This evening I am sitting amid piles of yarn, watching the flashing hook wielded by booktuber Samantha from Novels and Nonsense.
SCy-Fy: How do you prepare for a show, Samantha?
N&N: To be perfectly honest, I don’t do too much preparing for my videos aside from deciding what I would like to film. Most of the videos I film end up going off the cuff, even book reviews. Occasionally I will write out what I want to say, but those are usually my Facts on Authors videos. I find that I have most of what I want to say already in my head and I pretty much ab-lib the rest.
SCy-Fy: What are your future initiatives?
N&N: I want to do more discussion-type videos. I find as time goes on that these are some of my favorite videos to watch in the Booktube community.
Also, I really would like to expand outside of book videos. I would like to explore some of my other “geeky” passions in videos, such as Doctor Who, Merlin, video games, etc. Who knows, I might even do some videos on crocheting which I also really enjoy.
SCy-Fy: So I’ve noticed. What do you think will be the major challenges for online presentation in future?
N&N: The community is definitely growing and as it grows I can see how some may begin to find it difficult to find their niche in the community. But overall, I think by being yourself and coming up with your own original content, this won’t be too big an issue. Especially as everyone in the Booktube community, in my experience, has been very welcoming.
Another issue I could foresee is the growth in paid sponsorships by publishers and sellers. Overall, I’m ok with this, as long as the person receiving the sponsorship gives their open and honest review of the book they are representing for the company. I can see how some take issue with this, but as long as the reviewer is demonstrating that they are still being honest in their opinions, I don’t have a problem with it.
SCy-Fy: What advice would you give anyone presenting?
N&N: I know this is a cliché, but I would say just be yourself! Let your personality shine through, that’s what makes everyone’s channels so unique!
I would also say to really familiarize yourself with editing software, it will be your biggest friend when it comes to video making.
Also, engage with the community! Almost everyone is on Twitter and Goodreads so set up accounts on both and start talking with everyone! People in the Booktube community are very welcoming and friendly and I promise we all love the interaction.
SCy-Fy: Your most useful resources?
N&N: Goodreads, Twitter, and Youtube! I get so many ideas just from the people I watch and from the people that I interact with. Not to mention the books I read themselves! Without those books my channel would be nothing!
SCy-Fy: Points to watch out for?
N&N: To avoid getting into a video rut. Sometimes I feel like all I do is tag videos. Though I enjoy filming them, the answers can become quite repetitive. As a result, I’ve tried to come up with my own original content: Facts on Authors Videos, discussion videos, etc. I think it’s important to come up with your own original content regardless of what everyone else is doing. Be yourself!
SCy-Fy: Things that have kept you going in hard times?
N&N: The community! I have met so many wonderful people and have made so many friends off of Booktube! It has really been the best thing to come out of this for me. I know if I’m feeling down or have been unhappy with my content, I can turn to them and discuss it and know that I will have a listening and sympathetic ear.
SCy-Fy: Any controversy so far, Samantha?
N&N: Nope! Not personally. I did engage a bit in the #BeCritical debate last fall, which was basically the community discussing the importance of reading with open eyes and being honest with opinions, etc. But that was about as controversial as it has gotten for me so far.
SCy-Fy: The most popular show you’ve presented? Your personal favourite?
N&N: Aside from book hauls, which are always extremely popular on Booktube, my most popular video was my Falltime Cozytime Book Tag I created last summer. It had a lot of fun fall-themed book questions. but as for the video I am most proud of, that would probably have to be my “Why I Hate Love Triangles” discussion video I filmed a couple of weeks ago. I got a lot of positive discussion on that video with commentaries and it was fantastic!
SCy-Fy: What have been the best books you have read recently?
N&N: Oh so many! I recently finished Robin Hobb’s Farseer trilogy and absolutely loved it! I’m currently in the middle of Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy which so far has been amazing! I’ve also recently really gotten interested in graphic novels. So far Chew has been one of my favorites.
SCy-Fy: Which forthcoming books are you most looking forward to reading?
N&N: I just started the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger. I’ve only read the first book, but I’ve fallen in love with all of its steampunk awesomeness and cannot wait to continue. I’m also going to be starting The Three Musketeers soon and am very excited for that one. It’s been on my list to read forever!
SCy-Fy: Given your skill with that crochet hook, you could be the fourth musketeer!
N&N: I could go with that! If anything I would be valuable as I would keep the other three warm with my creations! Thank you so much for having me!