“WriterTube” refers to the YouTube community of writers. Basically, it is an ongoing discussion about writing and (mostly self-) publishing with YouTube as the platform.
The vast majority of the WriterTube vloggers and commenters are teen girls and young women who are interested in the romance and young adult fantasy genres. I’m a 52-year-old man who writes and reads suspense, horror, and thrillers. WriterTube therefore isn’t a big draw for me, on either side of the camera.
Nevertheless, there are exceptions. From time to time, I have tuned in to the videos of Jenna Moreci. She was recently interviewed by Craig Martelle, whom I follow.
Most indie writers nowadays spend all of their time writing new fiction, and relatively little time building an online platform. Many indie writers have no fixed online presence beyond their Amazon sales page. As a result, they must spend disproportionately on various ads, mailing lists, and the like.
Jenna Moreci takes the opposite approach. She spends a lot of time on her platform, posting new YouTube videos multiple times each week. I’ve tinkered with YouTube. What she does is a lot of work, believe me.
On the other hand, she is not a hyper-prolific author, even by Jonathan Franzen standards. She’s published two novels over the past five years. (Her third novel is coming out in September.)
We might have a spirited debate about whether Jenna Moreci is best described as a writer with a YouTube channel, or a YouTube personality who also writes. She takes the polar opposite of the rapid release, zero platform approach favored by the present crop of indie author gurus.
My guess, though, would be that she gets a lot of organic sales via her YouTube channel. Moreover, her YouTube channel is a profit center, as her videos are monetized. (She even sells coffee cups!)
That’s more than just “free marketing”. That’s free marketing that pays you back in multiple ways.
Does this mean that I’m going to launch a YouTube channel? Nope. Been there, done that. I’m not a fan of YouTube as viewer, I don’t watch many videos, and I therefore don’t much enjoy making videos. Nor do I have Ms. Moreci’s gift of gab. I’ll leave WriterTube to her.
That all said, it is always worthwhile to observe someone who is doing things differently, and making a success of doing things differently. Jenna Moreci has proven that there are many ways for an author to succeed. Writing 5K words of new fiction each day at breakneck speed, while spending heavily on PPC ads, isn’t the only option.
Or as Craig Martelle says, “There is more than one way up the mountain.”