Team Epic Reads is taking over the universe – well, maybe not the universe. But they are taking over YouTube.
Margot Wood and Aubry Parks-Fried, the creators of Epic Reads, extended their social media reach to YouTube roughly a month ago. Wood is the Epic Reads Community Manager and Parks-Fried is the Ditigal Marketing Manager at HarperCollins – and both are good friends and book lovers. The pair have posted old episodes of their weekly livestream Tea Time and short videos for the upcoming Pitch Dark Fall 2013 Dark Days tour, as well as other fun clips and author chats.
According to Wood and Parks-Fried, it all started because they wanted to make ridiculous videos.
“The book community often gets a bad rap for being dull, boring, not that hip, so if there’s any way we can change the way people think about books and those who love them, we’re doing it,” said Wood.
Epic Reads recently celebrated its one-year anniversary, prompting Wood and Parks-Fried to move ahead with plans to create the YouTube channel.
“We needed that initial year to get set up, to get our name out there and establish ourselves in the YA community. Now that we’ve done that, we can focus our efforts on expanding our community to other platforms and we decided YouTube was going to be the first platform we branch out to in a big way,” said Parks-Fried.
Though Epic Reas is already on a number of platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram, Wood and Parks-Fried feel that YouTube will help them connect with a whole new audience. They want to keep their content unique to each platform in order to connect with each individual audience.
“YouTubers are a unique audience just like Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram users are unique to their platform. When we’re on Twitter, we speak to all the Twitter users. When we’re on Tumblr, we try to be as authentic to that crowd as we can be and same with Instagram. By doing so, we’ve been able to build small but loyal followings and reach out to people who didn’t know Epic Reads existed or weren’t as familiar with the world of YA. We plan on applying the same logic to the YouTubers,” Wood said.
Viewers can expect a lot of original content in the months to come, according to Wood. They hope to do comedy webisodes, author interviews, dance videos – who can forget that ‘Harlem Shake, Publishers Edition’ video they posted? – and how-to videos.
On the top of their wish-list? A weekly web series.
“It would be epic, pun intended, if we could pull it off. But something like that requires a lot of time, planning and technical know-how, which we’re still learning,” said Parks-Fried.
In addition to getting their YouTube channel up and running, Team Epic Reads has been focusing on making Tea Time better than ever. They recently moved to a new time slot and platform, Wednesday’s at 7 p.m. EST on Spreecast.
“We’re hoping more people find us that way because we have some fun things in store. Probably the biggest is we’re taking Tea Time on the road, a little bit, and hitting up some festivals such as Austin Teen Book Festival in September and YALLFEST in November,” said Wood.
Epic Reads will be broadcasting live from the Austin Teen Book Festival and YALLFEST and hopes to give viewers a chance to interact with the authors attending those events.
Parks-Fried can’t wait. “If all goes well, we’d love to go to more festivals and events in 2014. Tea Time across the USA… now that would be fun.”
For more on Epic Reads, visit their website or their new YouTube channel.