By Hope Holroyd, Publicity Assistant
YouTube offers content which entertains thousands of people every day. From reaction videos, product reviews to cat videos, there’s nothing you can’t find on this video sharing platform. An interesting development for the book universe has been the introduction of BookTube, which includes a small community of YouTubers who make videos specifically about books including book hauls, book reviews/talks, and book tags. (Check out BookRiot's Beginner's Guide to BookTube.)
These new digital influencers offer various discussions which can drive the decisions of the book-buying public. Their entertaining videos feature new and upcoming novels sent directly from the publisher themselves or from a day spent at the bookstore. With majority of the BookTube community gaining a serious following with thousands of subscribers and even more views per video, the book marketing possibilities of this network cannot be ignored. The main benefit being the reach and amount of subscribers who follow and watch all of the content and having the creators opinions influence their own. BookTube is becoming a valuable part of many 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 creators talk strictly about certain genres while others cover broader genres and discuss not only books but TV shows, movies, and music. There are different channels which feature specific genres and similar titles.
Below are my favorite BookTube channels for general fiction and YA fiction. There are so many more creators and channels if none of these spark any specific interest, don’t give up on BookTube!
Peruse Project – Regan creates structured, well-organized videos. She provides succinct summaries after reading a variety of stories. With fantasy and historical fiction as some of her main genres, she covers general fiction unlike any other channels available.
Rincey Reads – Simple and to the point. Rincey offers a wide variety of genres and authors with unique discussions and captivating summaries. Every video has Closed Captions, which is not offered for many channels so this unique factor definitely set hers apart from other booktubers.
MercysBookishMusings – With over 28k subscribers, Mercedes introduces readers into a world of books by discussing her most recent finds in candid book reviews. She raves about her favorites and explains where she finds general fiction books.
LittleBookOwl – This BookTuber is Catriona, or Caz. She shares her passion for books from her book reviews, hauls, and bookshelf tours, offering recommendations of books from all genres and age groups.
Ariel Bissett – This unique channel offers a wide variety of content. Ariel offers an honest depiction of a reader’s life; she isn’t always posting reviews, but she talks about different book stores and the pressures of being a “public reader.” My favorite aspect of this BookTuber is her creation of BookTube-A-Thon, which a yearly read along event through the internet, other BookTubers, and social media. It’s a social media spree of marathon reading and it’s awesome; featuring giveaways, reading sprees, and reading challenges that any reader can enjoy.
ClimbTheStacks – Ashley Riordan discusses all thing books. Her main genres include classic literature, literary fiction, and memoirs. With over 28k subscribers, her reviews and book talks reach thousands and help spread the word for non-fiction books. This was one of the few channels I found that featured some form of non-fiction.
PolandBananasBooks - This channel follows Christine Riccio on all of her reading endeavors. She is one of the biggest BookTuber’s with over 360k subscribers who tune in for weekly book discussions, funny book tags, and overall entertaining content. Her quirky and bubbly spirit makes it impossible to not want to read everything she does. She is also one third of Booksplosion, a monthly virtual book club, along with the next two channels on this list. Her videos are energetic, exciting, and goofy. Her channel features mostly YA books covering fantasy, contemporary, and romance novels.
Katytastic – This channel is run by Kat O’Keeffe. With just over 237k subscribers, her reach influences thousands with her honest, clever 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 over 215k subscribers. His channel is extremely similar to Kat and Christine, since he’s the final member of the Booksplosion team, it makes sense. But, his silly awkward style creates a genuine 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 347k subscribers, this BookTuber never disappoints. She releases a ton of hilarious and informative reviews, hauls, and to-be-read videos which makes her a reliable resource for all of her followers. Focused on mostly YA and fantasy, her excitement and personality add an extra aspect to searching for a new book to read.
Booksandquills – Run by Sanne, over 163k subscribers follow her thoughtful reviews and YA reading sprees. Her quiet nature is refreshing amongst the bolder BookTubers on this list. She creates videos that follow new and upcoming young adult novels.
Non-fiction BookTube is pretty much non-existent; there are some channels that also review nonfiction books, but the main focus is usually fiction or young adult novel. It’s difficult to understand when so many of books classified as non-fiction can transform and make an impact on people, probably more than a work of fiction can. My one critique of BookTube would be the lack of diversity in the books reviewed. Many of the channels are all sent similar material or are interested in the same kind of novels, so when there are five or six reviews of the same book readily available, but the vast majority of books go unnoticed by these influential creators.
I can say there have been times where I want to read something but I wait to see what someone thinks about it. More than just a review on Amazon or Goodreads, these videos 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 may be newer but it is certainly influential to the thousands of subscribers who avidly watch these channels. Each channel offers a wide variety of opinions on the worlds we dive into created by our favorite authors.