Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A Guest Post by Author Dane Cobain

Good morning and happy hump day my lovely bookworms!

I've got a treat for you today! Author and poet, Dane Cobain has graced us with some wonderful information about Booktube and how to get started. I don't know about any of you, but the idea of getting to know authors and their work on a more personal level seems interesting. Let's get to it then!

 Introducing BookTube: What it is and How it Can Help

Gone are the days when people had only a couple of major TV channels to choose from. These days, viewers are switching up their habits and consuming more and more of their content online. In fact, millennials now spend more time watching Netflix than live TV.
Netflix is known for creating its own high quality content, and readers in particular are in for a treat. They had a hand in the BBC adaptation of Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gently series, and they also funded and distributed Shadowhunters, an adaptation of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series.
But it’s not just Netflix – and Amazon, who are funding shows of their own – who are putting out video for readers to sink their teeth into. There’s a thriving community of content creators over on YouTube who are helping millions of viewers to discover their next great read.

Better Than Netflix

If you have access to an internet connection, you’ve probably visited YouTube. In fact, over a billion people (a third of all internet users) have an account on the site, and
they watch hundreds of millions of hours of video every day. It’s also the second largest search engine in the world behind Google, which owns it. It’s hard to understate how massive it is.
Because of that, it’s home to all sorts of stuff. How-tos and tutorials for everything from hair and beauty to printer maintenance. Cat videos and musical performances, and one guy who literally films himself sitting and smiling for four hours a day. People play games, record their reactions as they watch movie trailers and – yes – even talk about the books that they’re reading.
A lot of people are quick to dismiss YouTube as simply being a repository for videos, and they fail to see it as what it is – a true social network. To see that in action, you only have to find a successful channel and check out a couple of videos before looking at the comments and the way that they evolve over time.
Most of the big YouTube channels have a legion of die-hard followers, who watch every video that they upload and who comment, rate and share every video as the channel grows and evolves. Pewdiepie, the most subscribed to YouTuber in the world, has matured along with the platform, and his ‘Bro Army’ has helped him to shape the content that he creates. You’ll spot that same sense of community around all sorts of YouTubers, from STRSkillSchool, who teaches kids how to be better at football, to the LA Beast, who started out with food challenges and ended up campaigning for the re-release of Crystal Pepsi.

Introducing BookTube

BookTube, then, is a natural progression. Broadly speaking, the term refers to the community of readers that’s made YouTube its home by uploading regular videos about books and their authors. And they make all kinds of content, from TBR (to-be-read) videos to book hauls, author interviews and vlogs of bookish days out.
In fact, it’s not unusual to see popular YouTubers on the bestseller charts. John Green made his name on YouTube around the same time that The Fault In Our Stars became a hit, and Zoella and Pewdiepie have both released books to capitalise on their fame.
But it’s not just the big names that are using YouTube – and BookTube – to make a statement. Many BookTubers are simultaneously working on releases of their own, and many authors are catering to this bookish audience by working with established personalities to pick up reviews, interviews and other publicity opportunities.

Who To Watch

It’s hard to explain just how useful BookTube can be as an author. If nothing else, it’s a fascinating look into what young(er) readers are up to, and if you watch enough videos, you’ll start to get a feel for the different thing that reviewers are looking out for.
Be sure to check out some of the more popular personalities – such as Ariel Bissett (the founder of BookTubeAThon), Ginger Reads Lainey (who created Top Five Wednesday), and Christine from PolandBananas (who has far, far too much energy) – to see what other people are watching.
And, if you use YouTube more regularly, as a social network and not just a place to keep your videos, be sure to subscribe to them. Ultimately, it’s hard to understand the YouTube community without being a part of it, and your readers are just waiting for you to join them. So what’s stopping you?

Your Turn

Do you watch any BookTubers? If so, what are your favourite channels? And will you be filming videos of your own in the future? Let us know with a comment!

This post is written by Dane Cobain and sponsored by Publishing Addict, an organisation that offers author websites and a Twitter management service to help authors to establish a brand, connect with their readers and to sell more books.


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