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Monday, March 6, 2017

Will YouTube Save or Kill Books?

YouTube recently announced a milestone:  viewers of the Google-owned company watch over one billion hours in free videos daily.  Total television viewing hours may soon fall below the number of YouTube viewing hours.  How might this impact authors?


·         More people watching YouTube means less time for book reading.
·         More YouTube watching could mean people watch less traditional TV news and talk shows that promote books, leaving more people with less info about books.
·         With 400 hours of video uploaded onto YouTube every minute, 65 years of video goes online in a day. This means increased viewing comes with such variety and diversity that most people are not watching the same thing.  It will become harder for publishers to write for or market to such an eclectic audience.


·         The videos could be used to promote books.
·         The videos could lead people to buy an accompanying book.
·         The videos are unfiltered, uncensored ways to discuss books.

In 2013, You Tube had one billion unique viewers and in 2016 it doubled to two billion unique viewers watching a YouTube video in the past 90 days.

Book publishing should figure out how to capitalize on this growing phenomenon.  It struggles on video.  Some authors do book trailers but they mostly look boring and don’t inspire viewings. Some publishers preview a paid video class or series with sample YouTube videos.  Others review books by video, the way online reviewers type their reviews.  Podcasts for authors have also become popular. Book readings on video are also growing. 

So, can You Tube save or kill books?  Right now it’s part of the marketing mix for authors: blog, Twitter, FB, YouTube, website.  Others may use Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat or others.  Net Galley, Good Reads and other sites prove worthwhile as well.  But can the book world capitalize on You Tube – or will it be capitulated by it?

People prefer to learn or be entertained through different means.  Some prefer audio, others the printed word, and yet others like video. Authors and publishers need to sell content in all forms and to use all types of media and mediums to market products.  I just hope YouTube’s popularity helps the book industry – and does not leave it behind.  There is probably a video on that.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby 


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