Caitlin Da Silva speaks with the passion and intellect of someone wise beyond their years. With a two-year-old book blog called The Y.A. Bookworm Blogger, and a 6-month old YouTube channel with the same name that just hit 5000 subscribers, the bookworm and health nut has achieved more than your average 17-year-old. Not to mention, just this summer, the ambitious young Canadian kick-started her second channel, Just Around The Corner, dedicated to living.
Few 17 year olds have the dedication and drive to upkeep a blog and two YouTube channels. Caitlin is a passionate reader whose rapid reading rate inspired her to impulsively create her blog just sitting at home one day. “I didn’t think it would go anywhere, now [I’m] just shocked at how far its come along,” Caitlin shared over Skype.
4YE was fortunate enough to get some time to gush with the personality over Gilmore Girls, swap stories about siblings, and discuss how she runs her book blog and book tube channel without going stir crazy.
The Fellowship of The Blog
It’s not uncommon to create a blog and let it sit, collecting dust so to speak – speaking from experience. However, Caitlin explains that while there was a learning period when she first started her book blog, she was so excited that it wasn’t hard to find motivation to keep posting regularly. “Before I knew it I kept building an audience and all of the sudden I had people waiting for a post,” she said.
Although she has built a consistent momentum with her blog, she does admit that sometimes motivation and procrastination arise. “[I] find motivation in [my] viewers and my passion, books,” she shared. “It’s never too difficult, [but] It’s not easy either”
Harry Potter and the Impulsive YouTube channel
Caitlin may not have expected to join YouTube’ growing book community dubbed “BookTube” when she started out her blog, but like her blog, the channel was spontaneous. “I had my camera out and decided I had a lot of books I just bought and [decided] to film a book haul,” she shared.
Thank goodness she made that video because now, her book channel has generated twice the traffic. Caitlin explained that while social media like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, has benefited her by allowing her subscribers and blog readers bleed into one another, keeping the two entities separate has its struggles. “I want people to go to both for different things [and to ensure] people following both aren’t getting the same content,” she explained.
One aspect that YouTube has that blogging doesn’t is video editing, something that requires time and patience. Funnily enough, the editing process is one of the things Caitlin loves the most about making videos. Although she may need to invest in some lighting (she admits the struggle is real with natural light), she says she is content with IMovie, and loves to learn new editing styles. “I’m surprised with the direction my editing has taken,” she said.
As much as a hassle it can be when technology doesn’t want to cooperate, video editing is an art form, and an art form that Caitlin has become well known for. Her videos include unique techniques and filming styles, helping her to stand out among the sea of content creators online.
“When I started I didn’t think I’d be known for making people laugh or being quirky [but] through my editing style, i’ve been creating those moments in my videos.”
Around the World in Mere Minutes
A YouTube video is uploaded, and in the matter of mere minutes anybody from anywhere can click that video. Located in Canada, Caitlin’s videos reach loyal viewers in places like Germany and Sweden. “Digital content is so accessible to so many people, you never know who’s watching your videos,” she said.
While it is exciting to have so many eyes view work that so much time was put into, the wide reach can also be daunting. It is no secret that people online are encouraged by anonymity to be negative and hurtful, making the person who chooses to share their work vulnerable to such reception. Caitlin explained that she prefers to find constructive criticism in negative comments, to better her content.
“I’m doing what I’m doing and I have to be okay with that and not let other peoples opinions dictate how I feel about videos.”
Interview With an Author
We would all love a few minutes with our favourite authors to pick their brain, to ask them a few questions, and to understand their technique. Caitlin has made that connections with authors, and in doing so changing how authors do interviews.
Cailtin has been connected with the Canadian blog tour company Kismet Book Tours through her book blog for a while, but has since helped authors branch into BookTube through creative and innovative videos, such as her video interview with Pushing The Limits series author Katie McGarry.
“It’s neat to be talking to an author, who is such an expert in their field, and [to help them enter] a media outlet like YouTube that is so foreign to them,” Caitlin said.
“I definitely try to open some doors so that the BookTube community can start mingling with the book blog community.”
Sense and Living
Earlier this summer Caitlin launched her new living channel, the name of which, Just Around The Corner, is derived from a line from the Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan film You’ve Got Mail, her personal favourite childhood movie. A living channel from a BookTuber may seem random, but Caitlin explains that she’s really into the makeup world, and loves beauty, health and DIY’s.
“I really wanted my lifestyle channel to be the type of channel where, whatever I’m doing in my life, I can make a video that applies to it,” she explained.
“I’d like to showcase some other areas [on the channel that] I have lots of knowledge about [that I can] share with people, especially things like stress at our age and having goals and what goals can do for you.”
A Series of Fortunate Events
Caitlin has seen her own projects grow under the umbrella of BookTube, which in her words “is booming.” The sub community nestle within YouTube (and in many ways Goodreads) has made substantial strides. It has been expanding has changed how people read and has changed how books are marketed. “It means more people are reading a buying books,” Caitlin says of how BookTube has worked with publishing companies. “It means publishers are excited, I think publishers are taking [a positive] advantage [of BookTube] in that way, making sure those connections are strong so if they send over a book there’s more a chance that person will post an Instagram a photo or tweet about it.”
Reading is becoming cool again now that readers have this space on YouTube where they can connect with other people who love reading. They can interact with fellow readers, and can find books that may not have entered their lives otherwise. People are sharing their thoughts an engaging in discussion in a way that was not available before some brave avid readers took out their camera and started sharing their thoughts and feelings relevant to literature.
“I think what my goal is [on my channel], is to generate a discussion on both my blog and YouTube. I want [it to be] not just a viewing experience, but a community experience.”
Where to find Caitlin:
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