The Tusitala Online, Offline Event (31 March 2016) was a chance for us to get people in the publishing space together to share ideas, insights and perspectives in a cosy setting. What better place than our swanky new office to do this! Also, we wanted to commemorate the launch of our new website with an offline event. We love the idea of people meeting up and talking to one another about digital experiences and storytelling. It makes the work we do come full circle, highlighting that online and offline experiences work best in congruence. 

The event started off with casual networking and snacking before the sharing sessions began. It was a great time for us to welcome new and familiar faces into our space.

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The first sharing session by Zed Yeo, titled ‘Oddity in Publishing’ saw the young author talk about the importance of being different and standing out. Zed is somewhat of a pioneer in the Singapore publishing space, having crowdfunded the publication of his book Unapologetically Insane Tales (and we’re happy to have created the ebook version for him! Download it for free for a limited period only). In today’s publishing space, Zed argues, it is more important than ever to set yourself apart from the rest – be it in terms of book covers or content or marketing strategy. Taking risks, leveraging on your passion and being intentional about standing out are Zed’s key takeaway messages for authors. 

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Our chief geek Saad Chinoy followed this session with an interactive session titled ‘How Big Is Your Page – Augmented Reality In Storytelling’. Captivating the audience with his demos of Google Spotlight Stories, augmented reality cards and Tangram. Saad emphasises that storytelling is a function of the affordances of your devices. Understanding how technology can offer your audience new entry points to your story can help tell it better, but without a story the technology doesn’t carry the same meaning. That is, online and offline, print and digital – working together, these produce the most captivating results!

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Saad also shared more about his brainchild The StoryTellers’ Kitchen – an upcoming project that will invite more collaborations, workshops and interesting experiments into our space. Keep your eye out for more information on this! Saad’s key points were – collaborate, create user experiences, think out of the box, and just *do* stuff.

(Ask Saad about IoTRex or his Selfie Booth)

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Wendy’s sharing session – ‘Got You Covered – Tips To Design Effective Ebook Covers’ followed after a short break. Creating ebook covers requires designers to think in terms of pixels and screen sizes, and bear in mind that there are no ‘shelves’ where your cover will be displayed other than on the various ebook stores. Wendy’s tips are conveniently condensed to the 3s’s – Small, Simple, Strategy.

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  • Small – Your design must work as a thumbnail, still be fairly legible and give the reader an idea of the ebook’s genre.
  • Simple – Use a core graphic or visual, stick to the title and byline only. Omit subtitles, awards, blurbs, etc.
  • Strategy – Think about the book’s brand, and how you can make the cover a part of a recognisable series. What would attract attention and build a fanbase?

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Wendy asserts that a good ebook cover doesn’t leave the reader guessing – it communicates the genre clearly. It also utilises principles of quality design or illustrations because like it or not, a lot of us do judge a book by its cover! She encouraged the audience to also cast their votes on 2 of our own cover designs for an upcoming ebook.

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The last sharing session by Lily Khin titled ‘Social Media 101 Authors Edition’ highlighted the importance of a long-term marketing strategy for self-published authors. She encourages writers to be their own biggest spokesperson by making themselves active on the social media channels that work for them. She urges writers to choose a few channels by which to start reaching out to their audience, and start the conversation intentionally. Remember to have a long-term mindset, and always give before you expect to get anything in return! Lily hopes all self-published writers will make use of the various tools on Goodreads to build a community around their work.

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The session wrapped up with the audience getting to try the Oculus Rift and Google Cardboard. Some ventured to take selfies at Saad’s selfie booth. We also got quite a few votes on the ebook cover designs! All in all, we were so grateful to and inspired by the people who dropped by and shared in the experience. We were also grateful to have had so many moments of team bonding through the course of planning and running this event. Can’t wait for our next one!

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Zed Yeo will be launching some of the books he talked about in the near future! Do check them out and support his work.

Saurus Series
Date: 28 May, Sat
Time: 2:00 – 2:30
Location: National Library, L1, plaza.Zed Yeo and Mister Mineko would like to invite you to a very cheerful book launch. It is the birthday of Clumsysaurus and Kindsaurus.Fresh off the press, are the first two books of the Saurus Series! Children readers will laugh and squeal. We have taken special care to nurture these dino friends who’ll help our children to grow into confident readers. Young readers can expect to develop linguistically while enjoying the adventures of our dino friends. This book launch hatches Clumsysaurus and Kindsaurus! You are very warmly invited!*This book launch is proud to be part of Asian Festival of Children’s Content 2016. Register here: https://www.facebook.com/events/722943911142287/ 

 

 

Half Ghost

 

Haunting the island sometime in 2016. Keep your eye out for this one.