Recently we got the chance to put a few questions to booktuber Kayla (of BooksandLala) and find out ALL the answers to what life is like on YouTube, how she got started, and what advice she’d offer to new booktubers.
What first attracted you to booktube and made you begin posting your own videos? I’ve always been a passionate reader, and on my old youtube channel (ObbsandLala) which was parenting/lifestyle focused, I occasionally mentioned the books I was reading in my monthly favourites videos. I got a lot of great feedback from women telling me they appreciated my reading recommendations, because as busy moms we don’t get as much time to read as we would like, so it’s essential to choose the right book that will be worth your time.
That inspired my initial interest to make more book related videos, and in turn how I found the booktube community. The more booktube videos that I made, the more booktube videos I watched, and the more videos I watched, the more books I found out about. The more books I found out about, the more I had to read, and the more videos I had to make. It’s this great, never ending cycle, because while some hobbies come and go, reading is a lifelong interest and there’s nothing better than creating content and building relationships around your favourite activity.
How long have you been an active member of the community? I just hit my 18 month mark on booktube, so I still feel very new to the game. Every day I find new channels, get inspired by different things, and come up with new ideas. I’m still finding my footing and discovering what works and what doesn’t on my channel.
What equipment do you use to film your videos? I usually film all my videos with a DSLR (right now the Canon Rebel T4i) and a tripod, and that’s pretty much it. I have the studio lights and microphones and various camera lenses, but I find myself not pulling them out very often; I like sitting down without much preparation and just saying what’s on my mind. What I look for in a channel is always content first, and while I can definitely appreciate a booktuber’s production quality, I think your personality and what you’re saying shines more than the camera you use or how well lit you are. With how YouTube creators’ video have advanced over the years, it’s easy to get deterred by the high production value you see, especially when maybe all you have to film with is your phone or webcam. So I would encourage anyone and everyone who wants to share their passion, to just go for it and start a channel, regardless of your equipment.
For anyone unfamiliar, can you describe your channel and content in only one sentence? I make 10+ videos a month about books, so I can regularly fangirl, rant, inform, and connect with fellow lovers of literature.
Booktube has become a massive online influencer in its own right, growing and growing each day. What sets your channel apart from the mass? Booktube is such a fantastic creative outlet, and you can take your channel in so many different directions. There are booktubers who do casual sit-down reviews, those who create conversation with in-depth discussions, ones who work in the industry, ones who talk about the writing craft, ones that interview authors, those who create sketches and music videos etc etc.
I think every booktuber brings their own unique spin to the community, regardless of what their channel focus is or what category they may feel they fit into. For me, my goal is always to make videos that I just enjoy making. As much as YouTube can be taken as a business, I will never create content I’m not passionate about. If I wouldn’t watch it, I won’t film it. Sometimes this means I make videos that everyone seems to be making and sometimes I make videos that no one is making. I’m not sure if there’s anything particularly unique that sets me apart from the rest of booktube, and I think that’s okay because we’re all just a bunch of book nerds and I like being a part of that mass.
Right now I love information dump videos, so you’ll see that reflected on my channel. I enjoy informing everyone of new book releases, so I do a “New Releases” video at the beginning of the month about that. I enjoy informing everyone of book and adaptation news, so I do a monthly “Bookmark’d” video about that. I recently did an information dump video listing frequently mispronounced author names. Whatever I’m enjoying at the time is what I’ll make videos about, period. Setting my channel apart is (perhaps surprisingly) low on my priority list, I’m just enjoying being a part of the community and overjoyed that people are tuning in.
’35 Upcoming Book to Movie Adaptations 2016′ is one of your most popular videos. Can you tell us about what went into making it and what it’s reception from your viewers was like? This is a great example of the information dump videos I love to film, and it’s so great to see one doing well! My other biggest interest besides books, is films – so when these two loves of mine combine in the form of a book to movie adaptation, it just gets me giddy! A decent amount of my content relates to adaptations, so at the beginning of the year I put out this video to inform everyone of the books being made into films, in case they didn’t feel like researching it on their own. Making a video like this is months in the making. I follow about 20 different media news outlets so I’m always informed of what books are in development, and unfortunately, there are not many sites that solely focus on book news, so I regularly scroll through a lot of television, movie, and celebrity articles for the occasional bit of book related content. It takes some effort, as I try to be thorough and concise – but it seems to be appreciated by the people who have stumbled upon it!
Thanks so much to Kayla for chatting to us! If you’re interested in her videos you can watch them here, or tweet your own questions to her @obbsandlala.
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