We have begun to embed YouTube video picture book readings (filmed and uploaded by third parties) in our book reviews. We think this is a positive and important addition which serves both our audience and publishers
Why include video?
- It assists our audience of parents and carers and other adults educating and/or supporting the wellbeing of children by making it easier for them to find and assess appropriate helpful books.
- It benefits publishers and independent authors/illustrators by stimulating book sales and helping them to reach a broader (and often hard to reach) audience.
We firmly stand by our belief that any copyrighted material included in the videos counts as, within the context of the extensive Little Parachutes review framework, Fair Use under copyright law. Educators such as teachers and librarians have always been given the freedom to use copyrighted materials in order to educate and enhance/improve lives (‘Transformative’ use of content) and we believe Little Parachutes has the same ethical and educational purpose and falls under the same umbrella (or should we say parachute?!).
- To assist adults to find books that support and educate children through potentially traumatic life events, transitions, milestones and world events.
- To champion inclusivity: to ensure that all children can access and benefit from books that represent and help them overcome anxieties and challenges, regardless of their particular situation, ability, gender, appearance, ethnicity, national origin, beliefs or ideology.
- To help adults more easily and accurately source high quality, relevant and appropriate books that support children’s personal, social and emotional development and wellbeing.
2020 and beyond
While we applaud the many publishers who have granted a temporary relaxation of online reading rights during the Covid-19 crisis of 2020, Fair Use is something which has always been, and almost certainly always will be, allowed as an exception within copyright law for educational/transformational purposes. So we hope to be able to continue to provide video embeds and links in our reviews, where we can source them, beyond the end of the Covid-19 crisis.
Generating book sales
We appreciate that it is a difficult time for children’s book publishers, and this is why we’re so pleased to be able to provide a platform to allow publishers to reach their intended audience and to sell more books. The Little Parachutes book review framework has stimulated book sales for over ten years (including older backlisted titles which are more difficult to promote, and harder to sell/niche topic books). We firmly believe that the inclusion of video readings in our review will result in MORE sales of books rather than fewer (a belief that we are hoping to be able to back up with sales data later on).
Does video matter?
Giving parents and other adults supporting children the ability to preview/get a feel for/assess the suitability of the picture book by providing an online reading is something we believe has always been ‘the missing part of the jigsaw puzzle’ in our offering – very much the equivalent of leafing through a book in a bookshop or library before buying/borrowing – and we are pleased and excited to now be able to offer this to our audience. We’ve always tried to provide a start to end synopsis of the picture books we review, but a video reading goes beyond this, allowing adults to research and fully assess the suitability of a book for a particular child or group of children in a situation where they are unable to visit a library or bookshop in person (or the book is unavailable through these channels).
Information for publishers:
- We always credit the author, illustrator and publisher in our book reviews
- We only include an embedded video reading within a book review page, never out of context or as a ‘stand alone’.
- We will always use an ‘official’ reading, provided by the publisher, author or illustrator, where this is available/we are aware of it.
- We provide a direct means to purchase the book where this is available.
- We categorise and tag all reviews to give the best possible chance of the intended audience finding the review and benefitting from it.
- We never film, broadcast or publish video readings of picture books ourselves ‘in-house’ without first obtaining the copyright owner’s permission.
- We only serve and cater for adults. Little Parachutes is not aimed at, or suitable for a child audience. Embedded videos are not intended to be viewed by a child, or as a means to replace a traditional ‘story time’ session for children, but instead are there to be used as a research and assessment tool for parents, educators and other adults that support children.
- We respect all requests from publishers/copyright owners to remove the video embed from their own titles’ reviews. We encourage publishers to contact the video maker directly to resolve any rights issues.
Information for video content producers:
- Please note that by publishing your content on YouTube, you are granting users such as Little Parachutes a licence to access your content, display and distribute it. If you want to restrict access to your content, we suggest reviewing your visibility and other settings within your YouTube Studio dashboard.
We are aware that this is a viewpoint that may divide opinion, and we are keen to open a dialogue with publishers and other interested parties on this matter. If you have any further comments, questions or concerns regarding the use of video readings on Little Parachutes, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.