How I BookTube (Part One): Filming My Videos

Hello Lovelies! How are you? Reading anything amazing? If so, please let me know.

One of my first blog posts on my website was about how I BookTube. But that was almost two years ago now. Wow. That seems like a long time ago. Things change. Plus, I wanted to expand upon what I originally wrote. Welcome to my behind-the-scenes BookTube tell all.

In case you are not familiar with the term, BookTube is the bookish community on YouTube. Book+Tube = BookTube aka my home away from home.

Step One: Preparation

If I am talking about a book, I read the book. Plain and simple. Shocking, I know. Some books I know I am going to talk about, while others take me by surprise. While I’m reading or after I finish the book, I feel compelled to share it with everyone. If I open a book knowing that I will be talking about it on YouTube (for instance, the Romantics At Hart book-of-the-month or the Cozy Mystery Book Club livestream discussions), I have my notebook open (or in the very least several sheets of blank paper), a pen, and O am ready to write down some immediate thoughts as I’m reading. I try to capture those “gut reaction reading moments.” I’ve also gotten into the habit of reading on my iPad (practically 90% of my reading is digital), so I highlight in my Kindle app and then proceed to email the novel’s quotes to myself. I read with the intention of citing certain characters, passages, dialogue, etc. I try to cite why a character resonated with me or which scene elicited a strong emotion. If I am going to be filming a book review (and not doing a livestream), I do the same thing for the most part.

The only exception to this preparation are the books that I finish reading and just have to talk about. Those are the books I go back through and make notes in after the fact. I do highlight as I read and make notes in the margins even if I am not planning on posting about a book. That is just how I am as a reader. Marginalia for the win. This makes going back slightly easier. From here, I gather my notes and get ready to film.

I don’t write a “full” filming script. I will make bullet points on key characters, scenes, etc., and go from there. My videos are somewhat spontaneous, but not entirely. I find having notes helps make sure I don’t forget to mention things (for instance, it wouldn’t be ideal to forget to mention the main character’s name), but I don’t write out everything I am going to say beforehand.

Step Two: Where to Film

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 If you know me, you know I take great pride in my bookcases. Have you seen those things? I color-coded them, decorated them with fake flowers, added dreamcatchers (thank you, Nicole!), made origami flowers, and more. Most of my videos are filmed in front of them. On rare occasions, I will mix up my background and film in my office in front of those bookshelves. (Yes, I have a lot of bookcases.) I like mixing it up a little. Even if I can’t film in my office for whatever reason (the neighbors are making noise or I don’t have a place to film thanks to moving furniture around or something), I will change where I am filming in front of my bookcases. Sometimes, I sit directly in front of them on the floor. Other times, I will be sitting in my oversized comfy chair and angle the camera to the side to provide a different view of my library. I have consistency with my bookcases behind me for the most part, but I mix it up a little with the angle/where I’m sitting. I find this keeps things interesting. Plus, viewers get to see different books and decorations. 

 Step Three: Filming

Now, after steps one and two, I know where I’m filming and what I’m talking about. It is time to get filming.

I try to make sure my dog, Max, has a treat, and a toy to keep him company while I’m filming. Otherwise, my video slowly becomes a decent into the Max Show.

To make sure the audio is the best it can possibly be, I turn off my air conditioner or heat, whatever will be making noise in the background. I tend to have my air purifier and fan on, too, most days. I flip those on switches off. I don’t want people to hear a buzzing in the background of video. 

When I’m filming, I have an absolute blast. I’m talking about books! What is better than that? Filming is always fun.

From here, I download the footage to my computer, edit the video, (two steps I will have a separate blog post on because there is a lot to say) and upload the finished video to YouTube. Then, I get to interact with my lovely reading and writing family, which by far is my favorite part of this process.

Thank you so much for reading! Please stay kind and creative!

Make today a great reading and writing day!

Love, 

Angela