by Hope Holroyd, Publicity Assistant
I’ve always valued reading and being able to escape into a story. As I grew up, the way I learned about books changed. When I was younger, I relied on magazines and catalogs that were sent directly to school that I would sift through to find my next read. But as I got older, the trends started to shift from print materials to social media exposure.
In high school, one of my closest friends introduced me to Booktube, where book vloggers (video bloggers) create specific content on YouTube including book reviews, discussions and more. My friend was the only person who would talk about books with me and she would recommend most of what I was reading. Needless to say, I was so excited to have more than just one resource for finding new books.
I also started using resources like Goodreads to find new books around this time as well. But I have to say, these resources really changed the way I find new books to read. I often find myself waiting for a new review to come out just to hear the synopsis and see reaction from the YouTuber, which helps me decide if I want to read the book and in turn leave the spoiler section until after the pages were turned.
I really appreciate the time and energy these people put into creating content for people who enjoy reading in this nontraditional way. While a New York Times review certainly can sway whether or not the sales of a book can be successful, the relationships people have with these YouTubers has changed the way publishers reach fan bases.
These YouTubers work with Penguin Random House, Disney Hyperion, and other publishers to discuss books, sometimes months before they are released. And while these video bloggers have created a similar following and read the same stories, the different reactions they all give add to the overall experience while diving into a new novel.
And their following doesn’t end on YouTube. The social media accounts for their Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook are all available in the descriptions of their videos. This has created an extension for readers to connect with these video bloggers, but also with each other.
Social media drives the majority of younger generations. Millennials are constant pinpointed as media hogs, but even those younger generations spend so much time on the internet that this new found way of exposing literature cannot be overlooked or underemphasized. It changed the way I find books and discuss with other readers. Social media can greatly affect the overall experience with a novel and can be a positive thing for the book world if we all embrace it.