Advertising Your eBook on YouTube

In today’s post, I will relay my experience with advertising my book Darkin on youtube.

I had the idea that I should try to seek out a Youtube Book review by an indie book reviewer, someone who would champion my cause, and help me to get some new readers. The first thing I did was search youtube with phrases like “fantasy book reviewers” and “indie book reviews.” Without much success, I finally stumbled across some self-proclaimed “Booktubers.” These guys do their thing on Youtube by reviewing books and generating a following through thousands of subscribers. My first notion was to ask, “Hey, can you review my book?”

After sending out a lot of Youtube messages to their inboxes (you have to be logged into your own Youtube account to do this), I finally received a reply from two. One of the ones I received a reply from, Dean Goranites, whose book review Youtube channel you should check out, agreed to review my book. I looked at his stats, which at the time were 2,000 subscribers and roughly 600 video views on average. Would this be good advertising for my eBook? I thought so, and plunked down $100.00 to have the job done. I also had to buy and ship a copy of my print book to him, as he didn’t take eBooks. That added another $15.00 or so to my total expenditure.

And then I waited. I knew he did NOT like my genre, so I began to have doubts and regrets about my decision. Would he completely bash the book? He ensured me he would remain true to his loyal subscribers, regardless of the fact that it was a paid review. That was fine with me, I didn’t want to get a fake book review anyway. So then I continued to wait.

Finally, he got around to my book, several weeks later, because he was finishing his previous one (this guy never stops reading), and the review went live. Many people commented on the cool cover, which you can find on Darkin’s Facebook page, among other artwork. As for Dean, who received a lot of flack for his The Hobbit review, mainly because he criticized the structure and formula common to most all epic fantasy, decided that my book fit the same mold as Tolkien’s classic. That means he didn’t personally like it, as he seemingly does not like the genre at all–BUT, he went on to recommend the book whole-heartedly to fantasy fans. So my immediate fears were gone. He praised the book’s edit, saying that I nailed it (I just finished Darkin 2’s edit, and boy can I say, I hate editing), and he also said that the book had a strong story and characters. It did follow, he pointed out, the cliche of fantasy, in which the reader is given tons of new and made-up names of people and places to remember and work into their imagination. Now, for him, that was more of the same, and he found it to be confusing and overwhelming. I, and many who love fantasy, love that aspect of our genre–we WANT to be immersed in foreign lands with foreign names and people. All told, after initially being displeased that he personally didn’t like the book, I came to see the review as very positive. I asked several friends to watch, and they thought the same. The book was recommended and praised on many levels, and Dean even went so far as to say he could see it on book shelves in stores (Woot for a first book!). He also pointed out that the book would be loved by fans of Magic: The Gathering and video games. There is no surprise there–my biggest influences, outside of The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars is probably Magic: The Gathering. And those are exactly the kind of readers I want to connect with most, the ones who I think will enjoy my story the most.

Still, the book review has only garnered around 600 hits as of this posting. But I knew that would be the case going in. I did rack up plenty of comments on that page, and the book received some downloads through the links Dean threw up. As for Darkin 2, I asked him to review it, but I am not sure if I will follow through yet. I may do more research, and try to find a Booktuber who caters to my genre, and doesn’t have a predisposed distaste for it. Yet, somehow, I think that makes the praise my book received from Dean all the more powerful. We’ll wait and see. So is it worth it for you to advertise your eBook on Youtube? I think so, but you have to do the homework, and expect many of the Booktubers not to even reply–they don’t take chances on self-pubbers like us. On another note, which I’ll blog about next time, I was able to use Dean’s review, which I edited for the best chunks, on my failed Kickstarter for Darkin. While that project only completed %25 of its goal, the video and the project itself gave me good publicity, including an article on Geekadelphia, a website that is all things geek for Philadelphia. If you’re interested, here is a link to the original Darkin book review. Until next time.

8 Thoughts on “Advertising Your eBook on YouTube

  1. Pingback: Joseph A. Turkot | Is Kickstarter Worth Doing For An Indie EBook?

  2. That was a cool review! I never thought to look into YouTube for doing book reviews. I’ll definitely have to keep that in mind.

    • josephturkot on November 20, 2012 at 12:15 am said:

      Yea. It can be annoying because there is no simple, straight-forward way to do it–you just have to send solicitations to the in-boxes of Booktubers. But, if one out of ten is willing, then that’s a great thing, especially if they have several thousand subscribers. It also increases the digital footprint of your work on the internet for search engines.

  3. I’m afraid to randomly send solicitations like that. I know people can get turned off by that if they’re not actively looking for review requests/submissions….

  4. I’m a “booktuber”, and I have to ask… you PAID someone to review your book?

    The booktubers I know do NOT charge for reviews. Or if they do, they aren’t telling the public.

    We can’t accept every book we’re offered, that’s true. And some aren’t willing to work with Indie authors without a sample, to check for editing. If they are even willing to work with indies at all.

    One tip I can give you guys when looking for “booktube” reviewers is actually look on the channel main page. Most of us link to our BLOGS as well (over on the right of the main channel page), and you can see the types of books we’re interested in or if we even accept review copies, etc.

    Also, “Book Haul” videos get double the views of “Book Review” videos. So you may actually benefit more from getting a happy mention in a haul video than getting a review Its weird, but true. I mean the reviews are good to have for other sites like goodreads and amazon, but as far as youtube goes – reviews really don’t get a lot of views. Where a haul might get 1000 views a review might get 200-300.

  5. josephturkot on November 21, 2012 at 2:46 am said:

    Thanks for joining in on the conversation Bunny. You provide good insight from the Booktuber side of things. I do want to clarify several things though: I offered to pay for the reviewer’s time up front. Just like authors expect readers to pay for their books, someone in it to make it should expect compensation for their time. Dean usually reviews classic literature. I knew that I would be taking him off his usual specialty, and that in fact, he didn’t like my genre. Also, reading my book would take him a good six hours. He’s not really making a lot per hour for doing the work of reading, recording, and posting my book’s review. I am glad to compensate him for it, and mind you, he nor any other Booktuber asked for money–I offered it in my initial reach-out. I wrote something to this effect: I understand reading my book would consume your time, and I am more than happy to reimburse you.

    Again, Dean told me ahead of time–he would review the book as he saw it. I wasn’t paying for a good review. Now, I get that a lot of people do book reviews as a hobby and post them, but the chances of someone getting around to my book were slim without me making it worth their time. Trust me, there are thousands of people with books who would love a review. Now, we do the same thing every day when we buy advertising for our books–why not send the money to someone who is hard-working and usually makes nothing? I know Dean couldn’t get work with his English degree, and does his book reviews now, trying to establish his audience.

    So, in closing, I don’t know of any Booktubers who are pay-for-review. I do not, however, think it’s wrong to offer them money for their time, such as any editor would receive–nor is it wrong for them to take it. I wanted more than anything an outside perspective on my book, from someone who doesn’t like my genre–in fact hates its common structures. Dean gave me that and more. I don’t think a book haul would offer the same insight and critique quality.

  6. I want to clarify too, I wasnt “attacking” or “judging” I just… as a reviewer who has been cussed out for asking for hardcopy and not accepting ecopy – I was floored to see you paid $100 to have it reviewed.

    I mean, I can’t get a hard copy but that guy can get a Franklin? haha.

    Getting a critique is something totally different.

    I also know how hard it is for “indies” to find reviewers. I have several indie friends who get disgusted with even looking for reviewers. Its a nasty circle, for sure. I do what I can to help but…

    anyway, great blog. I followed R.M. Prioleau’s link here from twitter. =D

    • josephturkot on November 21, 2012 at 11:30 am said:

      I guess when you posted, the caps used resulted in the sense that you were admonishing me, so I felt as if I should offer my reasoning. Damn caps and their intimidating facade! Thanks for clarifying, both of your posts have been useful.

      You’re right–it is hard for Indie Authors to find reviewers who will take time for them. It’s almost as enticing as sending out snail mail to agents. But believe me–I wouldn’t want to take many myself if I was in the book reviewing business. I would probably take the ones that had large followings already, or ones personally recommended by friends. It’s a shame, but it seems that’s how much of the industry works, and it’s not different in many career fields. Getting the initial following is a pain and it’s more difficult still because it’s hard to see if efforts are paying off. It takes time…a long time! Anyway, I hope you keep reading and subscribe to the newsletter. Thanks Bunny.

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