Vermin was featured on Breakeven Books! Which, if you didn’t know already, Erik is one of my favourite Booktubers, I’ve actually featured his channel on my blog before. I’ve added so many books from his recs to my shelves and TBR (Saga and Keepers of the Lost Cities etc…)! I really wanted to send him a copy of the book, and finally reached out. I’m so glad he’ll be reading it for this challenge!
Vermin is going to be used for the Alchemy prompt which is where readers have to read a book with romance in it.
From his list I think I really want to check out Skin of the Sea. It sounds like something I’d enjoy, and the cover is gorgeous! I’m a sucker for pretty covers.
I can’t wait to hear Erik’s thoughts on this one, because it sounds fantastic. I’m also excited for his thoughts on Vermin (also a little nervous because like I said, he’s one of my absolute fave booktubers).
I think I might try out this challenge myself. At the moment, I think the Beast Master is also something I’d be interested in…because unicorns and dragons. I’ve always loved unicorns. In my early years as a reader, I was that kid obsessed with books about horses, or mice…or any animals really. I remember this really neat series about magical swans. I still own the first book in the series but I can’t remember the title? I got it from my grandparent’s and finished it immediately.
the working title of Vermin was Animal, but it got changed when it was picked up for publication. I like the title Vermin much better…although people keep asking me if it’s a horror novel?
For those who have already entered the Vermin Goodreads Giveaway contest, I’m super thrilled, and can’t wait to see who wins! If you haven’t yet, there are still a few more days to enter. The contest ends on March 31st.
I’ll be making book 2 announcements soon…I can’t say the exact date I’ll be doing this on, but I can say that I’m very excited, and that I’m hoping to make some other book announcements around the same time.
Left for dead at the side of the road in an outlawed town, Nicholas is rescued by a human girl. Plagued by fevered dreams and a lethal illness, Nicholas doesn’t know what to make of her kindness. If she knew what he was, death would be a merciful gift.
Rose takes it upon herself to show the boy hospitality, despite her uncle Roland forbidding her from going near him. She survived the brutal sickness and knows exactly what their guest is going through—he needs a friend.
When Rose’s uncle discovers what Nicholas is, Roland stands to lose everything when he turns Nicholas into a test subject. Dire circumstances force him to coax an old flame into helping domesticate the beast, turning this supposed opportunity into a cruel experiment on himself.
As Rose and Nicholas grow closer, Roland’s decision to keep the boy’s identity a secret threatens to bring history full circle. Can Roland guard two hearts as he struggles to keep his future and the boy alive?
BookTube makes me so happy. It’s comforting…it completely contrasts those drama channels I end up binging. I mean, yes there is of course drama IN the books themselves and like all YouTube communities there has been a bit of discourse in the community over the years.
However, BookTube is a special place for me. I’ve seen favourites of mine cry during live stream discussions, or crack jokes about their favourite scene in a book. I’ve grown found of certain reviewers, whether it be the way they aggressively unbox things during a haul, or wrap themselves in a blanket and drink coffee while gushing over their latest read. I also love the rants and the unhauls. I didn’t even realize unhauls were a thing until recently…and I’ve been binging those too.
For this post I thought I would share a handful of BookTuber’s I enjoy.
Big City Bee
Bee has the cutest videos! I love her blooper reels and how she teases the books in her thumbnails. This here is her latest video, which is Valentine themed. She even wore read!
I like Bee’s videos because they’re just…warm and fun. I also like that they’re not too long. Bee also includes music in their videos which I love! A lot of the BookTuber’s I watch don’t include music. I find the music Bee uses really compliment the video style, and Bee’s personality! Bee also has a fantastic editing style! I’m honestly jealous of how good it is!
I also recommend checking out their bookstagram and twitter!
The Bookish Realm
The Bookish Realm is my go to for overall BookTube community discussions. Also, every time I watch one of their videos, they are sporting a really cute lipstick! I know lipstick seems like a weird thing to mention in regards to books…but I love how every booktuber I watch has this little thing that shows off their personality.
The Bookish Realm reviews a bunch of books across the board, from Middle Grade to General Fiction. I love their fantasy and YA recommendations. Especially for series. They’re also a librarian, which I think might be another reason why I love their discussions so much. They are so thoughtful and insightful when it comes to critiquing books as well as talking about ways we can improve the BookTube community! I highly recommend checking out their channel!
The first video I watched of Connor’s they were baking a book cover inspired cake. I thought this was so cool and subscribed automatically.
I like when they do vlog type videos and also the fact that they review both classic books and books by indie authors. I don’t know a lot of BookTuber’s that highlight Indie books like Connor does. I think this is great because there is still a divide between traditional publishing and indie/self publishing. Connor highlighting indie books in his videos while also talking about traditionally published literary classics is the contrast we need!
I also recommend checking out Connor’s instagram for more book related content!
Pygmy Puff Reads
Like Bee, Pygmy Puff tends to review one book at a time. Something that I really like, as it keeps the videos a bit shorter. I recently found their channel and the first thing I noticed is that Pygmy is bubbly and fun and gives such thoughtful reviews!
I also like that they try to keep their reviews spoiler free and aren’t afraid to discuss books in relation to what’s going on in the world today.
The Redhead Reader
Sasha is The Redhead Reader, and has a cat! If you love cute little balls of fluff that is just one of the reasons you should check out their videos! I also really like how when they talk, it’s very conversational. Their reviews aren’t very long and their hauls are always fun! They’re also sweet, honest and funny.
I really love how Eric/Breakeven Books reviews Graphic Novels, which is why I selected this video. I don’t follow many BookTuber’s who recommend them as well as reviewing novels.
I also read both, so it’s refreshing to find someone else who does too.
Breakeven Books is kind, funny and gives thoughtful honest reviews on everything they read. I’ve loved watching their channel grow.
Rue’s Reading Corner
Rue also reads graphic novels and manga. As I mentioned before, I don’t find many BookTuber’s who review both so I’m always happy when I do.
Rue is bubbly, warm and enthusiastic, especially in their hauls. I’ve said this about other BookTuber’s on this list, but I like that Rue’s videos aren’t too long. I think the reason I enjoy the shorter videos is because I can watch them when I’m on break during work.
If you’re into manga and anime I definitely recommend checking out Rue’s channel!
Myonna is extremely fashionable and fun. I love her unhaul videos as much as her hauls. She’s a book collector as well as a reader and reviewer.
I like how her book space looks. It gives off a warm, comforting feel. Her videos make me want to redo a ton of my book spaces around the house. Mine are usually very messy…
Myonna’s novel reviews are really lovely, bubbly and honest.
Little Wolf or Tish’s videos kind of give off this academia vibe. They remind me of when I used to sit and read in one of the campus pubs between classes while I was in university. It’s comforting…familiar.
They do more than just reviews but also have discussions on their channel, and do some themed videos as well. In this video, which was released back in June, they discuss the BookTube community. Much like Bookish Realm, they do these thoughtful video discussions with their subscribers and speak truthfully about their feelings toward the overall community.
I’ve also seen Myonna do discussion videos like these as well, which I’m truly grateful for. These discussions are important, as I believe Pygmy mentioned in their video review about Sun About Age.
I hope you’ll check out some of these BookTuber’s and take the time to check out the bigger discussions that the BookTuber community has been having, especially the discussions regarding the treatment of POC on the platform.
I want to encourage everyone to not only seek out POC voices during Black History Month and when BLM is trending, but year round. These issues and discussions are apart of peoples every day lives! Continue to seek out BIPOC authors, support BIPOC creators, businesses. Expand and educate yourself.
Have you ever been so immersed in a book it’s almost as if you were in a dream? I love when that happens, that moment you escape. I’ve read a lot of different books lately and with each one I’m praying for that experience of being drawn into the pages and disappearing inside them for hours.
I’m not sure why books induce this almost dream-like state but I feel well rested after as well. Writing about this now, I’m a bit embarrassed because I can’t help but think “this sounds insane” and yet I know there are people who’ve experienced this same thing.
Reading to me is no different than when I used to play dolls. Letting your imagination take charge and creating and exploring (sometimes the impossible!) in your head. It’s like the perfect balance between fiction and reality because you know in fact that it’s all a play but you engage with it because it’s absolutely delightful…or disturbing if you’re reading a horror novel…but then again some books (and films) can be disturbingly delightful.
In my last post I felt almost betrayed by what I’d read. Books for me have always been my favourite place…not just thing…but a place, because every book has a new setting, a new set of character’s to meet and new things to discover along the way. I love that about them. I like to venture into spooky old mansions, or travel across space…just from the comfort of my bedroom.
Each time I read a good book, it’s like being in a long dream. A good dream. A dream that keeps you guessing. A dream that gives you a warm feeling. A dream that lingers with you after you wake up. Books are beautiful in that sense.
Tonight I tuned in to Bookish Realm’s livestream, where she broke down and discussed where we’ve come as a community–by community I mean the reading community–over these past six months.
It wasn’t an easy conversation to have. Tears were shed…and I have seen many tears from these wonderful creators, writers and reviewers. Too many tears. 2020 should be nicknamed the Year of the Tear. Anyway, her final point in the live–one that I thought as she was saying it–was that “Google is free.”
To summarize, she was talking about how when people act like they don’t have any access to books by BIPOC authors. Which to the BIPOC creators and reviewers is an absolute joke because Google is the easiest place to start. To prove it, I decided to do a quick search, one that was recommended by her: romances featuring a black couple.
Well I googled and although there are a lot with interracial couples, I am annoyed at how few books being promoted are ones with two happy black people in love.
To clarify I’m mixed race. Black Mom. White Dad. I’m making this clear because despite my–well to myself–clearly mixed features I did have someone on Twitter assume I was white. Like damn, I know I need a tan but you don’t need to rub it in!
Anyway, I know what its like to see your family being poorly represented by the media. The reason why I’m annoyed with the lack of promotion of two black characters in love is because despite trying to do better…which I do believe they are, they’re still putting focus on this idea that in order for this black female character to achieve happiness she needs to marry a white man. Which is a whole other thing that I don’t even know how to unpack. I don’t even known if it’s my place to unpack that…I’m the product of an interracial relationship and I’ve been in interracial relationships. It doesn’t mean I’m an expert. This type of relationship is the norm for me. However, I still want to see HEALTHY relationships between black couples being portrayed by the media in books and on television.
I like seeing a happy family, living life, raising their kids…but for some reason the media likes to shove black trauma pieces at us instead. Don’t they know you could have a love story like Cory and Topanga but with BIPOC characters?
I wish I could remember exactly what she said on the stream about this because it was so perfect. It reminded me of a tweet I saw about how this girl wanted to see a romance film featuring an interracial couple where one of the love interests wasn’t white, for example Indigenous and Caribbean. There are relationships like this in the real world and yet I haven’t seen them portrayed anywhere. Actually I lied, that one show on Netflix with Devery Jacobs has her character dating a black actress in the second season. Sadly I can’t remember…THE ORDER. That’s it. Campy horror, wevewolf show that screams Canadian horror so bad…that I can’t help but love it. I love me some campy made in Canada horror shows haha. But there, like…it wasn’t difficult for them to portray this type of relationship! So to that girl who tweeted that, stuff is out there. Just have to find it and then promote it like crazy so more of it gets made!
And that leads me to my next point, as readers we need to do better in what we choose to read and promote. As Bookish Realm said, we should track what we read and compare numbers. How many BIPOC authors have you read in 2020? How many do you plan on reading in 2021? If you’re like me and read a lot of manga are you going to try and find manga and comics made by BIPOC artists?
I’m aware that conversations about race can be uncomfortable, but I’m a person that honestly learns better through having discussions with others. Respectful, open discussions where each person feels like they are being heard…because discussions can make us vulnerable.
The discussion tonight, had a lot of people in tears because there is such a strong need for change and yet when it came down to it, six months later things remained ultimately the same. I don’t want another six months to go by without seeing some sort of change. Especially when so many people in this community have been working their butts off to create a place where all of us feel welcome, safe and loved!
I truly believe…and maybe it’s because I’m kind of an optimistic daydreamer type of person…but I want to believe that each little change we make can create an overall greater change for the community.
Now, here’s what I found in my quick Google search:
A lot of what I read romance-wise is shojo so I’m not too familiar with these authors…however, O magazine posted a list of the 30 Best Black Romance Novels.
On the Goodread’s list I see more books that I recognize. I’ve seen them on display in bookstores or a friend or family member was reading them. I’ve seen Make a Scene haha. Pun intended.
I honestly think, and this is because I don’t really read Adult Romance genres…or I should say read romance but it’s usually the sub-genre (unless its shojo then it’s all romance, first love blah blah blah)…I’m going to challenge myself to find more comics, manga and webtoons created by BIPOC that are like the ones I enjoy reading already. Superheroes and romance are my main loves with comics (especially magical girls!). I’m going to try and research this a little tonight and see what I come up with!
“Yes, fiction is fiction for a reason but….” Please note that the movies, books and television shows featured in this video are not all good or all bad examples. There will always be flaws in fiction. I selected these because they are more familiar.
In my last post I shared some Book Trailers that I thought did a great job of engaging potential readers. Although they all had different approaches, they were great to watch, visually appealing and had me interested in learning more about the books.
As a reader, I know what I look for when buying books, and those are the same things that I like to think about when I’ve completed the first draft of my novel. I always write books that I would enjoy reading, but I get curious about the different ways authors and publishers choose to market their books. There are so many different options, that sometimes I find myself going down a marketing rabbit hole. You’d be surprised at how long a person can spend looking at everything from great book covers to how to set up a bookstagram tour.
I think it’s honestly really wonderful how much information is out there.
There are hundreds of articles on how to grow an engaged audience of potential readers as well, which is something I believe every author strives for.
I’ve thought of all of the different techniques I’ve seen, and imagined different ways I could implement them for a successful launch, when the time comes. Even just thinking about launch prep can be a lot of work. There is so much that has to go into publishing a book, regardless if you are traditionally or self-published! Luckily there are so many unique approaches to this, many of which, I’ve seen done well with fantastic results.
The main thing that I’ve noticed from these successful approaches is the amount of planning people did. They figured out their budget, they thought of how far in advance they needed to begin promoting their book, they came up with events, got a team together, made a detailed list or calendar of everything they wanted to do prior to and on launch day.
The majority of the success stories I’ve heard has been from people who took their time to plan things out in advance.
Something I wonder is how far in advance should a person begin planning? I honestly don’t know. Is it when your book is picked up for publication? Is it when you have an actual publication date? Is it when the editing is complete? I haven’t the slightest idea.
Regardless, I’d like to hope that by at least looking into these different strategies others have used, that when I get the go ahead, I’ve already got a ton of inspiration to pull from and possibly things that I’ve already decided that I want to do.
Something that I am very excited for is having Beta Readers. Although my editor and I are currently on our 3rd round of edits, seeing her feedback and enthusiasm has really got me wondering what other’s will think of my novel. Will they enjoy my characters? Will they like my style of writing? Will want to read more?
I’ve missed having people read my work. I used to share my stories with my friends, family and classmates when I was in grades 7-9, but stopped being so open with it. Instead I only shared my writing in my creative writing classes and clubs at school, or in online writing communities. Most of what I shared however, were poems. Mainly I miss talking to people about my stories and characters, and I think most storytellers long for that.
I definitely have a lot of things that I’d love to do with this debut…and because of the current situation, and the uncertainty of 2020, I’m also making sure that I have alternative ideas to each of my main ones because I saw how devastating it was for people to have launches that didn’t go as planned. I’ve still got a ways to go, but I am having fun brainstorming ideas in between editing and work.
I don’t think book trailers get enough credit. I’ve had some seriously peak my interest to the point where I was ready to purchase immediately after watching them.
I think trailers for graphic novels, webtoons and comics have a slight edge because they are already a visual medium, whereas other books need a little extra thought put into what gets shown in the trailers.
For this post I’ll be sharing some book trailers that I absolutely fell in love with. Many of them will probably be from Epic Reads, but I’ll also be sharing some author/small publisher made ones as well to show them some love.
Everless by Sara Holland.
I love how this trailer also doubled as an animated view of the cover. The voice over was captivating. The actress had so much emotion in her voice, and by having the her read the plot as though she were the main character is what made it so wonderful! It brought the listener/viewer into the story automatically. Love it!
2. A Court of Thorns & Roses
This one is a fanmade trailer, which was really well done. The actors did a great job of depicting the story and characters, and knew which scenes from the novel to include that would both show the plot and be visually pleasing. For a brief moment I even wondered if it was an actual trailer for a film. I also liked that the video was kept short, but still had this feeling of pulling the viewer in.
3. Cayleth Warding and the Scarlet One
Although this trailer isn’t perfect, its still good. The one thing I would have liked was to have the text and clips together versus separated. Aside from that it was paced well and alluded to the mysterious woman who comes to the island.
4. A Study in Charlotte
I really like these film trailers, and thought the actors brought the world of the novel to life in this one. This one was both fun to watch and also got me interested in reading the book.
5. The School for Good & Evil
As I mentioned earlier, I adore animated trailers. I think mainly because I’m still able to picture the characters when I read without too much outside influence. This trailer was very fun and playful, keeping in mind its target audience, while also telling the viewer about the novels plot.
I really enjoyed watching these trailers and pointing out what I liked about them. I may do more posts like this in the future. One thing that I dislike when I watch trailers is when they give away the entire plot. I like that bit of mystery that draws people in and makes them go “Ooh, what happens next?” I think that these trailers did that well, despite approaching it differently.
I have to say that the first trailer is definitely my favourite overall, because I was immediately drawn in by the character’s voice. The A Study in Charlotte trailer was also good in this sense. Narration makes sense in trailers for books. For me it gives a hint at who the characters are and what adventure the reader will go on.
The visuals are also key, since it is a trailer and I love seeing how different people approach this. There are so many different ways to create a wonderful trailer for a book, and it’s good to see how people go about it.
Follow for follows is a very popular social media “game” where people claim that they will follow whoever follows them…but does it really help build an engaged audience?
Much of the time, follow for follows lead to a user having a bunch of random followers that follow and then unfollow immediately after. It also leads to having a large number of followers with little to no engagement. Neither of these are productive.
Growing your platform isn’t just about how many numbers appear on your followers list, but how many of those followers actually engage with your content. A successful platform has an engaged audience, with people who genuinely care about the content being produced.
Personally, I’ve never liked these follow games…and I don’t find things like “writer’s lifts” on Twitter, to be useful. Do I want to grow my platform? Of course, but I value actual engagement with my audience much more. I prefer having discussions with fellow members of the writing community. I also have no problem re-sharing someones work, if I’m interested in it, but I find having my feed flooded with “writers lifts” very frustrating. Especially with users who seem to do them every day of the week. If this were happening once a month, I don’t think it would be as bad. It would be nicer if it were set up in the same way that #PitMad or related hashtags were, where say…on the 1st of every month, people use #writerslift to help smaller creators grow their audience.
Personally, I find the BookTube twitter community much more…relaxed in these types of Tweets. The smaller creators that I follow grow their audience by engaging with readers, authors and other BookTuber’s. This is something that I think everyone in the writing community should be doing.
Yes, you don’t grow your platform as quickly, but from experience, participating in follow for follows and writers lifts results in a lot more unfollows, than followers that actually care about what you have to say.
Do you grow slower? Yes, but no.
Recently I’ve found that because I have made and shared more “political” tweets (although I don’t believe valuing human life is “political”), that I have had a decrease in followers over the last two weeks. Despite this, I have had new, actively engaged followers find my platform who not only are members of the same communities as I am (reading, writing and voice over), but also people who felt strongly about the Black Lives Matter movement.
I don’t think those who unfollowed me are “racist.” In fact, I assume that they were people who already didn’t engage with my content, and only followed me because I was a writer. They had no intention of engaging in my content to begin with, and simply hoped I would blindly follow back if they followed me.
In other cases, I assume it was because they were upset by some of the things I was posting, and that is okay. My feelings aren’t at all hurt. If you need to unfollow someone in order to either guard your heart, or because their posts are negatively having an effect on your mental health, then do so. Following someone whose content constantly upsets you is like…mental torture. Please don’t do that!
Have I unfollowed people during these past few weeks because of Tweets they made? Yes. I did so before as well. If I’m uninterested in someone else’s content, or they say something that I disagree with, like making “All Lives Matter” statements I will unfollow. On Instagram, I have unfollowed certain artists in the past who continuously complained and made excuses for their poor behaviour on their platform. I don’t think it’s mean. I just feel like I would rather unfollow someone then get into a heated argument with them because I disagree with their viewpoints. I also think that when you blindly follow people in these follow games, that you end up with a bunch of people you WOULD NEVER consider following on a regular basis.
I’m curious, what are your thoughts on follow games and writers lifts?
Do you find them helpful?
What has been your experience with them if you’ve participated in them?