5 Tips for Bookstagram – Guest Post by Esther (The Dutch Bookworm)

There are over 3 million photos on Instagram that have the tag #bookstagram. With so many other readers taking pics of their beloved books, it’s easy to feel a bit overwhelmed and even scarred to participate on this social platform. But don’t worry; barking dogs never bite!

I’m still a bit of a newbie on Instagram (I’ve joined this amazing social medium since February), so before I dipped my toes in the water, I search for a lot of tips and tricks on how this platform worked. I learned so much by doing this, that it would be selfish to keep all this amazing (and yet so simple) information to myself. So please take this advice to heart and you will have the most wonderful time on #bookstagram!

Tip 1: Bio

Your bio is like your business card, so a clear one is necessary in the beginning of your bookstagram experience. Here you can put your link to your website or other social media, your interests, age and even your Goodreads Challenge if you participate in that. Make sure you use keywords like ‘Book’, ‘Book Blogger’, and ‘Bookstagram’ so it is easier for people to find you.

Tip 2: The photos

I could give you a thousand tips on how to make great photos, but the first and the best one is: trial and error. When I take a picture for bookstagram, I will make about twenty of them. Then I will delete the half of it and choose. And even then I’m sometimes not happy with the way they turned out. Find out why you are not happy about the photo. Is it the lighting? The setup? The quality of the photo? Next time you can eliminate those flaws and make an even better picture. Also; learn from others. What are their strengths and weaknesses? Observe and learn.

A theme in your photos creates a nice layout to your profile. I’m still a bit unsure what my theme will be, but some other bookstagrammers do know what there about. There are a few ways to create a theme:

Use the same filter

Play around with the filters of Instagram (or use an app that has filters that Instagram doesn’t have) and see what you like. A filter can lift your photo to a new level and also creates a specific atmosphere. For example this photograph, where I used the filter ‘Lark’ from Instagram:

image

Use the same background

If you’ve scrolled through the feeds of Instagram, you will have noticed the variation of backgrounds that is used. The most common ones I’ve seen are: bed sheets, wooden tables, a plain white background, a bookshelf and nature. For this photo I chose my bookshelf as background:

image

Use the same colours

Using the same colours is a very creative way to make your photos your own. Of course you can go for the classic black and white, but a lot of editing apps allow you to make your photos glow a different colour (like yellow, red or blue).

This can also be done by surrounding your object that you want to display with this colour. Like this photo where I had a pink theme:

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Tip 3: Schedule

You don’t have to have a super tight schedule, but it’s nice to know what kind of photo you will upload and when. Make sure you will interact on Instagram at least once in two days, so that Instagram will know that you are an active user and then the app will recommend you to other users.

It will get difficult to find inspiration each day, so it’s more than fine to upload once a week. To help you out, there are a lot of users that make a #bookchallenge. This will help you fill your account and will connect you with others that are doing this challenge. Examples of challenges are: make a picture of your TBR, photograph all your purple books and take a picture of your favourite book with the sky in the background.

Tip 4: Hashtags

You will probably be familiar with hashtags, you can’t go anywhere without seeing them. Same goes for bookstagram. But they really do help to put the spotlight on your pictures. Some people like to put there tags in the description. I like to put my tags in a comment under my photograph, so that my message or question in the description isn’t drowning in the tags.

When I first started, I typed all the tags out myself and hoped that I didn’t forget any. Then I found out that there are handy apps for that! There are different apps for different countries and devices, but if you go to your app store and type in ‘hashtags for Instagram’ or even just ‘tags’ it will show you the right apps. You can store your own tags and just copy and paste them at your photo. Super easy! Almost all of the apps show the most used tags too. You can use these to get your photo displayed to a bigger audience.

Tip 5: Interaction

I can’t start this last tip without going back to the tags. Through tags, you can find other people to interact with. It’s still mind blowing to see how people don’t see that they have to interact on a social medium. And yes, I was one of those people. I thought that other bookstagrammers would just happen to stumble upon my profile and start to follow me. But no. If you want to have more followers, more comments, more likes and more fun you need to do the same for other user. Go to the bookstagram tag, find the recent uploads and scroll through them. If you think a picture is good, like it. If you have something to say about the picture (for example about the book that is photographed), make a comment. I promise you, within no time, you will have more followers and you will start to understand why people are addicted to Instagram.

I hope I helped you in some way with these tips!

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