I currently have a smirk on my face whilst writing that title mainly because I don’t think people would believe me. Haha. Who am I to give some tips and pieces of advice!? But this post is from my personal experience.
*my current playlist: HAMILTON Musical*
First of all, my INSTAGRAM account wouldn’t be that “successful” without the #bookstagram community. I owe it to the passionate book-lovers who never fail to support each other. I’ve been bookstagramming for almost 2 years now and though this is not a perfect community like others, I can vouch that this is still the happiest place to be. What better friends to have than bookworms, right?
And I feel so proud that it is gaining popularity these days and more readers are interested to start their own account! I’ve been asked a lot by people who are starting their own bookstagram these questions that I’m here to answer at once. So let’s get this straight…
- What is #bookstagram?
‘Bookstagram’ is a community on Instagram where book-lovers from all over the world communicate through books. How? By posting creative photos of the books we are currently reading, books we’ve read, books we want to read and all things about literature!
(Note: If a person looks nuts by taking creative shots of a book in a coffee shop, that’s most probably a bookstagrammer! Say Hi.)
- How do I start?
The basics are simple. Once you have an Instagram App, register a new account for your bookstagram.
- Think of a “catchy” URL name. That’s the first thing that your fellow bookstagrammers will notice. You want that first impression, right?
- Establish your BIO. Again, people notice that. (I do anyway) Write something that your IG will consist of. Write something real, something about you. Short, simple, real.
Then post photos! Well of course, that’s a given! POST A LOT OF PHOTOS. BUT here comes the tricky part…
- What photos should I post?
Since you are already 100% decided that you want to start your bookstagram, it is very important that the content of your feed will focus on books and all things that come with it.
- Post photos of BOOKS (obviously) but make sure that you know the details of the book that you are posting about. People will most likely ask the edition, synopsis, your rating, etc. Be prepared to answer the questions.
- Make sure you got the right composition for your photo – take a book that you are currently reading/ what you have read/ what you want to read then consider what kind of “background” you want. Some say the “theme” of the photo determines the amount of likes. Some do it outdoors; others have a lot of accessories which I envy! But for me it’s mostly on my bed, with a cup of coffee. Or at cafes since I go out a lot to search for the best coffee shops around Dubai. Because ultimately….
- Your photo should represent who you are. A photo is good if it gives your followers a glimpse of you are. Make it personal. Make it yours. You can’t go around and take something that doesn’t fit your lifestyle because for sure you’ll run out ideas and you’ll get tired.
But if you need some inspiration, check out these stunning accounts! I love them so much!!! (these are just some of my favorites! there’s a lot more.)
For outdoor photos:
Calista from @insidethebookreader
Viktoria from @seelieknight
For swoon-worthy edited photos:
Josephine from @wordrevel
Adam from @booksss.0k
For effortless-looking indoor photos:
Alison from @crimeofrhyme
Allissa from @abookishloveaffair
For book-merch-envy photos:
Ursula from @ursula_uriarte
Hikari from @foldedpagesdistillery
- How about the CAPTION?
I enjoy writing captions. It’s something that the photo sometimes can’t tell. Also, this is a way to communicate with your followers. Ask them stuff. Or simply greet them. Be friendly and welcoming!
- How do I make it consistent? What camera should I use? What filter?
The most asked questions ever! I, for one, can’t even contest in terms of consistency. I have a messy feed! I post what I want; I post things that I am passionate about. But, I think it looks consistent because of the “filters” I’m using. It makes it look more effortless, as people say it is.
- Consistency, for me, is making sure that you post regularly. You can’t go MIA and expect that people will follow you and talk to you. Make sure you are there to communicate.
- Most of the time, I use my iPhone in taking photos specially if I’m out, my phone comes in hand. (I am lazy like that) But sometimes I also use my Fujifilm X T-10. It makes it effortless because it has a built-in WiFi!
- APP and Filter/s. I mainly use VSCO Cam. It’s user-friendly so it’s easy to tweak. I mostly use A4, A6, HB2, M5.
(And I will give my step-by-step tutorial in another post but you can always check my Instagram feed haha)
- How do I gain followers?
Ahhh now that’s the most awaited part, no? Did you know that followers can be bought through various paid apps?! Ha! I just found that out recently! I was totally shocked! But of course, that meant Big Follower Count but no interaction or whatsoever. In other words, you’ll be followed by fake accounts! So anyhoo, how do you gain followers?
- INTERACT with people. Like, comment, ask questions, raise ideas and the like… Make sure to TALK to them. People in this community are friendly so don’t hesitate to ask!
- Use #hashtags. Yes, that works! But please use the appropriate once like #bookstagram, #bibliophiles #reading #books (look for other bookstagrammers who use them)
- FOLLOW and don’t ask for Follow Back in return! Trust me, that’s annoying!!! Genuinely follow a person because you want to, not because you expect a follow back. And don’t private message them to say SFS (Shouout For Shoutout), it’s bad record!
- Participate in monthly book challenges, join a book club read-along and be a part of the discussion. The best thing about this is that you are able to talk with your fellow bookworms and you can exchange ideas and stuff, and who knows, you’ll meet your BFF then! 😉
This is just the first part but it’s getting a bit long, so I’ll be giving another discussion about this next time! But lastly…
- What’s my advice to new bookstagrammers?
YOU ARE AMAZING BECAUSE YOU STARTED THIS JOURNEY. So please, just be yourself! Don’t be pressured by everyone else, we all started with one follower! Just keep posting and do what you love. Do what makes you happy. You are here because you love reading. And along the way, don’t forget to interact with others! Make new friends; meet people who are as passionate as you; make it worthwhile. You are bookstagramming for a reason; make that reason be good. 🙂
Did you find it helpful? Or if you are a bookstagrammer, do you have any additional tips? Please comment below! Thanks for reading! ‘Til next post!