Basics to Getting Started On BookTube

BookTube is a sub-genre on YouTube dedicated to reviewing and discussing books. While a lot of what you will need to know about starting BookTube overlaps with general knowledge of YouTube, this article will discuss BookTube specific points in setting up your channel, working on your first videos and viewer engagement. 


Channel Creation

Fill out your profile as best as you can. A channel without a profile picture and a description suggests an equally empty channel. 

The channel description section is the perfect opportunity to tell potential subscribers what to expect from you. Mention what type of books you like to read, what sort of videos you will be posting, and any other details or interests which might inspire someone to subscribe to you even before they click on one of your videos. 


Edit Your Videos

Editing doesn’t have to be anything fancy (in fact, overly edited videos for comedic sake can be annoying and turn off viewers). But regardless of how good the content is, if the video is cumbersome to watch, viewers might be inclined to click away. 

Edit out any long pauses, coughing or verbal mistakes. Disruptions such as a phone going off, or leaving to fetch a forgotten book or prop should be edited out. This will keep your video crisp as well as shorten the length. Short videos are a good thing, as viewers will be more likely to click on your video, especially first-time watchers. You are competing for viewers’ time so the last thing you will want to do is have a long video full of unnecessary chunks of nothing.

Additionally, be proactive while filming. Make sure you’ve gathered all books you will be discussing before filming. Mute your electronic devices. If you mess up while speaking, return to the beginning of the sentence and start again. These are all actions you can take before and during filming that will help later while editing.  

And remember to watch your edited video before uploading to make sure everything is in order and it plays smoothly.


Don’t Assume the Viewer knows the book on Title Alone

Even the most hyped books on BookTube will be unfamiliar to someone. Before delving into whatever it is you want to discuss, give the viewer a little insight about the book. State the genre and give a synopsis of the plot. Some BookTubers even read the blurb from the back of the book. I prefer to summarize the book myself to give my content a personal touch. 

If it’s a book you haven’t yet read, tell viewers what you know about it or why you’ve selected it. This will give the viewer context before moving into the discussion. You don’t want to force your viewers to pause the video, open up Google to search the title before being able to continue watching. 



“Don’t forget to like, comment and subscribe”  sounds stereotypical and feels humbling to ask of an audience, but it works. As obvious as it might seem that people who like your videos should subscribe, it doesn’t always occur to viewers unless you say something. While it won’t work on every viewer, a few seconds taken in your video to ask could be the difference between audience engagement and someone forgetting about your channel the moment the video ends. 


Tag your videos.

Hashtags will help potential viewers find your videos when searching. Tag both author name and book title (in separate hashtags) as well as genre. Don’t be afraid to get creative with hashtags! Include anything about the book that you think would interest a viewer (#5starread, #lgbtrepresentation, #rantreview, #spoilerfreereview, etc...). Familiarize yourself with the common slang of BookTube (ex: TBR - To Be Read, DNF - Did Not Finish, ARC - Advanced Review Copy…). The easiest way to accomplish this is by watching other BookTubers. 

While you don’t have to copy your favorite BookTubers verbatim, it’ll give you an idea of what works or what doesn’t. Most importantly, try to make the videos you would want to watch, rather than what is easiest to do or what is trendy.