The Man Booker Prize has announced a vloggers book club featuring five popular “BookTubers” living in the UK who will be following the prize.
The prize has invited five popular literary YouTubers to be part of the inaugural book club: Jen Campbell, Leena Normington, Jean Menzies, Lauren Whitehead and Ariel Bissett who collectively have over 140,000 subscribers.
The group will be posting videos including reviews, readalongs, giveaways and discussions from the longlist stage up until the announcement of the winner and will vlog from the ceremony.
Campbell has nearly 10,000 YouTube subscribers after only nine months of making videos. She is also a bookseller and the author of Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops and The Bookshop Book. Campbell said of the project: “As bookish YouTubers – or BookTubers – we are passionate about creating exciting new content about the world of books to share with our subscribers, and we can’t wait to get started.”
Bissett, a Canadian vlogger currently studying in the UK, has 80,000 subscribers and has been making BookTube videos for four years. Normington works part time as the publicity manager for Icon Books and has 24,000 followers on her channel “Just Kiss My Frog” where she talks about books and politics. Menzies has just finished her MA in Classics and Ancient History and vlogs about books, classics and studying at “Bookish Thoughts” to her 23,000 subscribers. The fifth vlogger, Whitehead, works in finance and has 5,000 subscribers on her channel “Reads and Daydreams”.
The prize was looking for a mix of vloggers with different interests and focuses and initially approached Bissett and Campbell who then introduced them to Normington, Menzies and Whitehead. The five vloggers all know each other, which the prize hopes will add to the book club feel. The vloggers introduce themselves in an initial video on Campbell’s channel.
Jonathan Taylor, trustee of the prize foundation and former chairman of Booker PLC, said: “BookTube is vibrant, intelligent and packed full of avid readers, making it the perfect digital place to host discussion about this year’s Man Booker Prize.” The vloggers book club joins the recently announced Man Booker Podcasts, hosted by Joe Haddow, as new digital initiatives around the prize.