On June 9, popular YouTube personality Justine Ezarik -- or iJustine, as she's known to her fans -- came through Dallas while promoting her new book, I, Justine: An Analog Memoir. She met with fans and, based on the video below, signed a lot of Apple products.
Unfortunately, Justine's schedule and mine never aligned, so I didn't make it to the Books a Million where her meetup occurred. But she was kind enough to answer a few questions via e-mail, which then got buried in my inbox for awhile because I'm a horrible person (whoops). My excuse is that E3 happened. She'll understand. She was there.
Anyway, I appreciate the time she took to answer my questions. You can find what she had to say below.
Tell me about your book. You have a huge following online, so why did you want to write a book?
Writing a book allowed me to tell my story in an entirely new way. Everything I've done up until this point has been digital and there are so many pieces of my life that I've posted online that it's hard to really tell where it all started. This book helps bridge the gap between and answer questions people might have if they've ever watched or just randomly come across my videos. I also wanted it to be something inspirational to people who aren't sure of what they want to do in life. My job didn't even exist years ago and it's something that I sort of created as I went along.
You do a lot of different stuff these days. What do you like doing most?
I've been having so much fun traveling on the book tour getting to meet people who have been watching my videos for years. It's one thing to read tweets and comments but getting to really see the impact you're making on lives is so amazing. I love making cooking videos even though I'm really terrible at it.. people seem to be able to relate and everyone online enjoys a nice fail video. Another fun project I worked on this year was traveling with Call of Duty covering their regional championship finals leading up to the million dollar Championship tournament in LA! So much fun!
You seem to acknowledge that kids watch your videos more than some other YouTubers do, especially when it comes to gaming (where, in my humble opinion, there are some bad influences that have big followings). How important is being a good role model to you?
It really sets in how young some of these kids are when you see them at events and they are barely 5. It is a big responsibly because you're never really sure who is watching the content you post. I also don't want to alienate my audience by making everything too kid friendly -- so trying to find a fine line between what is suitable to post is very difficult.
What video games are you playing right now?
Currently playing Lego Batman and [The Legend of Zelda:] Majora's Mask on my Nintendo DS and Minecraft on my computer. I've been traveling so I'm missing my consoles! When I get home though, I'll be back to playing Advanced Warfare and Nintendo's new game Splatoon.
Who are your influences? Who do you look up to?
There's so many amazing creators on YouTube that are so talented and are always pushing the boundaries of what's next. Also the entire community is inspiring -- the commenters and the audience are what pushes a lot of us to be our best and create content that they want to see.