cover that in your video.’ If you put all your material up online schools may wonder why they would want you to come in the first place.

So I’m trying to make exclusive content for my channel. Things that I won’t be repeating in my future workshops/talks. Filming from home gives me a few extra toys/things to use that I normally wouldn’t be able to use.

Do you have permission to read your books?

Short answer is yes for now. My publisher has stated that during these times, restrictions have been lifted surrounding permissions needed to read my own (or others’) stories aloud in a public capacity, which includes social media and YouTube. It’s best to double-check with your own publisher, just in case.

Now when all this is over, you’ll have to take down all of those readings from YouTube. I’m not sure how fair-use works on YouTube, but when in doubt, contact your publisher to be sure.

Do you even need to do it?

I think it’s okay to be inspired by others and jump on the bandwidth wagon with your online material. But if you don’t feel comfortable doing it, then don’t. Even I have doubts myself, is it going to look as pro as others? Will anyone actually watch it? That’s why it’s important to re-elevate your purpose for this, you need to do it for yourself first.

Honestly, if you prefer to work on your next book and enjoy the wealth of online author/illustrator videos, that is cool too.

So here I go. This channel could help me become the Eddie Woo of creative writing or it can be a neat side-project to keep me busy during these iso-times, and it’ll be abandoned next year…either way all I know is that I’ll having fun haha.


About the author

I'm an author, stand-up comedian and teacher. My books include Thai-riffic!, Con-nerd, Punchlines and The Other Christy. I'm a massive Nintendo fan and love eating burgers. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram @oliverwinfree

1 Comment

  1. Tristan Bancks says:

    07/04/20 @ 2:06 pm 

    Nice piece, mate. Thought-provoking and generous. I’m glad you’re doing it. YouTube is perfect for you and your audience and a great way to test out new material. I think it’s very wise not to cover exactly the same material you cover in your live talks. Good luck! You should include a link to your channel in this post. 😉

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