the bookstagram community is growing day by day and i feel like such a proud mama. it makes me happy because it’s combining two of my favorite things – books and photography – with fantabulous people. i was asked if there’s some words of wisdom i could offer to new users, so here are some things:
focus on the community aspect
bookstagram is a community of people sharing their love for books. see a photo of a book you like? comment about how it’s one of your favorites. hear someone discussing an unpopular opinion? join the conversation and share your thoughts as well. interact with other’s photos and people will reciprocate.
participate in tags, challenges, and book clubs
sometimes people will do “tags” and share a creative photo of the tag prompt. an example is one i created dubbed #twirlingpages, in which people take pictures of pages twirling and include the hashtag. you can also tag people in the photo to do the tag, which will allow others to notice your account by doing something fun! there are also book challenges people can choose to participate in. usually, there are a few people (or a few groups of people) who create their own individual monthly challenges where there’s a photo prompt for each day of the month. i created one with celine and monica this month and often search through the tag for new accounts. it’s a great way to challenge your creativity and also find other bookstagrammers. some people work with other bookstagrammers to create book clubs on instagram. i’m one of the moderators of @bibliophileacademy and i’m always checking to see who reads with us, what their thoughts were, etc. these are some ways to discuss and participate in the conversation. make friends!
… or create your own!
i wouldn’t recommend creating one of these if you’re suuuuper new to bookstagram in case nobody participates (always a disappointing possibility). if you’ve been around for a while and have a decent amount of followers, creating your own tag and/or challenge will be a good way for more people to find your account. collaborating with other users to start a book club is also possible and fun.
share photos consistently
if you know you’re going to be busy, go on an “instagram photoshoot” and take a bunch of pictures to prepare. especially if you’re a new account, inconsistency is not a habit you should build. bookstagram is time-consuming, but the most time-consuming part is the picture taking. writing a caption and clicking publish will only take a few minutes. post consistently and show you want to be part of the community, instead of simply sharing a few pictures every so often. (and if it is a place you want to share photos once in a while, that’s fine too! just don’t expect to gain a huge following overnight.)
don’t be so obsessed with your follower count
this is something that bothers me immensely. the whole “shoutout for shoutout,” “like for like,” and “follow for follow” is annoying. i know most of the previous tips are for more followers and likes, but it shouldn’t be the only thing that matters in your account. if that’s all you care about, it’ll become evident in your photos and captions; you’ll constantly be disappointed and negative and instagram won’t be so fun anymore. people (including me) will see that and turn the other direction. i’m not saying you shouldn’t celebrate your milestones in followers and likes, or give the occasional shout out. it becomes annoying when you give ten shoutouts at once then delete it ten minutes later and repeat the sequence in an hour; it becomes annoying when the only comment you leave is “s4s?”; it becomes annoying when all your captions mention something like “thanks for __ followers!!” when it wasn’t that big of a difference from the number before; it becomes annoying when the number is more important the photos and people.
other bookstagram related posts:
- how to create a bookstagram account
- seven ways to improve your instagram account
- my book photography process