Am I Cut Out For Booktube?


Hello everyone,

Are you surprised by the title of this post? Yes, you did in fact read that correctly, I have lately been considering the idea of starting a booktube channel.

That is ironic in several respects, as I will get on to later in the post, but if I were to go ahead with it I have a feeling that it would either be a really good decision or perhaps more likely  a total, unqualified disaster. I can think of many reasons why it could be a bad idea, but it would also represent another way for me to talk about books, which is something I really love doing.

So, let’s weigh everything up and see what the pros and cons of me starting booktube might be. This is a more personal post than normal, but like always I would really appreciate your thoughts or advice all the same. 🥰

The Story So Far

When I began book blogging, I had no idea that booktube was a thing. For a lot of the time since discovering its existence, it has seemed like an entirely separate realm for book lovers who happen to be excellent with technology and graphic design, as well as having a natural talent or charisma when in front of a camera.

More recently, I have learned that this is not necessarily the case. Anyone can create a video and upload it, and a lot of booktubers use them as a platform to simply talk about books, share their love of books and what they are reading, and interact with others, regardless of any talent or experience (or lack of) that they have with recording themselves.

Finding this out has been very reassuring for me, but the fact remains that I have hardly ever watched a booktube video in my life! I wrote about this before in a previous blog post, and the reason is that in terms of social media, I have only really had time for other book blogs and book Twitter.

If I was to start a booktube channel, I certainly imagine that I would have to start watching and subscribing to multiple booktube channels. I love connecting with other book lovers (it is my favourite thing about being a part of this community) so it should be no problem. The only thing I would have to do is make sure I can find a way of balancing that with all the other things in my life.

The first time I began to considered booktube as a possibility was at the start of this year, before the pandemic struck. I even bought a tripod for my mobile phone and tried recording myself discussing a particular book. It was not great, but on the other hand it could have been worse. I recorded it with no thought regarding the process of editing, creating designs, or uploading it. But that was all it was – just a practice.

It is only recently, say since the beginning of August, that the possibility of starting booktube has crossed my mind again, and this time I feel a lot more serious about it. I have come up with several possible video ideas and have filmed myself again, although my many anxieties and uncertainties remain.

Pros:

  • I have a lot of good ideas for videos, in addition to everything I post on my blog
  • It is a chance to make more new friends and discover more books
  • It is very flexible and my discussions do not need to follow a set structure
  • I am able to physically talk about books. I do not really have many people in my personal life with whom I can share a relatively equal love of books.
  • It will give me experience of creating and editing videos
  • I will become a better and more confident speaker

Cons:

  • Nerves. I have been known to be quite camera-shy and have always found it difficult talking to an audience. In the practice recording I have done so far, there have been times where I have simply froze and had no idea what to say next. I am sure I will get better at this over time, but the thought of putting myself out there does frighten me. There is also the fear of doing things wrong. Is there a right way or a wrong way to do booktube? I am not sure.
  • I am also pretty self-conscious about my voice and how I appear on camera. Perhaps it is just me, but I worry that my voice is monotonous and unrefined. When I talk, I hope I am engaging enough. On the plus side, I do smile a lot when talking about books and I have been told by others that my eyes ‘light up’ when I speak about something I am proud of or passionate about. The key is to just be myself, like I am on my blog. What you see on my blog reflects my personality, and that would very much be the approach I would take with booktube.
  • From what I gather, most booktubers create their videos in their bedrooms in front of their beautiful bookshelves. I am unable to do that due to my current living arrangements (I am in the process of moving), so visually it might not be the best to begin with!
  • I have little knowledge of the booktube community.
  • There are some occasional dramas on booktube. I would just have to avoid them wherever possible
  • I would need to find time to film videos, then edit them, create graphics (only the essential ones), and post them. I am often stretched for time already, but I keep trying to do more!

To summarise, I definitely think I can do it. The only things that are stopping me are nerves and possibly a lack of time. It would be a big step, and one that I would be willing to take, but only when I am ready.

I would also like to say that even if I was to start booktube, book blogging will always be my main focus. Some book bloggers have made the transition to booktube and have left their blog behind, but there is absolutely no way I could do that. For me, my blog and the book blogging community  will always come before a booktube channel.

Indeed, my plan for a booktube channel would mainly consist of spoken versions of the reviews I post on my blog, monthly wrap-ups and TBRs, top five lists, and the occasional tag. It would be a spin-off from my blog, if you like 🙂

A Year Of New Booktubers

For one reason or another, the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown seemed to be the cue for so many book bloggers to start a booktube channel. I am often present on Twitter, and in the last six months it seems like barely a week has gone by without another book blogger deciding to make the leap over to YouTube!

Here is a short list (with links to their blog). They include some wonderful book friends. If I start booktube, then they may just be some of the first ones I follow…

Beth @BooksNest
Kate @Reading Through Infinity
Lily @A Home For The Lost
Rejitha @bookbugworld
Brittany @Book Ramblings
Belle @Belle Can Read
Ruby @Ruby Rae Reads
Roelien @Lovexreading
India @What India Read


Let’s Chat

Have you ever considered starting a booktube channel? Or do you already have one? Is there anything important about booktube that you think I should know before starting? Is me starting a channel a bad idea, or do you think I should just go for it?! Let me know in the comments!

I am really sorry for this post being an anxious mess! Happy reading 🙂

51 thoughts on “Am I Cut Out For Booktube?

  1. I would totally subscribe and watch your videos! I totally understand the hold back, when I started I was nervous as f*ck to show my face and voice, definitely because English isn’t my first language..

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Booktube isn’t something I have personally considered, only because I feel more confident to write about books than speak about them. I’m also not the most technical person 😂 however, if it’s something that you want to try I would say be brave and give it a go, you can always stop if it doesn’t work for you. I think you’d be great though and I would definitely watch your videos 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, writing about books is definitely my comfort zone, too! In my attempts so far I have occasionally frozen in front of the camera and unable to think what to say, because of nerves. But I’m sure I will get more confident and I think I shall probably give it a go quite soon. As you say, I can always stop if it doesn’t work! Thank you so much, Jess! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I would love to watch your videos. I thought about starting booktube but then I’m not really good with public speaking and I’m also bit conscious about appearance and less confident about filming video and editing and the result of whole thing. I don’t like drama as well and I don’t know if people would like to watch my videos. I made a trial video and it was terrible. For now I’m happy with blog. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Yesha! That has been the main barrier for me as well, not being good at public speaking and being self-conscious. But I hope I can overcome that and at least try and see how it goes! I’d love to watch your videos if you ever thought about it again 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I watch a fair bit of Booktube (mostly UK based, so I haven’t seen a lot of the drama) and I’d be happy to add you to my list! There’s definitely not a right or wrong way to do it and I say if it’s something you want to try, it won’t hurt to see how it works for you. Good luck and I hope you enjoy it, whatever you choose 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This is an interesting topic to consider! As someone who’s also a bit camera-shy, I totally get what you said about nerves. In my opinion, if you’re sure using another platform won’t take too much of your time, you should definitely give it a try! I’m certain that your content will be amazing, whatever you decide to post. And I’m so glad to hear that you won’t quit blogging even if you were to start a channel! 😄 Great post, Stephen! 💛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughts and encouragement, Abby! ❤ I think I will give it a try when the time is right. And yes, blogging definitely comes first for me! I enjoy it too much to stop. I’m glad you liked the post!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I would subscribe to you 🙂 I don’t follow booktube at all so you’d be my first 😉 I don’t follow any book bloggers on WordPress who are also booktubers (it seems the 2 communities are kind of separate?). I certainly wouldn’t have the time to create videos, or the software, or the nice backdrops, or the time to interact with the community.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I’m glad you would make an exception for me! 😉 I think the two communities are quite separate, but those who do both still engage with other bloggers. I’m not into creating fancy backdrops really. As long as its me, looking and sounding presentable, that’s good enough!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Saw the title and clicked straight away – I’d love to see your videos! I’ve recently started and I agree its nerve racking. Just remember you can edit out parts you don’t like and even rerecord. I’ve even filmed 3 times of me talking about the same book when I first started and then edited the parts I liked together. I don’t have a schedule for my book tube in the same way I do my blog because editing is more work so I wanted to keep it flexible and have mo pressure. Good luck!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughts and advice, Brittany! That is so helpful and I really appreciate it. I’m a perfectionist so I would love to be able to get it right without having to edit so much, but that will surely take time. And it’s great that you are being flexible, good luck with making more videos! 🙂

      Like

  8. Go for it!! I had to film myself reading books for the kids in my class and hated it. I was so self conscious and it used to take me so long to get it how I wanted it then take me ages to upload as our internet is poor, so I know it’s definitely not for me! 🙈
    You sound like you’ve definitely got the positive belief to do it and enjoy it so I say go for it! If you don’t try you’ll never know! ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  9. To answer the title question: yes!! I was so nervous when I first started and thought it would take me forever to not be so camera shy 😅, but the learning curve was surprisingly fast! The booktube community is a generally welcoming community like the blogging one, so it definitely made it easier haha. Also, I can relate to the not watching booktube videos. I only ever watched two or three booktubers before starting my channel, so I felt a bit unprepared in that sense hahaha. But it’s been so much fun being getting to know and supporting smaller booktubers! You’ll be awesome, Stephen! And if you ever find that it’s not for you, then at least you’ll know you tried 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your advice, Belle! I’m glad you learned quickly and you received support from the community, that definitely makes me feel more confident. I’m also glad that you can relate to not having watched many booktube videos. I really appreciate your kind words. and I think I will go for it when the time is right!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Wonderful post! I think you voiced a lot of valid pros and cons, but more confidence orally and putting out your great ideas should make it all worth it!! I’m sure your videos would be fun to watch, and like everyone else is saying, go for it 😀 I know almost nothing about Booktube haha, but perhaps I’ll look into it as well…have a great week!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I’ve thought about this too, and nerves is another things that’s stopping me! Even for Bookstagram I feel weird about showing my face but I’m slowly working into it. I’m also worried about time but that’s because I don’t know how to edit videos, and I already kinda struggle with having two platforms. But you sound way more confident that it’s something you want to do! I think a good way to test it out is batch film a few videos and edit throughout the week and see if it’s overwhelming or not. And if you do decide to go through with it, I’ll definitely be watching! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, nerves is definitely the biggest thing for me to overcome, and I completely feel you on finding it difficult with two platforms (I use Twitter rather than Instagram). I’m sure I’ll discover how to edit videos, too. So glad to hear you are getting more confident with Bookstagram! Thank you so much for the kind words and advice, Julie Anna! 🥰

      Like

  12. I’d be keen to watch your videos! I like how you laid out the pros and cons and I’m glad that you would continue with your blog even if you decide to start a youtube channel! Personally I don’t watch much booktube as I have seen a lot of drama on social media about it but apart from that, I think that once you start you will slowly build your confidence and get to know the community and technical aspects. Excited to hear more about this future possible venture!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Darina! I could never give up with my blog, it would always come first for me before any other bookish venture. I really appreciate your kind words and I agree, after a time my confidence with probably rise 😊

      Like

      1. You’re welcome!! I agree with waiting until the time is right. You don’t want to take on to much and then end up hating it just because you overbooked yourself. Look forward to when you decide to creat one.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. I would definitely watch and subscribe to you channel if you decided to start one

    I have been considering starting a BookTube channel for a long time but I am waaay to nervous to do so and also YouTube scares me a little. But someday it will happen, hopefully sooner than later.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh gosh, I have apparently missed out on so many amazing posts lately and I thought I’d commented already *hides* but hello LOVED this post. Thank you for mentioning me, omg you are too kind xxx

    This post is so interesting!! And I loved hearing your thoughts. Youtube is… a scary place tbh. I’m still not 100% comfortable there and feel weird. It’s this new lane I’ve never been down before. Also funny that you mention never knowing about booktube because booktube was my entryway, if you will, into the online book community.

    I was scared for more or less the same reasons. I hate editing. Still kinda do and it takes a while. Though I’ve gotten slightly more used to being on camera from being on Instagram stories. Which was super helpful for me, being more informal there. Highly recommend haha. And also DONT WORRY about the bookshelves, I’d for sure watch either way. Would love to watch all your content. I’ve also just been finding my feet on there and figuring out what I want to create and I’ve come to the decision to just do fun & creative content that I feel like doing. The most random ever. Because that’s more me, scatter-brained with my creativity haha

    Hope I do see on youtube Stephen xoxoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind and supportive words, Ruby!

      Yes, booktube is completely unchartered territory for me, and it is interesting and helpful to find out about your experience. I’m pretty sure I will become more confident on camera. Editing is the bit I’m not much looking forward to either because of the amount of time it might take.

      I think that’s wonderful, to do what you want to do and what will make you feel happy. I’d love to see what you come up with.

      Thank you again. Your support means a lot ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Nerves need not come in the way as you can edit and fix and a clear outline of what you want to talk about would help you unfreeze. Editing and time for that would be the major problem I think

    Liked by 1 person

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