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twirling pages

how to create a bookstagram account

if you don’t know, a bookstagram is simply a bookish instagram account. you share pictures of books and… books, and sometimes coffee with books or socks with books, but basically BOOKS.

people often ask me, “how do i start a bookstagram account?” but i always felt it was a bit redundant to answer because you just… make one? however, sometimes it’s more than just making an account; it’s about being part of the community as well as making an account. so hopefully this post will help your bookstgrammin’ journey. (and if you already have a bookstagram… HELLO, PAL!)

step one: download the instagram app


you can download the app on (almost) any apple, android, and windows operating system. this can be a phone, tablet, ipod… you get the idea.

step two: think of a username & make an account

bookstagram

your username is how others in the community will identify you as. it’s more important than your own name in the bookstagram world. when people think of your account, they’ll more likely be thinking, “i love @insert-username-here!” than, “i love insert-name-here’s account!” i mentioned some tips in my HOW TO START A BLOG post, but here are some more (and some repeated) suggestions when thinking of a username:

  • don’t make it too long; usually one to three words is good
  • refrain from excessive amount of periods, underscores, and numbers; @r_e_a_d_e_r248957 is probably not the best way to go
  • use keywords that relate to whatever it is you’re talking about (ex: books, read, pages, etc.)
  • you can use already existing words and respell it in your own way (ex: @bloomsbery vs @bloomsburypublishing)
  • you can also try to make it personal and incorporate yourself into the name (ex: @blueeyedbiblio has blue eyes)
  • brainstorm and try to think of a few possible ones before deciding on the name

after you decided on a name (you can always change this later if you grow to dislike it), you register to create an account! make sure the username you chose isn’t already in use or else you’ll need to think of another one (which is why it’s good to have a few other choices as well).

step three: update your info

it’s always good to share some information about yourself in the bio. it’s one of the first things people see when clicking your account. like your username, you can always change it later if you don’t like it. bookstagrammers often like to include…

  • how many books you read that year
  • age and/or location of residence
  • some short phrases about yourself
  • your favorite quote
  • other social media accounts, if you have any
  • a business email, if you have one
  • a simple sentence or whatever you want

instagram bio

my current bio

another thing i recommend updating is your profile picture. for me, this is the first thing i see when looking at accounts. if the photo is the generic instagram head, or if it’s something blurry and unidentifiable, there’s a very high chance i wouldn’t bother looking at the account. for all i know, it could be a spam account! if you have a nice profile photo, i can safely assume that your photos will be just as nice. *clicks follow*

step four: take some bookish photos

you don’t need a fancy-schmancy camera to take book photos; you can simply use your phone. BUT if you’re very particular about lighting, quality, etc., then you could also use a more “professional” camera but that’s not ~required~. i could go into more detail on how to take book pictures, but i shared my book photography process here and i’ll just link you to that instead. TL;DR: take some pictures with some books, edit it them however you desire, and share ‘em.

@twirlingpages theme

some of my recent photos from @twirlingpages (aka the “feed/theme” of my account)

another thing a lot of bookstagrammers keep in mind of is a “theme” or overall look of your account. this can be a filter you always use, a background you generally take your book pictures, or overall aesthetic. i don’t like having a set theme/filter – tried it a few times and always gave up after like five pictures – but some common ones are usually clean (white background), nature-y, or vibrant… you get the idea. i try to share pictures that are colorful and bright, but you find your ~aesthetic~ and do your thing!

step five: post your photo(s)

bookstagram

you set up your account and took your photos; now it’s time to show them to the world! try to think of a fitting caption. it could be something related to your picture, or it could be something acknowledging your journey into bookstagram. if you included some books (or a singular book) with an author or publishing company with an instagram account, i’d suggest tagging them in the photo as well as hashtagging them in the caption.

you can include hashtags in the comments (so there’s not a huge chunk of tags in your caption), or you can include it in the caption. (i include it in the comments, as it’s my personal preference.) some popular tags include #bookstagram, #books, #reader, #bookworm, etc. i wouldn’t recommend hashtagging things like #followforfollow or #likeforlike because the people searching those tags generally aren’t bookish people. i could honestly say i stalk some of the bookstagram related tags and find new accounts that way.

step six: find, follow, and interact with other bookstagrammers

this is a crucial step in putting yourself out there. follow “big” accounts you admire and follow new accounts that you feel deserve more credit. like and comment on their photos, and in the process you’ll make some friends! one big thing i suggest you DON’T do is to comment “new account! follow me!” or “love this! follow me!” onto people’s photos. it’s a bit rude and there’s a higher chance of people avoiding your account than following. if you simply leave nice comments or contribute in the conversation, people will naturally find your account. <333

welcome to the bookstagram community!! i hope you found this guide helpful; taking photos of books is a very time-consuming and addicting activity, so i hope you have fun and enjoy the process. comment your instagram username so i (as well as others) can find and follow you!

Alexandra Ling

alexandra is a nineteen-year-old content creator and avid reader. when she's not on the internet or hiding behind pages, you can find her training to be a professional ballet dancer. she finds writing about herself in third-person strange.

  • Great guide as always! I wish I had known about bookstagram sooner because I had an instagram account and was taking book photos for my blog but I either didn’t share them and/or didn’t know what to tag them with *sigh* I also kind of wish I had come up with a name more book related, but I feel like I can’t change anything now. Then again… It turned out alright. I’ll be sure to share this with anyone I know wanting to start in on book instagram!

  • oooooh amazing amazing tips!! i actually started a bookstagram before starting a blog (i actually didn’t know people talk about books on blogs), and i really really enjoy being part of the community! my username is @younicornreads 🙂
    Maha @ Younicorn Reads

  • amazing post as always! i started my journey on bookstagram before starting my blog and i love it to pieces! you’re totally right when you say it’s time consuming, but it’s also super worth it. i love spending a couple hours every week on a bookish photoshoot, it’s so much fun!

  • Anita Lin

    I love this post, it’s very very helpful! I only just recently discovered your blog and I’ve spent ages reading through your posts! I especially loved the post about how to take book photos. I think it was helpful and interesting to read about your photo taking process. My Instagram is @silencedcity <3 (:

  • Ichabod Temperance

    Thank you, Alexandra!
    I am a digital dunce and this post is very helpful!
    I will be there soon!

  • Maggie

    thank you for this post, it’s very helpful! i just started a bookstagram and this will definitely help me! also, i absolutely adore your account and find all of your posts to be gorgeous. keep doing what you do! my username is @bookishinfinity ^_^ <3

  • Andie G.

    Thank you for sharing! I already have a bookstagram account (@andiereads) but this was still very helpful!

    Greetings from Germany!

    Andie

    http://www.andiereads.wordpress.com

  • I LOVE THIS POST. I’ve been waiting for it forever and I’m so happy it’s here. If anyone knows bookstagram, it’s you. {you can find me @beauty.of.bibliophile}

  • Natalie

    I’d taken a break from bookstagram because I was in a bit of a rut but this has helped me to get back into it after MONTHS of being away. Thank you!

  • ryley

    I just made an account! i love the idea of bookstagram, hopefully i can be just as good as other ones. If you want to see mine it is @_queenofthebooks_

  • Maggie

    I just recently made an account and my name is @lovelyinkedpaper 🙂 this post helped me alot <3

  • Angelica Gabriela Velazquez

    Thanks for all the helpful tips! I made an account a few days ago! If anyone would like to follow me you can find me under @angelicasbookhaven

  • Maritina Mela

    I want to create a bookstagram account but 1) I don’t know if I should keep it separate from my main account (I don’t know why I feel bad for having to create two accounts, silly me) 2) I know I am not a talented photographer, even for an amateur one, and bookstagram photographers seem so talented! Plus, I suck at creating a set – I don’t know what other word to use- with books and other stuff 😢 3) I am a bit of a slow reader and I am afraid I won’t be able to post as frequent as I have to and that would cost me followers

    Anyway, enough with me pittying myself! This article was great and you seem like a nice person ☺

    P. S. I am so sorry for my terrible english

  • Blossoms and Bullet Journals

    Thank you for writing this post! I am already a bookstagrammer (@blossomsandbujos) but I certainly found some helpful tips in this post! <3

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