Want to know how to start a BookTube channel? It may be a lot easier than you think, and I am here to help walk you through everything bookTube from start to finish! So let’s get you going and get that first video posted!
How to Start a Booktube Channel for Beginners
The other day we talked about how to start a book blog, so now I wanted to talk about how to start a BookTube channel. This can be a really fun hobby for readers. Booktube is a great way to meet others who like to read and gives you a fun community online that you can talk to.
I know a lot of people who want to start BookTubing are a little overwhelmed, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I want to talk you through the simple steps to starting a BookTube. You don’t need fancy equipment, it doesn’t have to be perfect. All you need is a camera or phone, some books, ideas, and a little bit of time!
What is Booktube?
So if for some reason you landed here and don’t know what BookTube is, I am here to answer. Booktube is a small community on YouTube where people talk about books. Really, that’s it.
There are multiple different sub-genres in the Booktube community too. There is the fantasy BookTube, which is where I personally reside. But there are also communities for pretty much every imaginable book genre out there.
So if you are a reader and you aren’t on BookTube, you are missing out on some really awesome content!
So, How Can I Start a BookTube?
Starting a BookTube is so much easier than most people think. Really, starting any YouTube channel is pretty easy. You don’t need to have an expensive camera, nor do you need to be an expert at videography and editing. All you really need to start a successful BookTube channel is to try!
When it comes to starting a BookTube, you will need some equipment. The main things you are going to need are:
- A camera or smartphone to film on.
- Video editing application, either on your phone or computer.
- A tripod or something to place your camera or phone on.
For your camera, you can use anything you already have to film on. Smartphones are fantastic, and most people already own one. So don’t go out and buy a brand new camera just to get started. Use what you have! Honestly, smartphones right now have some pretty amazing cameras. I still use mine to do photos and vlogs even though I personally own a Canon DSLR.
Video editing is another thing you can do for free or cheap. There are a lot of free editing apps for your phone and computer, you just have to look. Start by searching the app store for free editing apps. I found a blog with free video editing apps that was really helpful that you can check out.
Then you need a tripod or something to set your phone on while filming. You can pick up some really inexpensive phone tripods on Amazon that will last you a very long time! If you don’t have the best natural lighting in your home, then you can even pick up one of these ring light phone tripods for under $40!
That’s it. Those are the three pieces of equipment you need to start your channel! You can pick up some extras like lighting and props for photos if you want, but they aren’t really necessary.
BookTube Filming Setup
Once you have some filming equipment, you need a filming spot. Most BookTubers film in front of their bookshelves, but it isn’t a necessity.
Pick somewhere in your house with good natural light, set up, and film. When I started out, I filmed in front of my single bookshelf in the corner of my office. It has grown a lot since then, but these things take time.
I will say, having books in your filming setup is pretty helpful. It is nice, as a viewer, to see books from your preferred genres and authors in the background of all your videos. It helps viewers get a feel for your content at a glance.
The main thing I want you to keep in mind is that it does not need to be perfect. You are starting out, this is a learning experience. Learn as you go. You can always change your setup as you go.
Coming Up With BookTube Video Ideas
You are set up and have what you need, now comes the hard part, coming up with BookTube video ideas. I say it is the hard part, but really it isn’t that bad.
You may think you will have to be super creative and that you should avoid the “typical BookTube videos”. That can’t be farther from the truth though! Those typical videos are fine. Make your book hauls, wrap-ups, TBRs, and tag videos. They are easy and fun to do, plus, people expect them and they get views!
Round that up with things like reading vlogs and single-book reviews. You can even do what I do and do book recommendation videos. I will pick one popular fantasy book trope and then share 5 or so books that fit into that trope. It is really great and a helpful way to suggest books to people.
You aren’t recreating the wheel here. Just film what you want and have fun with it.
Time to Film your BookTube Videos
We are finally ready! It is time to sit down and film your first BookTube video. At first, it may feel a little strange to sit there and talk to a camera. You will want to make sure everything is perfect, but don’t because nothing is ever perfect. Your first few videos will be a learning experience, and that is fine! What is important is that you get that first video done!
One thing I still do when filming is use notes. Not really a full script but points I want to make sure I hit. I keep those on a little paper next to me and glance over once in a while to make sure I am still on track. For example, when I do a book review, I make bullet points of things like the pros and cons that I want to touch on.
Another little tip is to look at the camera not the viewfinder of your camera. It is really tempting to look at yourself in the viewfinder, but looking directly at the actual lens will make it seem like you are actually talking to whoever is watching your video when it goes live.
Just remember, you can always edit out any pauses, glances at your notes, or anything else you don’t want to include in the final cut of your BookTube video.
Editing BookTube Videos
For me, this is still the hardest part of BookTube. Editing is a skill you have to learn over time, and there really isn’t a quick and easy way to get started.
What I did was look up how to use my particular editing software on YouTube. I watched so many videos on “how to use Sony Vegas for beginners”. Those videos really helped! I would practice editing while watching these tutorial videos and eventually it started getting easier.
The biggest piece of advice I can give you about editing is to keep practicing and don’t get frustrated. This is a skill that takes time to learn. You will keep getting better the more you do it.
Make a Thumbnail
Your first video is filmed and edited, time to make the thumbnail. Like editing, this will get easier over time. I use Canva to make all of my thumbnails. It is a free website where you can create all kinds of fun graphics. They even have templates and sizes for all kinds of social posts, including thumbnails.
To make my thumbnail I just take a picture holding the books I am talking about in the video. Then I upload it to Canva and have fun. I recommend playing around with the text and templates that they have there.
Upload and Promote!
You are ready to upload your first BookTube video. Head to the creator studio with your video and thumbnail and follow the prompts for upload. It is super easy and YouTube walks you right through the process.
Make sure you have a decent description and a catchy title. Once you have uploaded the video, you can promote it! Share your video to all of your social media channels! This will help with the circulation.
You can also comment on other BookTuber’s videos. BUT If you do this, DO NOT mention your channel, your video, or ask for people to watch or subscribe. Leave a genuine comment about that creator’s video then move on. This will help you make connections and grow a community.
NO ONE wants to see “check out my video” in the comments of their own video. It is much better to make actual connections. Make friends with people in your sub-niche and go from there.
Starting a BookTube Channel
Now you have all my tips on how to start a BookTube channel. It is all on you now to go out and just do it!
Just remember to be patient, be kind to yourself, and learn as you go. If you look at BookTube as something fun, a community where you can make friends with similar interests, and a learning opportunity, I can promise that you will succeed!
If you start a BookTube, let me know! Leave your links in the comments so I can check out your new amazing channels!