By Hope Holroyd, Publicity Assistant
Is BookTube valuable to book marketing? It’s a question on the minds of many authors and publishers who have heard success stories about promoting books on BookTube. First off, what is it? BookTube is a subset of the YouTube Community providing book-specific content from numerous creators. Since it began around 2010, the number of BookTubers has grown exponentially. As a result, it informs and entertains thousands of viewers daily with content about books.
From book reviews to reaction videos, there are many ways savvy authors and book promoters can market books on the ever-popular video sharing platform. BookTube has been an exciting development for the publishing world, thanks to BookTubers, who create content (videos) about book hauls, reviews/talks, and book tags. (Check out BookRiot’s Beginner’s Guide to BookTube.)
Can BookTubers Influence Book Sales and Marketing?
Digital influencers, like highly followed BookTubers, are respected content creators whose videos can drive the decisions of the book buyers. Their personality-driven posts often cover new and upcoming novels sent directly from publishers purchased themselves. Because many BookTubers have groups of followers into the thousands, and some YouTube videos getting millions of views, the book marketing opportunities of this group cannot be ignored.
The main benefits of exposure on BookTube are its reach and the number of subscribers who follow and watch a creator’s content. Most creators are not shy about giving their opinions and have a considerable personal rapport with their audiences — which means BookTube can be a valuable part of book publicity campaigns. Some trends for the BookTube community have developed over time, including reviews, giveaways, specific merchandise created for the creator and their subscribers, partnering with other BookTube creators, and more.
Some BookTubers talk strictly about specific genres while others cover varying genres and discuss not only books but TV shows, movies, and music. There also are different channels that feature specific genres and similar titles. They are primarily geared to the fiction and young adult genres. If you’re ready to dive in, her is a list of our favorite BookTube channels for general fiction and YA.
Peruse Project – Creator Regan is known for structured, well-organized videos. She has 300k subscribers and provides concise summaries after reading a variety of stories. With fantasy and historical fiction as her main genres, she covers books unlike any of the other channels available.
Rincey Reads – Simple and to the point. Rincey has 23k subscribers and offers a wide variety of genres and authors with unique discussions and interesting summaries. Every video has Closed Captions, which are not provided on many channels, so it is a unique factor setting her apart from other BookTubers.
MercysBookishMusings – With about 40k subscribers, Mercedes introduces readers to her world of books as she discusses recent finds in candid book reviews. She raves about her favorites and explains where she finds general fiction books.
LittleBookOwl – This channel is from BookTuber Catriona or Caz. She has 185k subscribers and shares her passion for books through book reviews, hauls, and bookshelf tours, offering recommendations of books from all genres and age groups.
Ariel Bissett – This unique channel of interest to book marketers offers a wide variety of content. Ariel has 200k subscribers and provides a candid depiction of a reader’s life; she isn’t always posting reviews, but she talks about different bookstores and the pressures of being a “public reader.” My favorite aspect is her BookTube-A-Thon, which a yearly read-along event that is a social media juggernaut of marathon reading. It features giveaways, reading sprees, and reading challenges that any reader can enjoy.
ClimbTheStacks – Ashley Riordan discusses all things books. Her main genres include classic literature, literary fiction, and memoirs. With 40k subscribers, her reviews and book talks reach thousands and help spread the word for nonfiction books. It was one of the few channels I found that featured some form of nonfiction.
PolandBananasBooks – This channel follows Christine Riccio on all of her reading adventures. She is one of the biggest BookTuber’s with 410k subscribers who tune in for weekly book discussions, funny book tags, and generally entertaining content. It’s a must for book marketers, and her quirky and bubbly personality makes it impossible not to want to read everything she does. She is also one-third of Booksplosion, a monthly virtual book club. Her videos are energetic, exciting, and goofy. The channel features mostly YA books covering fantasy, contemporary, and romance novels.
Katytastic – Kat O’Keefe runs this channel. With 250k subscribers, her reach influences thousands with her honest, smart book reviews. She generally produces mostly general YA and fantasy genre books. As another member of the Booksplosion team, Kat offers candid opinions during the monthly book club Livestream, entertaining anyone who watches.
JesseTheReader – This channel follows Jesse George, who has 400k subscribers. His channel is popular and similar to Kat and Christine; he’s the final member of the Booksplosion team. His uniquely awkward style creates a connection with his subscribers making you want to hear more of what he has to say about the books he loves.
ABookUtopia – Following Sasha Alsberg and her 360k subscribers, this BookTube channel never disappoints. She releases hilarious and informative reviews, hauls, and to-be-read videos. She is a reliable voice promoting books to her followers. Focused on mostly YA and fantasy, her personality adds pizzazz.
Booksandquills – Run by Sanne, 185k subscribers follow her thoughtful reviews and YA reading sprees. Her quiet nature is refreshing compared to the bolder BookTubers. Her videos cover new and upcoming young adult novels.
Nonfiction BookTube is much smaller; some channels review nonfiction books, but the main focus is usually fiction or young adult novels. There can be a lack of diversity in the books reviewed because many of the channels are interested in the same kind of novels. If there are times when you want to read something but wait to see what someone thinks about it, BookTube is an excellent place to seek out opinions.
More than just a review on Amazon or Goodreads, BookTubers add to the overall experience choosing a book to read and the mindset you have going into starting a new book. This process for reviewing books is influential to the thousands of subscribers who avidly watch these channels, and therefore offers an opportunity for book marketing.