I watch a lot of booktube and I started thinking of how it’s only starting to become really big in the past few years. Will it overtake book blogging? I realize that there will always be an audience for both but I feel as though booktube has a bigger audience.
I’m not sure how many followers some popular bloggers have because I don’t have access to those stats but in terms of booktubers, I feel like they have way more followers. Even when comparing the average blogger with the average booktuber.
Popular Booktubers by the Stats
Abookutopia (started 2 years ago)-228,521 subscribers
Polandbananabooks (started 5 years ago)- 252,035 subscribers
Katytastic (2011)-193,386 subscribers
Jessethereader (2012)-131,506 subscribers
Peruseproject (201?)-123,556 subscribers
ArielBissett (2012)-85,383 subscribers
PadfootandProngs07 (2011)-71,914 subscribers
CassJayTuck (2011)- 63,789 subscribers
I believe these people are the ones with the most followers and are still pretty active on their channels. Because of these higher numbers, it would seem that booktubers just get more followers more quickly or in a lesser space of time. Of course, that results in a kind of snowball effect of consequences.
With the most popular Booktubers, they’re something akin to celebrities. They’re invited to do panels at book conventions. Just look at YALLWest and BEA and even Vidcon 2015.
They receive a lot of ARCS (moreso than bloggers I daresay) and sponsored videos. They receive free Owlcrate subscription boxes for review and recently BookOutlet did a permanent feature on their website that features “vlogger friends” where a lot of booktubers and what books they buy from the site are featured. So it’s hard to deny their influence as booktubers. I also feel like more people want to learn about their personal lives as several of them have a separate vlog channel as well to document their daily lives. In some ways, I get it, especially book hauls and unboxings, they’re way more fun to see as a video than in a post just because they feel more personal and exciting because the box is being unwrapped right in front of you.
Another reason why I think Booktube has a bigger audience is simply the medium. It’s just easier to watch a video than to read a post. If I’m feeling lazy or something, I’ll more likely reach for a video. Also, most, if not all, booktubers are on Youtube and Youtube is a big site whereas with blogging you can get many different blogging platforms with not as much traffic. Random watchers are more likely to be on Youtube.
I think with videos especially, the personality of the Booktuber matters a lot to attracting people. And I think if you have that charismatic personality, it’s easier to portray that in videos because in videos you have your face, your mannerisms, your clothes but in blog posts you can only rely on your words. If you watch videos from the most popular booktubers, they are all very humorous and energetic and most of them like reading YA the most. It makes reading YA seem hip and trendy (it actually is) so I think it’s caused this explosive effect on reading YA. I digress but it’s interesting that booktubers who read predominantly adult or literary fiction don’t have as many subscribers as one’s who read YA.
With booktube, there’s also more of an arena for collaborations with other booktubers. Usually they will do tags together and it’s obviously going to attract a lot of people because it feels like you’re watching two friends do fun book games together. It’s different than a collaboration in a blog post because you don’t really get to see the dynamics and interaction between the two collaborators as intimately as you would in a video.
Of course there is no denying that there are pros and cons with both booktubing and book blogging. I’m just trying to figure out if booktubing has a bigger audience and what effect that has had on readers.