How to Bookstagram: Getting Started
I’ve been on Bookstagram for almost two years and it’s been two of the best years of my life. I found a new love for reading, I met Stephanie and we started this blog together, I met my best friends, I started a book club with friends, I started a book subscription box with one of my closest friends, and so many other opportunities that I’m so grateful for. So many things have happened since I started Bookstagram and I’ll never get over what an amazing time I’ve had.
That being said, I’ve learned a lot of about all things Bookstagram related and I thought I would share some of the things I’ve learned as well as some tips and tricks, answer some common questions that I receive, and give some advise in a series of posts that might help you if you’re just starting Bookstagram or if you’re an experienced Bookstagrammer that’s just looking to get out of a rut.
Everything in these posts are just my opinions and I’m obviously not saying my way is the right way/only way. You don’t have to agree with me and you don’t have to follow my advice.
How to Bookstagram: Getting Started
Picking a user name.
I didn’t have any plans for my account when I started, otherwise I probably would have picked a name more creative than “TaylorReads”. I recommend picking something that stands out a bit more but also something that’s easy to remember. I do recommend that your user name reflects what your account will be about so when someone sees your account name, they know right away what your account is about. But at the end of the day, pick something you like.
Taking your photos.
I know a lot of people think you must have a big fancy camera to take beautiful book photos but that’s not true. Many people take their pictures with their phones and they look amazing. Use whatever you have and make the best out of it. I currently use a Canon Rebel t3i, but I’ve also used my Galaxy S6 in the past.
Always take your photos in good lighting. Try to use natural light whenever you can. Good lighting will make or break any photo, book related or not.
Find a setting for your photos that you know will be easy to use for your background. It could be your bed, a blanket, a table, the floor, outside, a combination of places. Just pick a place that you like. And don’t think that once you pick a setting, you have to stick with it forever. I’ve changed settings a bunch times and loads of other people have as well. Experiment with different places. Take a few on your bed, a few on the floor, see what you like best. If you decide you don’t like taking pictures on your bed after a few weeks, do something else. It’s your account, your photos, and you can do whatever you want. Don’t worry about what other people will like. Think about what you like. You’ll be much happier with your account if you do what makes you happy and you’ll have a lot more fun.
Editing your photos.
Don’t be afraid to edit your pictures. There’s countless apps to edit your photos and editing your photos will often turn a good picture into a great one. Aviary and Vsco are my favorites and I use both of them for every photo. I also use Photoshop, but it’s definitely not a mandatory step.
(I’ll have an entire post in this series dedicated to taking book photos and editing them, so I’m not going to go really in-depth so keep an eye out for that post)
Posting your photos.
My biggest tip for Bookstagram is to post consistently. I try to post 1-3 times day. Morning, early afternoon, late afternoon/night. That works the best for me but do whatever works for you. I recommend posting consistently at least once a day. Don’t freak out or stress if you miss a day or two, but put effort into posting once a day. You can take photos in advance for days that you know you won’t have time to take pictures or for days with bad lighting. I try to take 15-20 photos in a shoot so that I have some stocked up.
When you post your photo, use a few hashtags. I recommend putting your hashtags in the comments of your photo. It looks a lot cleaner and less cluttered. My favorite hashtags are: #bookstagram #booknerdigans #bibliophile #bookworm #instabook #yalovin #yalit #currentlyreading
Keep your hashtags relevant to your photo. Don’t put #harrypotter on a post about Throne of Glass and things like that. People looking at #harrypotter don’t want to see your photo of Throne of Glass. They want to see Harry Potter stuff. It’s a waste of time to add hashtags that aren’t relevant.
I also really recommend tagging publishers and authors in your photos. If you’re posting about how much you love Sarah J Mass’ books, tag her and the publisher of her books. I’m not saying that you’ll get noticed by every author or publisher you tag, but you’re presenting yourself and your account in a way that they can easily find.
Do not ask for shout for shouts, follow for follow, or anything else like that. It’s annoying and it shows that you’re just about the number of followers you have. Just like everything else in life, if you work hard, success will come. Asking someone for a shout out just puts you on their list of annoying people. So don’t do it.
You’re officially a Bookstgrammer!
At the end of the day, Bookstagram is just about sharing your love of books with other people and having fun while doing it. Don’t stress about every single picture or how many likes or followers you have. If you want to start a Bookstgram account just because you want thousands of followers and free books, you’re doing it for all the wrong reasons. If you’re genuine and put some effort into your photos, people will follow you. It’s not about who has the most followers or who gets the most likes. I can guarantee that people will be able to tell if you’re just in it for the free books and followers. So just have fun. Let it be something that you look forward to doing after school or before work. I wake up every morning, excited to see what beautiful book photos will be posted, what new people I will meet, and to talk about my favorite books.
Comment down below with your thoughts, ideas, advice, topics you’d like to see me talk about in this series and I’ll try my best to address them.
Heather7 years ago
I love that you are starting this for your blog! Could you maybe post something in the future about being new on YouTube, talking about books, topics, etc.?
itsanoorthing7 years ago
This is great, I blog about pretty much anything that interest me but I’ll keep some of the tips in mind for when I do post book pictures/ reviews on my Instagram!
Theresa @ TheCalicoBooks7 years ago
This was a really great post! Thanks for sharing your advice! One thing that I’m struggling with on Bookstagram is creating friendships and connections. How do you go from just liking/commenting/posting, to more genuine interactions? It’s hard (for me, at least) to just randomly talk to different bookstagrams about my favorite book and my reading plans for the weekend, when I don’t know the person very well.
Afsha Memon7 years ago
Helpful and crisp ☺
flowlessbooks7 years ago
Oooh love this post ! I was thinking of doing a bookstagram category for my blog. Same as you, giving some advices (even though I’m a WAY smaller account 😂), and showing photos etc
Megan @ Doodles 'n Scribbles7 years ago
Very interesting! And helpful :) Thanks!