How authors should use YouTube - Katie Tyler

27 August 2014 / Leave a Comment
John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars, became a YouTube sensation with VlogBrothers way back in 2007. Together with his brother Hank, they created a dedicated community of 'nerdfighters' through their short videos to each other over a year. YouTube is a great way to make a personal connection with readers without having to leave the comfort of your desk swivel chair. I discovered Katie Tyler on Wattpad earlier this year. Her fanfiction novel about YouTubers Zalfie has had close to 2 million reads. She has her own YouTube channel KatChats - here I ask her about how writers can use YouTube as a platform ...

Why do you think YouTube is a good platform for authors?
I think the visual aspect of YouTube can appeal to readers. On sites such as Wattpad all people see is what you write and maybe a profile picture of you. But when authors go onto Youtube and create video content the reader gets to see the person behind the words. They can get to know the author and what they look like, what their personality is like too. This way it attracts more attention to the author. YouTube is a whole other community, therefore it widens the “target audience”, advertising the author and their work to many more people.

What kind of videos do people respond the best to?
In my experience so far I have gained more views and comments on the videos I mention in or relate to my writing. There are now several thousand views on a video I posted about my book getting printed, a mixed reaction, but it appears to be one of my most popular videos.

How do you prepare for one of your videos? Do you script anything? 
So far I haven’t scripted anything, if I’m doing a haul video I just put the clothes beside me and give my opinion on them. Having a script may make it a lot easier during editing but at the moment I don’t see my channel on a level that I need to have a script.

What kind of technical equipment do you use?
When I first started my current channel I used my iphone camera and balanced it on my window sill and it did the job. But for over a year I had a dream camera in mind and saved up a while for it. I now have the Canon EOS 600D which is popular amongst YouTubers. I also have a tripod and edit on Windows Movie Maker. Not the fanciest of software but it’s free and does the job and for now that’s all I need. In terms of lighting I just turn up the IOS on my camera or sit in front of a window and use natural light.

What other advice do you have for writers thinking about using YouTube?
I think it’s a great idea! There could be a small community of writers on YouTube - if many make the first steps to post videos. Making your first video can be scary but once it’s posted and you’re happy with it, it becomes less daunting to post other videos. I also found it hard for a while to know what type of content to post. I figured I could gain my audience through Wattpad by posting Wattpad-related videos on advice and tips along with a Q&A where my readers could ask me questions. At first, sticking to what you know and have advice and opinions on is good because it establishes your channel and audience.

Visit: KatChats to see more

Other good author YouTube channels to check out:
Maggie Stiefvater
Tahereh Mafi
Joanna Penn
Ericka Clay


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