blogging tips

So You Want to Start a Bookstagram: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started

A handy guide if you’re looking to start a bookstagram account. 

instaI don’t know if you know this, but I love Bookstagram. I created my profile a little under a year ago, and it has been such a fun thing to do with my time. The community is wonderful, there’s lots of really pretty pictures to peruse and it’s just really enjoyable. However. Starting a bookstagram account can be tricky and daunting, so I am here to answer some frequent questions, give you some tips and get you started on your bookstagram journey. You can check out my page by clicking on the above image of my feed or HERE and if you like my page, you can follow me as well. If you don’t like it, please don’t tell me because I will cry.

Let’s get started!

chooseanameThis might seem pretty obvious, but you need a bookish name. When people look for someone to follow on, for example, a list of accounts, the first thing they see is your name. Get a name that stands out and reminds people of what your profile is all about. And that’s books! Instagram is all about branding, or creating a name for yourself, so pick one that you love and that will let people know what your profile is about!

thingEveryone has a thing. The thing that makes their profile and images unique and recognizable. For example, all of my images have origami stars, flowers and fairylights. It’s my thing. When you’re first starting out, finding your thing can be crucial. It may takes some time, and experimentation, but once you have it, it can make all the difference. Your thing is not the same as a theme, but more on that later. The lovely Julianna @ Blots of Ink & Words did a post on types of bookstagram profiles, which is fantastic for inspiration and finding your thing.

lightingI think one of the crucial things to consider once you start taking pictures is the lighting. When I come across a new bookstagram account, the first thing I look at is the quality of pictures. And that’s mostly due to lighting. Just get good, natural lighting, and your pictures will instantly look great. Avoid taking pictures during the night, with bad artifical lighting, since they tend to look grainier and just of lesser quality.

pretakeThis is a big deal. Your best bet in managing a bookstagram account is to take a lot of pictures at the same time. For example, I take my pictures every two weeks. I get enough of them in one go, and then I am set. And this makes your feed more coherent, since it takes ages to set up a photo, and once you do, it’s nice to take multiple photos with that same set up. Pretaking all your pictures also brings consistency, which is my next point.

consistentYou won’t always have time to actually sit down and take pictures every day. So having a backlog of pictures you can post consistently (and I suggest you post daily) will really help with having a constant feed.

editingsoftwareI think editing your pictures is extremely important. You can post raw photos but I think editing can really make a good picture a GREAT picture. Since I take my pictures on my phone I use a couple of different apps to edit. I recommend Photo Director, Pixlr and Instagram’s own editing options. But find one that works for you and it will be of a lot of help.

hashtagsHashtags are really important, especially when you’re first starting out. It helps people who are looking for your kind of content (i.e. books) to actually find that content. Don’t add too many hashtags, and try to add more common ones (#bookstagram , #bookish, #bookworm) as well as one that pertain to that particular picture (#sixofcrows, #ninazenikisabadass, #kanej4eva).

captionsCaptions are always fun to write and they should engage the people who look at your pics. It is very useful to include a question which people can answer in the comments, which brings a lot more interaction to your posts and gets people to talk to you and you can make friends.

commentBe sure to like, comment and follow other people, because then they’ll do the same for you! Engaging and talking with the community is a great way to be noticed and plus, you’ll meet some really lovely people a long the way.

havefunAs always, the most important thing is to enjoy the stuff you do, including Bookstagram. It can be a really fun experience, and as long as you keep at it, I am sure you’ll love it and have fun with it.

commonmisconceptions

You Need a Bunch of Props

janelNot true! You can take amazing pictures with just your cup of coffee and your book and people will love it, as long as you follow the rules I mentioned above. For example, Janel @ Keeper of Pages runs one of my favorite bookstagram accounts and she has no props. And her pictures are still gorgeous: see image for clarification. And click the image to follow Janel since she is amazing!

You Need a Theme

Like I said, you need a thing, but not necessarily a theme. You can take completely different styled photos, but maintain the same style of editing them, the same filters and etc. A theme helps your feed look good, but you don’t have to keep a theme constantly.

You Need a Fancy Camera

You don’t! Good lighting, a decent phone camera and a good editing software can really make your photos look amazing. If you have a fancy camera – amazing! , but if you don’t your profile won’t suffer.

It’s Easy to Gain Followers

It really isn’t. It takes ages and you have to be persistent with it. For example, I got the first 400 followers relatively quickly, but I was stuck on that number for a better part of the year. As long as you don’t do it to get a following, and as long as you keep taking pictures that you love, the followers will come!

And that’s my definitive guide to starting a bookstagram! Let me know if you have any tips of your own, and be sure to leave your bookstagram accounts in the comments so I (and everyone else) can check them out!

xxx

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35 thoughts on “So You Want to Start a Bookstagram: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started

  1. Brilliant post, and thanks for the unexpected feature ❤️ I agree with everything you said, especially pre-taking pictures, I have weekend bookshoots, lol. And I use VCSO Cam to take and edit pics 😊 I love bookstagram, I had it before my blog and I hope your post encourages more bloggers to join!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Was thinking of starting a bookstagram account. This is really helpful. Thanks for the tips. Was thinking of creating a new instagram account for it but for the main time I’ll just post bookish pics on my personal instagram cause I don’t think I can manage two instagram accounts. Any advice?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah glad you found it helpful! I keep my private account and my book account separate, but it might be good for you to just slowly ease into posting book pics, by posting a couple every once in a while, and then just slowly working them into your feed more often.

      Like

  3. I’ve had my bookstagram for like a year but I still feel like such a beginner xD
    I want to develop a theme but I have no idea how
    If you end up having time maybe you can check out my account?:)
    folded_corners is the username

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I read ebooks because I like that format best. It’s easier to get hold of books on my e-readers because I live in a town that only has a tiny used bookstore and the major bookstores are in the next town or the town next to that one. Are ebook pictures ok? I do have a tablet so I suppose I could take the photos on there to show off the cover that way properly. I just haven’t started an instantgram account for my blog because I feel like nobody will appreciate ebook posts as much as actual book photos.My library also closes at 5 half the week too, so Overdrive has especially come in handy.

    I personally don’t care either way how people read but I know some people online do, such as the Goodreads Facebook page and other pages like that. A lot of people really get into ebook shaming there sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am a huge ebook reader myself – and there’s definitely a way to make them look as pretty as hard copies. Just take a picture of your tablet or phone or Kindle or any sort of device. Then import it to Pixlr and just add a cover onto your image. And it looks totally legit. I do it all the time. Here’s a full tutorial on it (it’s super easy): https://paperfury.com/tutorial-how-photograph-ebooks-free-photo-manipulation-pixlr/

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m sorry to bug you, but I’ve been bookstagramming for 4 months now and I noticed that people who are there for a lot shorter time are significantly more successful than I am. Don’t take me wrong, I love taking pictures and follower count is not the most important thing to me, but I cannot help but wonder whether I’m doing something wrong. What do you think?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand the frustration! Instagram has been really sucky with its algorithm and for example, my engagement has been dropping a lot. The only thing you can do is try to take the best pictures you can and try to engage with the community as much as you can. It’s just the way it goes on there but keep at it and I am sure the followers will come!

      Like

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