My guest today is Michael from the Youtube channel Bitten by a radioactive book.
SCy-Fy: Thanks for dropping by, Michael. How do you prepare for a show?
Bbarb: It depends a bit on the theme. For more informative videos like author features or guides I research the theme beforehand. For tags I also prepare the books I use for the answers. On the other hand I don’t script, so the actual “narrative” of the video is more spontaneous.
SCy-Fy: What are your future initiatives?
Bbarb: I already have a pretty full schedule with 3-5 videos per week and at the moment I’m quite happy with the different segments. I might do another guide series, maybe for SF sub-genres after my Female Fantasy Author Feature runs out around the half-way point of the year. I’m also thinking about a second channel for gaming, but my current set-up won’t allow for that, so that might be more of a long-term idea.
SCy-Fy: What do you think will be the major challenges for Booktubing in future?
Bbarb: Balancing original content with familiar content. When you look at Booktube, I find it advantageous to have a decent amount of content that only a minority of the other booktubers cover. I think it would be pretty hard to start out and to get attention with reviews about Harry Potter or Twilight nowadays, because that “market” is already settled. On the other hand, you still want to have something familiar, maybe even popular, that a lot of people are still interested in hearing about. Getting them in with something they know and giving them ideas of what to try next is my approach.
On a second level, I think that privacy and identity will be challenges. You have to be aware of how much information about yourself and how much opinion about your content you are comfortable with sharing.
SCy-Fy: What advice would you give anyone presenting on Booktube?
Bbarb: Be yourself and be authentic. Stop thinking about starting and start. And finally, if you commit, commit. Figure out a doable and reliable schedule for you and your audience. 1 video every two weeks is better than 3 videos in one week and then nothing for a month.
Be respectful of other people’s work and opinion. My rule of thumb is: If I have to think about whether a certain comment would be appropriate or not, it’s better to leave it out, just in case.
SCy-Fy: Which resources do you use the most?
Bbarb: I use about a dozen SFF blogs to be “in the know”. Starting with the bigger ones like Tor, SF Signal, Fantasy Faction or A Dribble of Ink, but also smaller ones like The BiblioSanctum, A Fantasy Reader or Grimdark Reader.
Goodreads is another huge resource, as are the catalogues of publishers.
SCy-Fy: Things that have kept you going in hard times?
Bbarb: Overall, Booktube is such an overwhelmingly positive experience for me that I haven’t encountered any hard times so far.
SCy-Fy: Good to hear! Any controversy?
Bbarb: Not really. I have had to clarify an opinion or statement once or twice, but nothing really negative has occurred so far.
SCy-Fy: The most popular show you’ve presented?
Bbarb: In terms of “Likes”, the most popular show is my January Weekly Wrap-Up 3.
In terms of minutes watched, it’s my 400 sub video with some shout-outs about some newer Booktubers and a review of The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu.
SCy-Fy: You are getting close to 1,000 subscribers now, Michael! Do you have a personal favourite?
Bbarb: I’m personally very proud of the whole Guide to Fantasy series and I enjoy some of the more recent Tag videos, ‘cause they allow me to show a more goofy side of me.
SCy-Fy: What have been the best books, films and TV shows you have read or seen recently?
Bbarb: Recently I very much enjoyed Inda by Sherwood Smith, The Fell Sword by Miles Cameron and the two Golgotha books by R.S. Belcher (The Six-Gun Tarot and The Shotgun Arcana). As a Marvel fan, I enjoyed Guardians of the Galaxy and Agents of Shield. Apart from that, Sons of Anarchy, The Walking Dead and The Vampire Diaries are favourites as well, as are Parks & Rec, Community or Veep on the comedy side.
SCy-Fy: Which forthcoming books, films and TV shows are you most looking forward to reading or watching?
Bbarb: Of course I’m interested to see how the Marvel Netflix shows, which showcase some lesser known characters, will turn out. Avengers 2 correspondingly would be my most anticipated movie. Another TV show I’ll be very interested in will be the adaptation of James S.A. Corey’s Expanse series on SyFy.
For books, I already mentioned Miles Cameron before and I’m really looking forward to the next instalment in his Traitor Son Cycle called The Dread Wyrm, which will be out October on 15th. And of course my favourite author Steven Erikson will have his new book Fall of Light released on November 19th.
SCy-Fy: Anything to add?
Bbarb: Just to thank you for having me and wishing you and your readers all the best!