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YouTube is a Community

By Valeria Flores

She was nervous. She took a shallow breath. She thought of what she was going to say once the camera was on. She went to her room and picked out a book. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green seemed to be a good first video discussion. She let out a breath and turned on the camera. She was ready for this.

On YouTube, there are certain communities that grab one’s attention. Booktube is one such community. Ariel Bissett, Emma Everdeen, Andrea Heckler and Ali Campbell are a few people that are part of this community.

Ariel Bissett is an 18 year old from Canada. She describes her videos as being “about books-reviews, discussions, and tags.”

Ariel has many subscribers on her channel and she is very passionate about what she does. "I most enjoy making discussion videos, where I breach a wide variety of topics related to literature," she said. Viewers can see this throughout her videos and especially in her book discussions.

In the end though, Ariel would want to make YouTube videos into a career.

"I really enjoy the entire process: I love writing my scripts, filming, editing and then interacting with the audience. Even if I cannot make it into a career, it is definitely a hobby I'll be keeping for a long time," stated Ariel.

Emma Everdeen is a 15-year-old booktuber. Emma claims her videos are about "movies, TV shows, or just my life, but I also do book reviews, wrap-ups, and tags."

It takes patience and practice in order to get the editing of videos down to a second nature, but Emma feels like she has improved a lot since the first video.

“When I made my first video, I had no idea how to edit and I was really awkward and never looked straight into the camera,” she said.

Before anyone usually works up the courage to post their first video, having people that you have followed for the longest time is normal.

“I love watching YouTubers, like Grace Helbig and the vlogbrothers,” Emma said.

Ali Campbell, on the other hand, is an 18-year-old booktuber that enjoys talking to people and learning their stories.

“Along with getting recommendations, I do book reviews, movie reviews and other things,” she said.

In order to build up a following there needs to be a lot of patience. The content that gets put up typically defines what kind of subscribers someone gets and how many views someone gets on the video.

“I usually just put up what I want to put up, but I mean, that’s usually the same as what my viewers want to see and I also just pay attention to what is circulating around the booktube community so that I can stay up to date,” she said.

The more someone shares their videos, the more they seem to fall in love with the community and with the whole process of YouTube.

“I really like the community and talking about books. It’s a release for me. I would like to keep making videos as a hobby,” Ali said.

There are many aspects that mold YouTube into what it is but another part of it is vlogging. Vlogging is when people record themselves with a camera. They can record whatever you want for that video. Andrea Heckler fits the category of vlogger, but is also a booktuber. Andrea is a 20-year-old vlogger who describes her channel as a lifestyle vlogger, but sometimes her topics have "something to do with books, movies, TV or music."

Andrea takes the time to read what her viewers “tweet” to her on Twitter as well as pays attention to her YouTube comments.

"If I really want to post something I'm proud of, I will, and if I don't think I can be fully invested in a topic, I won't do it," she said.

As a content creator and someone who starts creating videos, your style evolves so that it meets your needs, as well as that of the followers you have. You experiment and try new things until you finally find that one little piece of heaven. For Andrea, she says that her channel started out as talking about "books, but quickly expanded to include movies, TV shows, music and random lifestyle topics."

As a person, you try things out until you find what you love the most or what you are most passionate about. Sometimes it takes a while to find that perfect place. For Andrea though, it is different.

"Anything where I can write, vlog, and tweet freely. I would love the opportunity of flexible creativity, a job that allows me to take on many different roles and experiment and create things that people are interested in," she said.

Andrea would love to see YouTube become "a more regular part of my life, a 'career' of sorts."

There are various partnership programs out there that pay content creators for specific views on their channels and videos. One of those partnerships is Maker Studios. According to its Frequently Asked Questions page, every situation is different and, therefore, it will depend how much you will get paid.

She finished recording the video that she planned on putting on her channel. The Fault in Our Stars spoke for itself because it was such a phenomenal book. Her heart was beating faster than she had ever felt it before. She almost felt light-headed, but it was great that she was able to get this video done. The first step is always the hardest. She hoped that she did not ramble too much and that she looked confident. The only way she would be able to see this was when she edited the video: So, to editing it was.

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