How To Rock Your Bookstagram
So you want to improve your bookstagram! Well, you’ve come to the right person. I’ve been following bookish accounts on Instagram for a long time now, and have had my own account for almost two years! Joining bookstagram is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and I adore that community so much. You can check out my account here.
A while ago, I wrote this post about bookstagram, and you guys seemed to like it. While some of these tips may be repeated, I’ve gone way more in depth with them, so they still should be useful.
First off: What is bookstagram?
Bookstagram is a community of book lovers on Instagram who post pictures of books.
We bond together over a shared love of books.
If you already have a bookstagram account, and are just looking for tips on how to make it the best it can be, you can skip this step and move on to the next one!
The first step to rocking a bookstagram is to actually create it. Easy, right? But-to create an Instagram account, you’ll need to come up with a name for your bookstagram.
- Make sure it’s not already taken. If you try to use a username that someone already uses, Instagram won’t let you.
- Make it original! Don’t just add an x or a few extra letters to the end of another person’s account name (ex: Insidethebookreaderx, Fictionteas) Be creative!
- I came up with my account name by making a list of all the things I loved. What was at the top of my list was books and tea, which turned into Bookishnessandtea!
After you’ve created your account, you’re going to want to follow some bookstagrammers.
I actually made a post on my blog about bookstagrammers I loved. You can check that out here.
There are hundreds and hundreds of beautiful accounts out there, so I’m sure you’re going to be able to find some you love.
If you were too lazy to click on the link, I’ll list a few of my favorites:
Lighting is KEY. No one wants to see a very dark picture in which you can’t even tell what book it is. Lighting, whether natural or artificial, makes a huge difference in how your photos look.
Make sure your photos aren’t blurry! Blurry is an instant turn off, and won’t make people want to your account. As I’ll say later in this post, there’s no need for a fancy camera at all- but you want your photos to look good.
You can always post pictures without putting filters on them. It’s up to you to do what YOU want. But if you do want to use filters, I’d recommend the app vscocam. It has lots and lots of different filters, and you can find one perfect for you! If you don’t want to use vscocam, you can use the Instagram filters.
If you see a photo you like while scrolling through your feed, comment that! It’ll make the person’s day. Or if you see a picture of a book you bought, or a book you love, comment! Start a discussion with the person, and maybe you’ll even become friends with them.
But remember: do not just comment “Love your account! F4F?” or “Gorgeous picture! S4S?” That’s the way to get blocked, not the way to make friends.
A good way to get people to interact with you more is to have interesting captions. Maybe make it a question, like “What are you currently reading?” or “What was the last book you rated 5 stars?” Questions like these lead to more comments for you, and a way to make friends.
The bookstagram community is an amazing place, with so many people that are ready to help you. But if you ever are rude to someone, people will find out, and you will not be liked.
Don’t dm (direct message) a big account asking for a follow back or a shoutout. It does not make people happy, and could get you blocked.
It’s common sense! Treat everyone here how you want to be treated.
Oh, the elusive Instagram hashtags. Some bookstagrammers put hashtags on their photos, so that way someone scrolling through a hashtag (#bookstagram is a common one) can find and like their pictures. I personally don’t use hashtags, but I can see the appeal.
If you decide to use hashtags, I have a few tips.
- Put them in the caption below your actual caption. By this I mean, you post your photo, with your caption. Maybe you say, “What are you currently reading? I’m currently reading Passenger by Alexandra Bracken. Have you read it?” Then, instead of adding the hashtags there, go to the photo, and comment the hashtags. They will still be applied to that photo, and it makes you look less thirsty for likes.
- Use related hashtags. If it is a picture of a book, don’t put the hashtag #car, for example. You wouldn’t want people clogging up book related hashtags with non book related photos, so don’t do that to others.
- Oh, that’s another thing. Don’t post a non-book related photo and hashtag it to #books or #bookstagram unless it makes sense. We don’t want our hashtags being full of not book related things.
A theme doesn’t always mean you have to always post a picture with the same background- although some people do, and it’s gorgeous! When I think of a theme, I think of using the same filter for your photos, or being consistent with what style of picture you post.
You don’t need a theme, and I honestly don’t think it matters if you do or don’t. There are some amazing accounts without themes, and there are some amazing accounts with themes.
The reason a theme is GOOD is because it helps people to recognize your photos. When someone is scrolling through dozens of pictures on their feed, you want them to be able to immediately think, “Oh, that’s [yours]!”
I’ve met some of my closest friends through bookstagram. They’re people who share my love of books, who I can talk to about my problems, who make my day so much better.
You may not make best friends immediately, so don’t go into it thinking that. It takes time to develop quality relationships with people.
If you follow someone you think you’d get along with, dm them! You never know, you might become best friends.
The bookstagram community does a lot of giveaways, and while it is amazing if you win, it is not amazing to have your feed be full of reposts of giveaway pictures. It can get annoying, and lead to people unfollowing you.
Luckily, I think bookstagram giveaways are shifting from the “repost” to “tag three friends in the comments”. I think this is so much better.
If you want to host a giveaway, go for it! I have hosted one, and it worked out perfectly.
Don’t host a giveaway just to gain followers. Maybe do it when you hit a certain milestone in follower counts!
- Don’t post just to post! Be proud of your photography, and post pictures that you love.
- Never, EVER steal photos and repost without giving credit or getting permission.
- Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. This should go without saying, right? But there has been a situation where a man was pretending to be a young girl. NOT COOL. Bookstagram is our safe community.
Do I need a fancy camera in order to be a successful bookstagrammer?
No, no, no! A thousand times NO. There is no need to go out and buy an expensive camera just for bookstagramming. I used to take my photos on my phone, and they were perfectly fine! IPhone photo quality is definitely good enough. So many accounts take photos with their phones and they turn out perfect.
How did you get so many followers?
Well, I wouldn’t say I have TONS, but I’m proud of my account. As unhelpful as it is, the answer to this question is TIME and EFFORT. I’ve had my account for a while. I’ve worked and worked to constantly improve my photos. I put so much into my account, and if you want to see success with your Instagram account, you’re usually just going to have to wait. If you put the effort into your photography, I promise you it will pay off with followers. If you are yourself, people will want to follow you.
I hope you learned something from this guide, and I can’t wait to see your beautiful pictures! You can always dm me @Bookishnessandtea for anything Instagram related, or email me at bookishnessandtea AT gmail DOT com.
Do you have a bookstagram? Leave a link to it below! If you don’t, are you thinking of creating one? Did any of these tips help you? Do you have any tips for bookstagrammers?
Thanks for reading!