The Most Neglected Resource for Reviews: YouTube

As authors, we’re constantly looking for more and better ways to gain visibility for our books. This is why I was so excited when Andy Peloquin contacted us about a review possibility that I didn’t know existed. Because it might be news for you, too, I’ve asked him to our blog today to give us the particulars.

For most authors, the majority of our time is spent trying to find ways to sell more books. Author interviews, promo blitzes, and Facebook Party takeovers—there are so many ways to get the word out. But we all know that when it comes to gaining new readers and getting them to buy our books, one of the most important factors is the reviews.

12213308404_a4f493af64_z

Courtesy: Thad Zajdowicz @ Creative Commons

Book reviews are key because they tell readers and potential buyers what to expect. They’re the unofficial rating that serves as the thumbs up or down. Because of their importance, there are literally THOUSANDS of book review websites, directories, and blogs out there—many of which are flooded with requests from authors. Reviewers often can’t keep up with all the requests they receive, so they’re stuck choosing only books that grab their interest, meaning other books (possibly YOUR book) are going to be sent to the “hopefully sometime in the future” or the “I just don’t have time” piles.

But I’m here to tell you about a review resource that few authors know exists: YouTube. Here are some stats you might not know:

  • 1 billion people use YouTube
  • There are 4 billion video views on YouTube per day7584894382_66a177ebce_m
  • 6 billion hours of video are watched every month
  • 300 new hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
  • People will spend an average of 40 minutes on YouTube

But here’s the real kicker: less than 9% of small businesses (yes, authors fall into that mix) use this platform for marketing. Which is sad, since YouTube has a great marketing tool for authors that most aren’t aware of in the form of Book Reviewers.

YouTube book reviewers aren’t as common as book bloggers or review websites; the reason for this is that it’s hard to make book reviews interesting when they’re being filmed on video, so it takes a special type of person to do this well. There are a handful of YouTube channels dedicated specifically to book reviews, and while they receive plenty of requests, they get nowhere near as many as the more popular review sites. This means your book has a much higher chance of getting accepted for review.

How do you pick a book review channel? The best option is to visit the channels (see the list at the end of this post) and scroll through each reviewer’s videos to see if they read books like yours; this will narrow down your options to the most likely candidates. You also should check out their submission guidelines to make sure they accept your type of book. You can submit to as many review sites as possible, but if your time is limited and you only want to try the higher profile channels, check out their subscription stats and number of views; this data is often listed on the About page.

How should you submit your books for review? Each channel has its own guidelines on the kinds of books they accept, how to submit, etc. For example, Mercy at Mercy’s Bookish Musings asks you to simply email her with your book details. You can do this for Ariel Bissett, too, but only if your book is traditionally published.

To find out how to submit and what is/isn’t accepted for a given reviewer, simply visit that YouTube channel’s About page. There, you’ll find the submission email address and other necessary information—similar to the way you’d submit to any website or book blog.

What if your book is accepted? How can you capitalize on a good YouTube review? You can tell the world about it. Link to it on all your social media sites, blog about the review, embed it on your personal bookstore page, post it on your Goodreads author profile or Amazon Author Central page—there are so many ways to let existing and potential buyers know that your book has been well received. And the good news is that nearly every site is compatible with YouTube, so the process is fairly simple.

Where do I find these channels? I’m so glad you asked! Here’s a sample listing of book review channels that can be found on YouTube:

  1. https://www.youtube.com/user/MercysBookishMusings/about
  2. https://www.youtube.com/c/arielbissett/about
  3. https://www.youtube.com/c/bazpierce/about
  4. https://www.youtube.com/user/abookutopia/about
  5. https://www.youtube.com/c/hailsheartsnyc/about
  6. https://www.youtube.com/user/booksbetterthanfood/about
  7. https://www.youtube.com/c/booksandquills/about
  8. https://www.youtube.com/user/missloopylouful/about
  9. https://www.youtube.com/c/peruseproject/about
  10. https://www.youtube.com/c/jessethereader/about
  11. https://www.youtube.com/c/polandbananasbooks/about (likes Throne of Glass–ergo, dark fantasy)
  12. https://www.youtube.com/c/jeanmbt/about
  13. https://www.youtube.com/c/impressionblendofficial/about
  14. https://www.youtube.com/c/chapterstackss/about
  15. https://www.youtube.com/c/ashleybbooks/about
  16. https://www.youtube.com/c/pimpbookreviews/about
  17. https://www.youtube.com/c/lovingdembooks/about
  18. https://www.youtube.com/c/thereadables/about
  19. https://www.youtube.com/c/unboundbookreviews/feed
  20. https://www.youtube.com/user/bookwormstalk/about

These are just 20 of the channels that do reviews, but there are many more (I’ve found close to 50). You can find them for yourself by searching for “Book Reviews” on YouTube, or drop me a line at andy.peloquin@gmail.com and I’d be happy to send over the rest of my list. Best of luck!

00-headshotAndy Peloquin–a third culture kid to the core–has loved to read since before he could remember. Sherlock Holmes, the Phantom of the Opera, and Father Brown are just a few of the books that ensnared his imagination as a child. When he discovered science fiction and fantasy through the pages of writers like Edgar Rice Burroughs, J.R.R Tolkien, and Orson Scott Card, he was immediately hooked and hasn’t looked back since. Reading—and now writing—is his favorite escape, and it provides him an outlet for his innate creativity. He is an artist; words are his palette.

His website is a second home for him, a place where he can post his thoughts and feelings–along with reviews of books he finds laying around the internet. He can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

About BECCA PUGLISI

Becca Puglisi is an international speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus and its sequels. Her books are available in five languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers blog and via One Stop For Writers—a powerhouse online library created to help writers elevate their storytelling. You can find Becca online at both of these spots, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to The Most Neglected Resource for Reviews: YouTube

  1. CJ says:

    Ooh hey Andy i would love the list can you email me?

  2. Mass Media says:

    Hey great article and suggestions, I’m sure it’s going to help many authors out. Video marketing is still #1 so it’s strange how many people forget about using YouTube to market their goods or services, especially since it’s free! My company provides a number of YouTube services to help our clients gain more views, likes, and everything else needed to grow their audiences to reach more people.

    Unfortunately if you’re just starting off on YouTube with a fresh channel getting your videos seen can be very challenging. But don’t get discouraged, keep sharing your videos on other social networking sites and continue publishing new videos. Also, if you need a hand feel free to reach out 🙂

  3. Pingback: Web Design Relief’s Links Roundup, September 2016 - Web Design Relief

  4. Pingback: Monday Must-Reads [08.22.16]

  5. Thank you. I have a book in the process. When I get there this may be like the restaurant no one has heard of until it’s reviewed and then it’s swamped, but definitely worth a try.

  6. Thanks a million for sharing this helpful information.
    I’m no following you on Twitter 🙂

  7. Kessie says:

    I’ve been watching some of these book reviews, and thinking of doing some, myself. I read a lot of indie books, and I’d love to get them some attention. So many of these reviewers only read the new hotness, you know? I mean, how many times can people review the Goldfinch? I want to see somebody review Chris Fox and Domino Finn.

    • I love this idea, Kessie. There are relatively few video book reviewers, comparatively. If you could figure out the knack of it, it would be good to have another good reviewer 🙂

      • Andy Peloquin says:

        If you start a channel, Kessie, I’d be happy to be your first guest. 😀

        The hardest part is going to be getting more viewers to watch. Just like most websites struggle for visitors, YouTube channels have to fight for their place. But I know all us indie/small press authors are glad to help someone who’s rooting for us little guys.

  8. paula cappa says:

    This sounds like such a great idea. I expect it does take some leg work to find just the right reviewer. I checked out some of the links on your list and a few others. Many are college-age readers and in their early twenties with an abundance of super-exciting enthusiasm; many also made it clear they don’t want self-published books. One reviewer had her bookshelf fashionably organized according to the book jacket colors (red bookshelf vs. black and white bookshelf). A little too cute for me. Another reviewer kept tossing her hard copies in the air like a circus clown and screaming her review to the audience. Entertaining, I’m sure. But I’m looking for experienced and literary book readers. Any suggestions, Andy, for a YouTube professional reviewer who accepts indie published and/or self-pubbed? I run an authors’ group and this might be helpful for them. But they will want quality reviewers who are serious about reviewing. Your thoughts?

    • Andy Peloquin says:

      In doing the research and checking out the “About” pages, I’ve found that a number of the reviewers do accept self-published novels. However, it’s important to read their “About” to find out for sure. Many of them will also forget to post that they don’t accept self-published books, but when you reach out to them, they’ll tell you in their response email.

      If you are looking for truly experienced, literary book readers, YouTube is probably not the place to look. Remember that YouTube is going to be populated mostly by the crowd you described. You’re better off submitting to proper magazines, journals, and sites like Reader’s Favorite, Publisher’s Weekly, and Vigilant Reader Book Reviews.

      However, for those (I fall into this category) who just want more exposure, reviews, and eyes on our books, these YouTube reviewers are an amazing resource.

  9. Thanks so much for this, Andy. 🙂 I know I have run across reviews of the Emotion Thesaurus on You Tube when they are shared on Twitter, but I hadn’t realized just how many actually do these video reviews and the opportunity this offers authors to connect with readers. Video is everywhere, so we should definitely be folding it into our marketing when it comes to seeking out reviewers.

    • Andy Peloquin says:

      I just kind of stumbled across it by accident. I Googled “book reviews”, and I saw a link to a YouTube video. When I went to YouTube and repeated the search, there were millions of results. I only went through the first 10 pages of search results and found 40 or so active YouTubers doing book reviews.

      Most people forget that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world…

  10. And there are SO many more!

  11. Great ideas. I’ll keep to use when the time is right.

  12. Cindy Huff says:

    Outstanding information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *