How to start your own Bookstagram Account: Bookstagram for Beginners
I thought a lot about that topic, especially when I started creating a Bookstagram account myself, and no one could really help me! So I thought I’d give my little ones an easy guide to do it!
There is probably no wrong or right way to start your Instagram/ bookstagram account, because it should reflect yourself. Your soul, your personality, your wishes and hobbies.
But still there are some tricks:
Don’t think you have to be perfect from the beginning on – I am certainly not, even now.
Give yourself time to adjust, to understand the dynamics and find your own style. Because yes that’s essential. No one likes copy cats. It’s the only way to let people recognize your pictures as 100% yours and not a copy of a big popular Instagram account. You can use the same filters, try to copy their pics and style – but it will never give them the personal touch of recognition the “Bigfoots” have.
Be yourself and build your own business card.
How to do that
First of all think about a Username that fits your character, and also the community, so people will recognize you! People often change their Usernames later and it is quiet difficult to follow then, who is who and to remember all the names. So take your time and think about a name that really says something about you and try to keep it. I haven’t changed my name in 1 1/2 years and even my poetry name and my blog name fit my instagram username!
Search on the discovery page for other users and bookstagrammers whose pics you like.
Maybe I have to explain that a bit more: It will bring you nothing but desperation, if you post a zillion pictures (which might already be super beautiful!), when no one sees them and if you have no one to chat with. Bookstagram is not only about likes or followers, but about interaction! So search for accounts, that might like the same book genres as you, or are crazy for candles, like you are. Just try to find other accounts that mirror your interests and interact with them. Comment and like all the way, because we all are happy when there are new people in town.
A good advice Nina from @ninasbookworld gave me in the beginning was: just start! Yes easy like that. Because Bookstagram functions like that: Learning by doing. You have to make certain mistakes to find your own style and niche!
You don’t need a good camera! If you are already a photograph and just like to take pictures with your cam that’s absolutely fine – but there is no need to buy a pricey camera. I take all of my pics with my iPhone 7 and its definitely enough! You’ll always have to twitch them a bit with another App for sure (I for example use “Lightroom for phones” but others use “VSCO”, “Snapseed”, “Color Story”, “Photoshop” or maybe something entirely different. The instagram app in itself has some amazing editing functions, so no worries if you have no idea what I am talking about here.) Fact is: Your phone is enough to start!
Decide for a theme/ filter and stay with it. In my opinion nothing is as confusing and unprofessional as if a feed has a billion different filters and editing styles. I am not talking about changing color themes or maybe some black and white in between, but entirely unstructured feeds without a story. You like it colorful and bright? Fine! You like to use several props, or not at all? Also fine! You like it bright and minimalistic as I do? Perfect (because I’ve linked some amazing profiles at the end :D) Just find your own style and don’t change it every few days. (Its okay to test some stuff out in the beginning, we all did. And even now I am twitching a few things in my editing settings.) Just don’t make chaos 😀 Not because I personally down like it, but because we humans are aesthetic beings and we like to look at things that are easy for the eyes, especially when we look on our phones about 3 hours a day!
post regularly. Instagram is based on an algorithm that notices your interactions and post routine and will therefore see if you fit into that (*damn) algorithm 😀 So if you post regularly the algorithm with notice that and you will therefore probably be more seen by other members. Yes it is hard work to post daily or twice a day, but the algorithm is hard and takes no prisoners.
Use your Stories – Option. People who like your pictures will want to know more about the face behind the photography. So show your face or include your followers in your daily life routine. Show them what you are currently reading or what book mail has arrived.
Stay updated. For my blog and also my instagram account I always try to be up to date with all the releases, newspaper articles in the bookish world and brands that are currently popular! It helps me to interact and to find new caption ideas
ask questions in your captions. Only then people will feel invited to comment and interact with you. Not just a: how was your day. But maybe something that matches your pic? Something that happened in your daily life? The next big release? Be creative and be yourself, because the picture and the caption will be the first thing people see of your profile.
use #hashtags . They are not only funny little words at the end of your caption. No. They help people finding and categorizing your pictures. A new feature of instagram is, that you can follow certain Hashtags. So maybe create your own one? Mine for example is #solaire_writing and you can find it under every single one of my posts. There are also a lot of featuring pages you can mention by linking them on your pic or using their hashtags. And when they think your picture is unique enough they will repost it – and you therefore will have a bigger range of people that can see your pictures and will be tempted to follow you!
be creative. No one wants to see the same book in ten different angles. You don’t have to own 500 books number rising to be a good bookstagrammer. Just be creative with the way you photograph them! There is a lot of inspiration on platforms like Pinterest!
and the most important one: Have fun! Yes, thats it! Some days you will be super upset because you’ve lost 30 followers at once, or no one has commented on your pics for ages. Yes thats shitty. But if you love your pics and love the community, you will keep doing it. So please do yourself a favor, not thinking about what is IN and POPULAR, post what you love, because only then you will be authentic. Stay strong and keep posting, even when there are hard times. And there will be hard times, I promise. Never give up – hard work will pay you in the end!
Apps I use:
My Stories: Unfold, Spark Post
My pictures: Lightroom
For special occurrences: Canva, photo fox, live collage
other good Apps: VSCO, Color Story, Snapped, Hype Type, Photofox, Lumyer, Photoshop
Some of my favorite Bookstagram Accounts, that made me find my own style: