YouTube has offered a video platform for people from all walks of life to talk or film about the things they are truly passionate about. So, it is no surprise that many readers have taken to the internet to talk about the books they love.
This part of the Internet is referred to as BookTube by the content creators and those who watch the videos and in the past couple of years has exponentially increased in popularity, becoming a significant marketing tool in the publishing industry.
From reviews, to tags, to book hauls and interviews with authors, read-a-longs, read-athons and to discussions about books. For anyone who loves to hear people’s thoughts on literature of any kind, BookTube is the place to go.
It’s true, that BookTube has not yet reached the heights of the beauty guru or gaming sectors in popularity or numbers on the social media site. However, its popularity is growing and an increasing number of publishing houses have created their own channels to interact with this ever-growing audience. The increased popularity of these videos has also meant an increase in the variety of videos being created. For a time, it seemed rather difficult to find book vloggers on the site who did not solely read young adult fiction; although, there is nothing wrong with young adult fiction and many books which are marketed as young adult fiction are very good, this arguably limited appeal. Now however, it has become easier to find book vloggers who interact with all sorts of books whether that be science fiction, classics, fantasy or literary fiction.
Equally, it has used its size to its advantage and many of its creators continually talk about the “lovely” community that exists within BookTube, which in some ways differentiates them from the rest of the You Tube platform. With BookTube, there really is something for everyone.
However, although BookTube is somehow seen as a separate entity from the various complaints that can haunt YouTube, once you take a closer look, it becomes apparent that book vloggers have not escaped the inevitable negatives that come with this kind of growth. The commercialization of the platform means more and more questions are being asked about honest reviews as more BookTubers become sponsored for their content.
Furthermore, recently Ariel Bisset, who shares 89, 000 subscribers, complained on Twitter about the unfairness of publishing houses attempting to use books as a form of payment in themselves, rather than actual money for their transactions. The reality is BookTube cannot be treated as a separate entity from the site in which it interacts as well as the financial benefits that can be reaped from being a successful YouTuber of any kind in any sector.
Yet, what does come across, in BookTubers big and small, is their genuine passion for books and reading. It is this passion that makes watching BookTubers entertaining and interesting, albeit potentially damaging to my student loan, as I am encouraged to buy even more books.