Headless Books

25 March 2015 / Leave a Comment

In an era of shameless self-promotion and selfies, there’s something refreshing about people who wish to remain anonymous. I've always been intrigued by mystery people, from the guys from TISM to incognito street artists, so when I came across Headless Books via Twitter I just had to take a look at one of his headless book review videos. I found that I liked his calm, analytical and honest approach to reviewing books and that I was listening to what he was saying rather than being distracted by an on-screen persona. I wanted to find out more about why he decided to become a booktuber and what Headless Books is all about ...

Why did you decide to start Headless Books on YouTube?
I have been watching booktube for a couple of years now and after a few months I wanted to start my own channel. I tried filming a couple of videos but found watching myself painful and quickly gave up on the idea. However, with a further boom of booktube (and all types of youtubers getting worldwide recognition) I decided to give it another go. I wanted to share my thoughts about books on youtube and thought my opinions would be of interest to other people. I am very into the YA bubble but read equal amounts of other genres, including crime and adult contemporary novels. Having failed to find any other booktubers out there with the same reading tastes as mine I thought I definitely should start my own channel. I could introduce the booktube community to the kind of books I like, books I think they would also enjoy. I kept being unhappy with the results of any trial videos - owing to being paranoid about being on camera, but then I came up with the idea of not showing my face and then Headless was born!

How do you decide which books you are going to review?
At the moment the books I review are the books I have bought for myself to read. I have no dealings with publishing companies who sent me ARC copies or free books (unfortunately!) and so I just pick books I want to read and end up reviewing them. I review books I enjoy and do not enjoy. I think that’s really important because I don’t want to be a booktuber who 'loves' every book they read and gives five stars to absolutely everything. I want to provide a range of fair reviews of both books I have enjoyed and not enjoyed. I do not plan to purposely pick my reading choices to suit my audience . . . I think a plus of my channel will be that I perhaps read books that they haven’t read or found.

Who do you look up to in the booktubing community?
The booktube community is so vast and I have watched a lot of different videos. I like booktubers who are hard to please (so if they endorse a book then it must be good) and also ones who read widely. I enjoy YA but I also enjoy reading more than just this so a booktuber who has diverse reading tastes is always good.  I’m not keen on the preachers though! I don’t need a fancy video or amazing lighting, just someone who reads things I might pick up and a clear, distinct opinion.

What advice would you have for others about the art of doing a fair book review on YouTube?
My main advice would be to be honest. Don’t try and film a scathing attack on the book just to be funny – to me that feels unfair and I know I would hate it if someone did this to my writing. I would suggest someone thinks carefully about what you think of the book before filming your review so you know both the good and the bad points of the book to provide a balanced argument. Think about different elements of the novel, writing style, characterisation, setting and so forth so in your review it is more than you just stating it is really good. Try to go beyond this to explain why. I think this is important as if you just sit and rave about a book, but don’t fairly communicate why it is so amazing, then it’s not going to accurately persuade someone else to give it a go.

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrKO5kPm6MjthJdvSQi3Zpg/videos


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