Screencastify for Authors

In the spirit of social distancing, I give you “How To Use Screencastify” for Authors. Screencastify is a simple way that you can make a video and post it directly to YouTube. They are easy to make, and easy to share.

STEP 1 – How to Get Screencastify

Easiest thing to do is add Screencastify as an extension to your Chrome browser. Sign in using your google account, and then all of you videos will be saved to your Google Drive as well.

STEP 2 – Choose what kind of video you want to make

Once your extension is ready there will be a little red arrow in the upper right hand corner of your browser. Click on it.

There are 3 types of recordings that you can make: Browser Tab, Desktop and Webcam Only.

Browser Tab: Will record only 1 browser tab and put a little box with you in it in the bottom right hand corner so you can be seen and heard while presenting. This would be helpful if you were only going to stay in one browser during the video.

Desktop: Will record anything that you have on your desktop. You can switch tabs, or even switch to an application on your computer, and the recording will follow you around. You also appear in the little box in the corner.

Webcam Only: This choice will put you front and center in the video screen.


Why you might want to make a video:


You’re an author! You want to connect with your audience. Post a video on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram to tell your fans what you’ve been up to or read them a snippet of some exciting new work. The possibilities are endless, and there’s nothing that your readers would love more than to put a face and a voice with their favorite author.

Record a Message

Share a message with a class. A few months ago my teacher friend was reading my book, The Smith Family Secret, to her class and asked if I could make a video that she could play for their big Literacy Day. Of course I said yes! Using Screencastify made it easy to record a message.

Personalize Your Website

Are you building a website? Why not add a video to say hello and welcome people to your site?


Create how-to videos for your fans with fun activities connected to the content in your book.


Critiquing from afar? Personalize your critique by making a video, and having the manuscript up on the screen while we can see your face and hear your voice at the same time.

The Sky’s the Limit

Anything else you can think of!


Here’s an example of a quick Screencastify using Webcam Only:

Here’s what it looks like when you choose Desktop. See how you appear in a box at the bottom? Cool right?


The free version of Screencastify gives you 5 minutes of recording time. It will let you trim the beginning and end of your video. For $30 a year you can get unlimited time and a few editing functions, like cropping in the middle of the video.

The editing tools aren’t fancy, but we’re not looking for fancy here. We’re looking for simplicity.


You can upload your video to YouTube immediately and start sharing with the world. You can also get a link for the video in your Google Drive as well. Or you can even export as an MP4.

However you decide to use Screencastify, I hope you find it as handy as I have. And for all of you teachers out there doing eLearning right now, this is a great tool to communicate with your kiddos through Google Classroom or SeeSaw as well.

All right, now get out there and make a video!

Please share any other ways you can think of to use videos as an author with the Writers’ Rumpus!


  1. Thanks Alison, You did a really great job explaining the use and purpose. Like Kim Larson said above…the courage!


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