A handy guide if you’re looking to start a bookstagram account.
I 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!
This 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!
Everyone 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.
I 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.
This 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.
You 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.
I 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.
Hashtags 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).
Captions 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.
Be 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.
As 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.
You Need a Bunch of Props
Not 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!
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*Above used Book Depository links are affiliate links which means I get a small commission if you buy a book through my link, which helps me out a lot!