How to: Bookstagram

It seems to me as if a lot of book bloggers have trouble getting started on Instagram, and lots of bookstagrammers (like myself) aren’t quite sure how to go about blogging.

For all of you long-time bloggers out there who want to boost their social media, here are a few tips:

  1. Good photos

Photos are the single most important aspect of bookstagramming. The first thing you will be judged upon is your feed- and if it isn’t pretty, chances are people will be less likely to follow you.

Having nice pictures is easier said than done. Here are a few things to remember when photographing books:

  • Natural sunlight– pretty, pretty please do not use lamplight to light your photos, unless it is supplementary LED. If you use what I call “yellow light” your photos will be tacky. The sun is a natural, free light source. Use it.
  • Coherency– look around at some of the most popular bookstagrammers. You’ll notice that their photos all have a general feel to them. Decide what you like best: is it bright, vivid, colors or rustic, earthy tones? Lots of saturation or black and white? I myself love the way colorful books look against white background, but I’m currently changing up my feed to be more brown-ish.
  • Props- I’ve seen many photos with props gone wrong. Sometimes, they just look really cheesy, so learn to development judgment. What is too much? If you’re not sure if you have too many props, the answer is that you probably do. When choosing props, don’t go so much for things that are important from the book. Instead, choose household items that will add elegance (ie, candles, mugs, blankets, etc). In a book about mining, do NOT put a sledgehammer in your photo.
  • Variance- okay, don’t contradict what I said in coherency. I’m talking about variance of shots. Make sure you have a variety of styles, like aerial cover photos or photos of the spines, or stacks of books. Don’t do the same set up every time with a different book.
  • Hashtags- make sure your tags are relevant to your photo. You don’t need dozens of them, the basic #bookstagram and #books. I usually put a hashtag of the author and book featured as well.

Tip: choose books with aesthetically pleasing covers.

2. Interaction

Just like in book blogging, you need friends! Comment and like on others’ photos, and you’ll find they tend to comment in return! Always respond to comments on your photos, and go out of your way to compliment photos that you love. Also, you’ll be surprised by how much you learn/are influenced by others’ photos.

One thing I don’t recommend doing is promoting yourself on someone else’s photos. It is disrespectful, and often times people will disregard you anyway. Try to avoid “F4F”, it is very annoying, from personal experience. People will follow you if they like your photos, so stop pestering them.

3. Consistency

Don’t forget to post every day. Unfortunately, book blogging slumps and bookstagram slumps are just as real as reading slumps, so sometimes this can be difficult. I recommend that when you are feeling in a very photo-artsy mood, take several pictures. This way, when you are in a “slump” you can just use a photo you’ve already taken.

Well, those are my tips for bookstagramming! I hope they help! Comment your Instagram below, and I’ll be sure to follow. You can find me @Gossamerpages.

Thanks for reading! Until next time.

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