And so I’m pleased to feature the delightfully named YouTube channel The Book Wormhole.
Therefore, I’m happy to welcome Robin Rose Graves of The Book Wormhole to my blog today:
Tell us about your podcast or channel.
The Book Wormhole is a monthly updating BookTube channel where I provide spoiler free reviews and discussions of the books I read. Science Fiction makes up the majority of what I cover on the channel, and while I lean more towards female, POC and/or LGBT authors, I read both classics as well as contemporary releases. I balance popular books with indie and underrated titles. I promise there will be at least one book you’ve never heard of before on my channel.
Who are the people behind your podcast or channel?
Currently it is a one man production. I do everything from selecting books, reading them, scripting, filming, editing videos and graphic design. I wouldn’t have it any other way, though. This project is my baby. I love doing collabs, but ultimately when it comes to anything regarding quality control, I like being responsible to ensure everything I post is something I am proud to share.
Why did you decide to start your podcast or channel?
After college, my motivation to read plummeted and even when I did pick up a book, I was never connecting with anything I read. This project began once I broke the cycle and started finding books I liked and got me excited about reading again. I initially started the channel as both an outlet for me to talk about what I was reading, but also with the hopes that it would help connect others with books they are really going to like. It’s only happened a few times so far that someone has told me they read a book I talked about on my channel, but it’s still very rewarding each time.
What format do you use for your podcast or channel and why did you choose this format?
The predecessor to the Book Wormhole was a blog. Admittedly, I don’t care too much for blogging, and nor did I think it would be the right way to find the audience I was looking for. I was looking for people who wanted to read but didn’t know what, and I honestly don’t think too many of those people frequent blogs.
But I also wanted it to have a verbal component. I wanted to physically talk about the books that excited me so. Matched with my humble past experience with video editing, and it became obvious what medium this needed to be in. I was going to film video reviews on YouTube!
Funny enough, I didn’t know BookTube was a thing when I first had the thought to convert my reviews to film. I mean, I knew I couldn’t have been the first person to think of it, but I didn’t realize until I started just how big of a community BookTube is. It’s reassuring to see so many people are still passionate about reading.
The fan categories at the Hugos were there at the very beginning, but they are also the categories which consistently gets the lowest number of votes and nominations. So why do you think fanzines, fancasts and other fan projects are important?
There’s nothing more genuine than a fan. Oftentimes, it is work done without financial compensation and therefore nothing about it is motivated by money or what is going to sell. It’s purely driven by passion alone. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of being spammed with commercials constantly, so finally seeing something genuine and made for the love of it is such a nice remedy.
As a reader, I find nearly all my books based on recommendation. I trust them more than a synopsis or a sponsored post who’s trying to make a sale. (Several times I’ve been misguided by an advertisement only to have been entirely let down by the book). I find BookTube reviews to be more honest. Sometimes delighting in tearing apart everything that didn’t work about a book. But also, oftentimes including minor details I want to know ahead of time that a synopsis isn’t going to offer. What beloved tropes and themes will the book contain? What sort of representation? The things I REALLY want to know about a book ahead of time.
In the past twenty years, fanzines have increasingly moved online and fancasts have sprung up. What do you think the future of fan media looks like?
I think fan media is going to continue to evolve along with upcoming new formats. With YouTube came BookTube. With Instagram came Bookstagram. And now, with the rise of TikTok, naturally there is BookTok. So long as there is a space for fans to exist in, they’ll be there making fan content.
On the plus side, accessibility will continue to improve. On the negative, I’ve noticed an increase in censorship as more young children enter what used to be almost adult-exclusive spaces. It’ll be interesting to see what fan media looks like even one year from now, judging by how quick the internet has been evolving lately.
The four fan categories of the Hugos (best fanzine, fan writer, fan artist and fancast) tend to get less attention than the fiction and dramatic presentation categories. Are there any awesome fanzines, fancasts, fan writers and fan artists you’d like to recommend?
Yes if you’re not familiar with the fancast Space Cowboy Books Presents – Reading and Interviews series, I highly recommend checking it out! Those events got me through the pandemic and I still enjoy them now. As for fanzines, Galactic Journey. I’ve been religiously following their coverage of Star Trek, starting with the first episode that premiered at Tricon in 1966. Also Simultaneous Times Newsletter. As for fan artists, I’m amazed by Lorelei Esther’s work!
Where can people find you?
Watch and Subscribe to The Book Wormhole on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFuAf6QaaLdJzXvZbNltDRw
And/or Follow me on Twitter:
Thank you, Robin, for stopping by and answering my questions.
Do check out The Book Wormhole, cause it’s a great BookTube channel.
Do you have a Hugo eligible fanzine/-site or fancast or a semiprozine and want it featured? Contact me or leave a comment.