Tips for recording your video reading....


General tips on reading for your CUT video

  • Your reading should start at the beginning of your chosen piece of work
  • The video you send to us should be between 2 and 4 minutes long
  • Please finish the reading at the end of a sentence, at a natural point to take a breath, ideally at a point which will make the viewer want to know more
  • At the end of the reading, please include a few seconds, looking into the camera, to enable us to make a clean edit
  • We will add to your video a CUT intro and ending, which will include your name, and the title of the piece; you may also include these at the start of your reading if you wish 
  • The reading must be of a piece of work which has been published on the CUT site 
  • The video is a teaser to encourage a reader to visit your Writer Profile Page and buy your ebook, so don’t give away too much of it
  • You can read while standing or seated – the main thing is to be comfortable
  • The background should be fairly neutral, to avoid distraction, and ideally at least 1 metre away from you
  • You can read from a paper version of your work, or from an e-reader 
  • Please look up at the camera every now and again during the reading
  • Your delivery should be natural, rather than over-dramatic; speak clearly, but not too slowly
  • To get the volume right, check the projection of your voice by making a few test recordings first
  • Practise by reading the piece out loud several times in advance; this will help when it comes to making your recording 


Technical tips on audio and video

  • Any digital video file is acceptable; mp4 is ideal
  • Ideally use a camera not a phone to make your recording
  • While recording, stand the camera on a stable surface, such as a tripod or table
  • Natural light is best, unless you’re planning to use a special effect (as in this example by Brindley Hallam Dennis) 
  • If you are not using natural light, and not using a special effect, it is best to run a white balance first if your recording device has one 
  • Audio – test the adequacy of the results you get from the microphone on your camera first, but usually you will get a much better sound if you are able to borrow or buy a plug-in microphone to get closer to your voice – even a low-cost one can make a significant difference; try to avoid any background noise at all  
  • Video files are quite large, so you may not be able to email the final result to us at CUT; you may need to use a free file-sharing site such as DropBox


When you are ready for us to process your video, please email us at

We will then check the video, add the CUT intro and ending, and load it to the CUT YouTube channel, and set up a link to it from your Writer Profile Page.


To help you plan, here are links to a few examples of existing video readings:


Enjoy your video reading!

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