Literary Limelight: Boosting Brand Awareness with BookTubers and BookT – Cardinal Rule Press
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Literary Limelight: Boosting Brand Awareness with BookTubers and BookTokers

One of the fastest growing corners of the internet, on multiple different platforms, is books! BookTok, BookTube, Bookstagram… even brick-and-mortar bookstores have gotten in on the action by curating displays with their most popular books among online communities. However, along with all the positives that the rapid growth of these accounts generate, the movement has been, perhaps rightfully, criticized as being an avenue for promoting problematic authors and themes(a la Colleen Hoover), limiting the canon of contemporary literature to trope-satisfying entries, and intellectualizing genres as a means of gatekeeping.

It’s for these reasons that it’s important to seek out influencers that use their platform to elevate marginalized writers and promote a diverse range of titles. In a world where products and brands are made known primarily through the formulaic algorithm + trends, it’s important to support creators that make use of hashtags and SEOs to build positive communities and share the books that don’t normally get their time in the limelight. Here are some of our favorites at Cardinal Rule Press: 

Jenn Kim - @squarepegsroundworld
Jenn is a writer, former high school teacher, and Children’s Bookstagrammer who reviews diverse books with a focus on inclusion, anti-ableism advocacy, and neurodivergent stories. Her account’s name refers to one of her children, who she calls her “square peg,” and the ableism of the world which creates a “round hole.” Jenn’s content is insightful, sensitive, and expansive. Check her out on Instagram or at her website:

Alex - @father_teacher_reader
Alex is a father, a teacher, and a reader, and uses his Instagram to promote a wide array of books focusing on themes like kindness, grief, social-emotional learning, and mental health. His beautiful posts selectively curate the best and hottest of children’s literature to promote picture books that change perspectives and lives. Check him out on Instagram!

Stories of a Colorful World is a social media account and bookseller whose titles focus on BIPOC characters and authors. They strive to instill a love of reading while recommending books that center on BIPOC lived experiences. After all, every child deserves to see themselves in the books they read. You can find them on TikTok, or at their website:

Ciarra - @girlsreadtheworld
Ciarra of @girlsreadtheworld is a Booktoker who recommends all kinds of titles in a wide range of themes, from girl-power to feminist history and book banning. She also works with the Little Feminist Book Club to promote diversification of children’s literature. Her content is smart, timely, and fierce. Check her out on TikTok!

Darnelle/Miss Clark - @ClarksCozyCorner
Darnelle’s YouTube channel is all about reading aloud to bring families together, as well as educating them about important issues. Some themes that she’s covered before include essential workers, the importance of science, kindness, and resilience. She’s not currently making videos, but her back catalog is great, and we have our fingers crossed that she’ll start back up again! Check her out on YouTube!

Matt Popp is a student at the University of Michigan studying English and Psychology. In his free time he loves to write, and he’s extremely passionate about film, queer theory and activism. His inspirations include Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, Susan Sontag and his cat, Tokey

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