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.
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 day
- 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:
- https://www.youtube.com/c/polandbananasbooks/about (likes Throne of Glass–ergo, dark fantasy)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be happy to send over the rest of my list. Best of luck!
Andy 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.
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.