What I’ve Learned After a Month on Booktube, and Why I Need Your Help


At the beginning of January I started a YouTube channel to talk about books, and full disclosure: after publishing three videos I’m figuring out what isn’t working a lot faster than what is.

But before I let this get bogged down with negativity, let me say why I wanted to switch to video in the first place:

Even though I’m more comfortable as a writer than some kind of weird hybrid of presenter/reviewer, I realized that most of the book content that I myself was consuming was coming via YouTube channels rather than blogs. Most of my favourite Booktubers are pretty well known*, but over the last few months I’d been lucky to discover smaller or more obscure and grown-up channels, as the millionth review of the millionth book about dystopian future teens battling space tyrants was getting old fast.

And even though I had many of the obvious concerns — Why does my face look so weird? Why do I sound so weird? Am I an ancient crone to the teenage world of YouTube? — I figure at the end of the day that the content you create should reflect the content you want to consume.

But I’m a long way from creating the kind of videos I want to watch. My edits still need a lot of work, I need to figure out a good length that people can actually watch (one of my videos is 42 minutes long. Who is going to watch that?), and I need to figure out a presentation style that engages viewers without requiring a lot of annoying jump cuts.

So here’s my awkward little pitch: if you want to help me shape this into something you want to watch, then I’d love for you to head over to my channel, subscribe, and leave me a comment telling me what’s working for you, what isn’t, and what you’d like to see.

One thing I have decided for sure: I’m going to try to use this space for individual book reviews, and the channel is for round-ups, tags, and author spotlights. In general, I feel like people don’t necessarily want to hear someone ramble on about one particular book, but they might like to get an overview of a list of books to see which appeals to them. Or which of an author’s books they should start with if they’ve been meaning to read their work.

Either way: leave me a comment here or on one of the videos. Constructive criticism and feedback is always a welcome thing, and if you ultimately consider yourself more of a blog reader than a video watcher, I’d love to know that, too.

Thanks in advance,

Tea Leaves & Dog Ears

* If you aren’t that familiar with Booktube and want to check out some people who are clearly way better than me, my top recommendations at the moment are:

Jen Campbell

Books and Quills

Mercy’s Bookish Musings

Jean Bookishthoughts

Rincey Reads

Words of a Reader

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