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Normally, I hate it when people start a post with a disclaimer, but I’m going to do it because I’m talking about a BookTuber in our bookish community. I’m not trying to spread hate or drama. (We already have more than enough of that.) Blogs and YouTube videos only show a small part of a person’s existence. I don’t know anything about this BookTuber’s personal life or her agreements with publishers. I’m not trying to call her out or imply she did anything wrong. Her videos just made me think about bookish opportunities, which inspired this post. Disclaimer over. Read on.
Bookish Opportunities: A Public Service Announcement
In 2014/2015 I tried very hard to get interested in BookTube. It was difficult for me because I don’t have the best attention span for TV or online videos. I tend to zone out. Blogs are easier for me to concentrate on, but BookTubers are a huge part of the bookish community, and I wanted to support them. I eventually found a small group of BookTubers who I enjoyed watching.
One of the BookTubers I subscribed to had a bubbly personality and was a lot of fun to watch. Many of the videos she posted were book hauls. She got a lot of books. Most of them came from publishers. I liked her videos, but I became really interested in them when she started working with a literary award committee. I pay attention to most of the major literary awards and usually buy the winners and whichever finalists sound interesting. A committee for a literary award sent this BookTuber all of the novels from the award’s longlist. My mind was blown. Reviewing an entire award longlist would be my book blogger dream. If an award committee sent me a giant box of books, I’d probably hyperventilate from nerdish excitement.
The BookTuber said she was going to review all of the books and tell us which ones she thought would win. I eagerly awaited her reviews. And waited . . . and waited . . . and waited. Months passed with no reviews from her. The award committee announced the shortlist, and I was still waiting for reviews. Then the winner was announced. I was still waiting for reviews. The BookTuber mentioned the award a few times, but it mostly seemed like she’d forgotten about it.
Then the end of the year came. In her year-end wrap-up video, the BookTuber said she’d read 20 books that year. I was surprised because she’d probably hauled several hundred books over the course of the year. I’d assumed she was one of those magical people who are able to read a book a day. (How I envy them.) When she said she’d read 20 books that year, I realized she probably hadn’t read the award longlist. Maybe that’s why she hadn’t talked about it very much.
I felt annoyed and betrayed. I was psyched to find out that award committees sometimes worked with book reviewers. It seemed like an amazing opportunity, and this BookTuber didn’t appear to do much with it.
This is my public service announcement: As bloggers, we occasionally get the chance to do really cool bookish things. I realize that blogging is a hobby, and real life gets priority over it, but if you have the chance to do something interesting, please don’t squander it. Have tons of fun with it, and try to follow through on what you promised. That will show the publishing industry that we’re serious about our book obsession. Then they might let us do even more cool stuff.
Let’s discuss: Has blogging given you any interesting opportunities? Have you been to conferences? Interviewed authors? Gotten coveted ARCs? Done anything unique with social media?
If you haven’t, what’s your wildest blogging dream?