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Stumbling across booktube, reply galore, and helping others start their channel: a Q&A with booktuber emmmabooks


Recently we got the chance to put a few questions to booktuber Emma (of emmmabooks) and find out ALL the answers to what life is like on YouTube, how she got started, and how dedicated she is to helping out rising booktubers.

What first attracted you to booktube and made you begin posting your own videos? I actually stumbled across booktube by accident! I had just read The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, and came across a few videos of people sharing how they pronounce the different words in the books. I thought this was so interesting because even though I had been on YouTube previously, I never knew people made videos about books. From there I found a ton of new channels that I quickly fell in love with, for example PolandBananasBOOKS, JesseTheReader, Katytastic, Ariel Bissett, and PeruseProject, who all inspired me to start my own channel. The Mortal Instruments pronunciation guide actually ended up being one of my first videos, and the rest is history.

How long have you been an active member of the community? I originally found booktube sometime in November of 2014. For the first few months I was a total “lurker”, only watching videos and never commenting. Over the next few months, I decided I wanted to start interacting more with the community, so I began leaving more comments on booktube channels, large and small. I started my own channel on January 27th 2014, so I’ve been creating videos for just over two years now!

What equipment do you use to film your videos? The camera I use to film is a Pentax K30, which is always set up on my Sunpak 61″ 6000PG Aluminium tripod. I also use LimoStudio Lighting Kit to enhance the lighting of my videos. I edit all of my footage on Sony Vegas Pro 8.

For anyone unfamiliar, can you describe your channel and content in only one sentence? On my channel, I produce creative content on all things bookish; Book-Related Tags, Literature Topic Discussions, Book Reviews, Book-to-TV/Movie Adaptation Discussions, Skits and more!

Booktube has become a massive online influencer in its own right, growing and growing each day. What sets your channel apart from the mass? I do my best to create videos that may be helpful towards new booktubers and readers. I have a series on my channel called “BookTubing 101” where I share some tips on topics related to booktube such as how to make friends in the community or how to receive books to review from publishers and authors. Also, whenever I do discussion videos, I try my best to put in as much research as possible on the topic to aid new readers in forming their own opinions on the topics. (i.e. my “Let’s Talk: Sex in YA” discussion or “The Great Rating Crisis of 2016” discussion video contains a lot of thought and information I gained from watching other videos or searching the new for facts or opinions from other readers).

I’m not sure how much this “sets me apart” but I do my best to reply to every single comment I receive. Sometimes I only have the time to like it, but I do read absolutely every comment I get. I can spend over an hour in one setting replying to comments I received in one day. A gigantic number of people seem to react very surprised because apparently a lot of booktubers don’t do that, but I love reading and replying to all of my comments, so I’m glad I can give that back to my viewers.

‘How to Start a Booktube Channel – Booktubing 101’ is one of your most popular videos. Can you tell us what went into making it and what it’s reception from your viewers was like? I actually created this video in my early stages of booktube, and I’m sincerely shocked at the feedback I’ve received. Originally, the idea came from just generally discussing booktube with my friends I’ve made from the community. If I recall, we were talking specifically about how we disliked self-promotion on booktube since the community should be about interacting with other readers and not “getting subscribers.” From there, I thought it would be really helpful to newer booktubers to have tips on some things I’ve learned across those first few months on booktube, such as how to get video ideas, how to find new channels, and how to improve the quality of your videos.

Knowing that I am one of the first results when you search “booktube” on YouTube and one of the first faces representing this community is extremely humbling. I never imagined that video would get over 27,000 views, or really that anyone significant would see it. I still receive comments daily of people telling me how much the appreciate my tips and how this video finally gave them the inspiration to start their own channel. That’s really all I could ask for from a video like that, and even more. It’s unbelievably satisfying knowing that something I created is helping people in this community and hopefully changing their lives like booktube changed mine.

Thanks so much to Emma for chatting to us! If you’re interested in her videos you can watch them here, or tweet your own questions to her @emmmabooks.

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