In honor of the creation of my own BookTube channel, I reached out to one of my personal favorite BookTubers, Morgan Feldman aka “Little Word Weaver”, for her advice on creating BookTube videos, how to keep up reading with the flow of videos, and the beauty of the BookTube community.
As of October 5th, 2015, Little Word Weaver has amassed 7,600+ views across 128 videos with nearly 360 subscribers. With her mixture of regular “vlogs” and BookTube related content such as the popular Top 5 Wednesdays, Morgan brings an undying enthusiasm for the subject of each video that matches her love for Lord of the Rings and the BookTube community.
How did you discover BookTube?
To be honest, I’m not quite sure. I remember my friend Kristi (who now has her own channel, Kristi the Book Slayer) was telling me I should start a YouTube Channel but I didn’t know what to talk about and she suggested books. So I probably searched ‘YouTubers who talk about Books’ and here I am!
In your “Newbie Tag” video where you first introduce yourself as a BookTuber, you mention that you joined BookTube to get involved with a community of book lovers. How is the BookTube community? What are your favorite/least favorite parts of the BookTube community?
I LOVE the BookTube Community. It took me a while to get into it and feel like I “belonged” but I’ve made a few great friends and three times as many acquaintances who I enjoy talking about books with.
You also mentioned that you went to Oxford to get your masters in creative writing (congrats, by the way!) and joined several notable literary groups, including the Tolkien Society. Are those literary groups any different from the community on BookTube? How are they similar?
I went to Oxford-Brookes (which is in Oxford but not to be mistaken with the Oxford). I joined the Oxford Tolkien Society and the Oxford Harry Potter club, which were in themselves two very different groups—the Tolkien Society was smaller and a bit more scholarly (though we loved having game nights and picnics as well!) while the Harry Potter group was more “put on your Harry Potter clothes and talk about whatever geeky stuff came to mind. I would say the Tolkien society is more in depth while the Harry Potter society is broader, encompassing more levels of fandom and a wider variety of members. Neither is better than the other (unless you prefer Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings!) they just had different vibes. In that sense, Booktube is more like the Harry Potter club—there’s a bunch of people from different backgrounds, of different ages, from various fandoms, and yet we all share a love for books.
Speaking of the Tolkien Society, have you managed to inspire any viewers to start reading the Lord of the Rings?
A few people have added it to their TBR lists, the only person I can recall who actually read it (and told me about it) is April Sarah –she joined in the SummerOfLOTR readalong which was hosted by SuddenlyLorna this summer. I’m always looking for more to convert though!
How prominent is ‘Goodreads’ for your BookTube career?
It’s important mostly for the community. I can keep up with what my friends are reading, discover and participate in readalongs, etc. It’s also great fun!
You’re a frequent participator in “Top 5 Wednesdays”, a weekly BookTube event created on Goodreads. What inspired you to participate in it?
There was a topic one day that I liked, so I joined in. It’s great because it gives you different areas to talk about so you can include books that you might otherwise have overlooked or ignored. I also love watching other people’s videos to see what they chose. You can learn a lot about someone from their favorite books!
What have been your struggles with BookTube?
I wish I could keep up with other people’s videos more than I do. I try to watch a few every day, but I’m subscribed to over 100 channels, so if I have a busy week at work and can only watch two or three a day, by the weekend I’m about 300 videos behind! So I have to pick and choose. Balancing “real life” with YouTube can be a struggle sometimes, but I’m fairly good at prioritizing—my mental and physical health comes first, then relationships, then writing, then booktube, then everything else. (My job floats around in the middle somewhere!) Now that I look at that list, it’s amazing I have time to film, haha!
How do you hope to improve?
I hope to get more succinct and keep my videos around the 4-5 minute mark. I also would love to get better lighting, fancier editing software, etc, but that is a very long term goal. I already got a new camera this year, so one step at a time!
Since you’re also a writer, are you hoping to see BookTube review and talk about one of your books someday?
I would love to see that! But I’m still in the agent-querying stage at the moment so it will be years before I have a book out and ready for review. But someday, hopefully, Booktubers will review it!
Do you think BookTube can be utilized to “kickstart” an author’s career or is it just a fun place to talk about the love of books?
I think it can definitely be a kickstart to an author’s career, if it’s done right. I mean, if you have a thousand followers, that’s a thousand people who have heard about your book that otherwise wouldn’t have. And then, if you’re lucky and your book is good, they’ll recommend it on their channels and the word will spread. Like I said, I’m not at the point in my career as an author to really focus on this, but Bangadybangz, Sara Ella, and Sara Crawford are all writers who sometimes tie their writing into their videos.
What has been your biggest achievement on BookTube?
Making friends. That’s what I set out to do and I’m so glad I’ve done it! I’ve met so many wonderful people on booktube—I can’t wait to meet even more!
What is your advice for aspiring BookTubers (for example: me?)?
Figure out why you’re starting a BookTube channel and remind yourself of that every time you feel overwhelmed or confused in what direction to go in.
Also, watch other Booktubers. Learn from them. Make note of your favorite videos, determine why you liked them, and incorporate those aspects into your own videos. And don’t be afraid to make friends!
This is a question from my own Newbie Tag, but how do you read so much so fast?
I don’t, haha. I read, on average, about sixth books a month. Which is small compared to a lot of Booktubers, but I’m a slow reader—I like to read every word on the page. I hate skimming. I tend to read more over holidays, when I have the time off work. During the typical week I work 8-5 M-F, come home and eat and then write and then sleep. I’m lucky if I can fit 30min-an hour of reading in at night, which only happens when I don’t have dinner plans, no one calls me, and my room mate doesn’t need my help with something! I end up doing most of my reading on the weekends.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Nope, that covers it! Thanks for having me on your blog, Maddie!
Are you a YouTuber, blogger, writer, or social media expert with something to say about the subject? I would love to hear from you. Please email me at maddnessbusiness [@] gmail.com if you’re interested in an interview or guest post.