Bookstagram is the term used for showcasing your latest book purchases, book reviews or even ‘shelfies’ on the platform Instagram. It’s a fun, very aesthetically pleasing, and welcoming community of fellow book lovers.
I initially began a bookstagram to meet fellow book lovers, not expecting to grow from the few forced friends to over 1,000 followers in the year I’ve been uploading more frequently. While, in the beginning, I didn’t take it as seriously as I should, soon enough, when I did, I began to see results. Here are some of the things I’ve learnt and why you should begin implementing them now that I’d wished I had known.
1. Picking A Bookstagram Name
For your bookstagram, picking the name you’ll become known for is so important. At the beginning, I didn’t have one, but when I launched this book blog (pagesofthemoone.com) it really took off. Having my Instagram handle as the same name as my blog helped direct traffic to and from. It also helped identify my bookstagram as a bookstagram.
I chose PagesoftheMoone because I use the pseudonym Jodie Moone for all of my writing, and they were pages from books, so it seemed easy. I also did a fun poll with my few followers giving them options, and they also picked it as the most appropriate.
2. Consistency Is Important
When it comes to Instagram in general, consistency will set you out from the rest. Whether that is your voice, style or posting schedule. Maintaining a good balance and remaining true to you is so important in your bookstagram journey.
2a. Posting Schedule
You don’t have to post at the same time of day, but posting regularly is so important for the Instagram algorithms as well as getting your photos out to people. When it comes to bookstagram, people love pretty things, and noticing you on their feed will get them to interact, however, if you are frequent enough, the algorithm moves you down your followers feeds as they aren’t interacting. The key to bookstagram, and Instagram, is to ensure you’re being interactive, and posting regularly helps maintain that.
Using tools to help you post (if you’re busy and on the go) can be found in App stores. I personally use Planoly for myself but I also have used Plann and others.
2b. Bookstagram Theme
Again, something I learned far too late (meaning I ended up beginning again) was creating a ‘theme’. This doesn’t have to be always met, but having a clear theme and aesthetic page will really help stand you out. I have certain people I follow who have gorgeously crafted photos and it’s why I chose to follow them. It becomes a trademark style, and there are so many accounts I instantly recognise from their photo before I see their name.
Personally, I’ve opted to use a ‘pinkish’ theme to my book photos, it’s something I love and I find really pleasing to the eye when it comes to editing. This leads me on to…
3. Editing Software
There are so many options to edit your bookstagram photos these days. I use Lightroom as I purchased it for other projects, but it also allowed me to create ‘Presets’ and I have three I use constantly for photos depending on how I shoot them. It’s £9.99 per month, and their app is currently free.
Presets are helpful as they can help make sure your style is fluid, and without you spending hours pulling out your hair to get your photo background to match a previously taken one. Another software you can use is VSCO, which I’ve heard is really good, but haven’t personally tried.
4. Invest Time In Your Bookstagram
It takes time, something I downplayed when I began. It isn’t just time getting the photos nice, curating a theme, but it takes time engaging. You have to put in as much as you want to get out. There are amazing engagements groups I’ve joined that have allowed me to communicate with people, and as I’m quite shy (believe it or not) I do struggle to put myself out there online.
Commenting on others photos, communicating and reaching out, as well as supporting fellow Bookstagrammers will be what cements you within the community. Because if you’re not engaging, why should they engage with you?
5. Bookstagram Props
Hold your hands up if when you began you just laid a book down and took a photo? *Jodie’s hand rises*
There is nothing wrong with flat lays, personally I love them. But, unfortunately, you’ll need to do a touch more to stand out in such a growing community. Props are a great way of standing out, and you don’t have to throw tons of money into bookstagram to see it pay back. Cups or mugs are often used, I love a good fairy light (mine cost £3 from Primark) and even dried or faux flowers. Using props from around the home, not only can set you apart but also make your photos more interesting. It can begin a talking point to help others engage with you, which is so important if you’re like me and struggle.
I’ve also used my glasses (the ones I need to see out of, which is always hilarious), plants, photo frames and even a mirror. None of these items cost me anymore because I used what I had, so don’t think you need to throw money, just have fun with it.
When it comes to creating and growing your bookstagram, my biggest advice is to have fun. With any social media platform, it can feel like you’re not getting anywhere. As hard as it is, try to find and see the positives. Anyone has one follower, and if you can hook one, you can hook more. Bookstagram is about expressing yourself, showcasing the beauty of books and bringing together readers.
Another thing, don’t try to be anyone else. You don’t have to pigeon-hole yourself, you don’t have to become anyone but you. Your vision and voice will be like no one else’s. Run with that and ignore the doubt in your mind. I’m nowhere near a ‘big account’, but each day I’m surprised and elated to grow by a follower or two. This mindset is what keeps me consistent, happy and thriving.
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