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Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Bookstagram

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Welcome to a beginner’s guide to Bookstagram, where I break down what a Bookstagram is, how to start a Bookstagram, how to get more followers, Bookstagram name ideas, post ideas, lightroom presets, story templates, props and more!


This beginner’s guide to Bookstagram is best for those new to Bookstagram and/or looking to boost their Bookstagram.

Let’s get started!

Beginner’s Guide to Bookstagram

What is a Bookstagram?

Bookstagram is an unofficial group of Instagram users (also known as Bookstagrammers) who post regularly about books and interact with each other. #Bookstagram can be used to designate a book-related post as part of Bookstagram.

How do I start a Bookstagram?

You can start a Bookstagram by creating an Instagram account dedicated mostly to book-related posts.

Follow these steps:

Create an Instagram account.

Brainstorm who you are and what you want to be “known for” on Instagram. Being unique and consistent is what sets you apart from others and makes you memorable. It can also help people find “common ground” to engage with you.

Here are just a few ideas: book quotes, pictures of your dog with books, a specific genre of books, or pictures of books with your own doodles. You can pick one or more than one specific theme.

I share a mix of posts but have specific hashtags called: #therorygilmorebookclub, #lookofthebook and #cookthebook. I have also become known for sharing helpful bookish lists and resources, simply by regularly doing these things.

Brainstorm your photography style. Similar to being unique and consistent with your content, people like to see a cohesive look to easily understand and become familiar with an account. Take some test shots and decide if there’s a certain angle, background, color or something else that you can do to make your photos look unique to you.

I like to use a lot of straight lines and cozy-feeling pictures with Fall inspired colors.

Good Bookstagram Name Ideas

If you’re looking for good Bookstagram username ideas, below are some Instagram username ideas for the biggest book lovers.

You should consider using book-related words in your book Instagram handle so that people immediately know it’s a Bookstagram profile.

Some good Bookstagram handle ideas you can incorporate into your bookish username are:

  • books;
  • Bookstagram;
  • read;
  • reading;
  • pages;
  • bookish;
  • lit;
  • literary;
  • literature;
  • book club;
  • bookshelf;
  • fiction;
  • novels;
  • bookworm;
  • book stack;
  • library; and
  • booked.

You can also incorporate into your bookish username your favorite literary characters (like Harry Potter or Elizabeth Bennett) or your favorite literary settings (like Manderley or Hogwarts).

For more: Use my Bookstagram name generator and my best Bookstagram bio ideas to boost your profile.

How to Bookstagram

42 Bookstagram Photo Ideas

Below are the best Bookstagram photo ideas to post:

  1. advanced review copies of books
  2. author spotlights
  3. book / bookish quotes
  4. book carts
  5. book clubs
  6. book hauls
  7. book lists 
  8. book pairings/ things inspired by the book
  9. book recommendations
  10. book reviews
  11. bookish merchandise
  12. bookmail / book haul
  14. books in the air
  15. books on tv / in movies
  16. bookshelves (“shelfies”)
  17. bookstores
  18. challenges
  19. coffee or tea with books
  20. cover reveals
  21. currently reading
  22. discussion questions 
  23. favorite books
  24. food cooked from a book (I host #cookthebook for these posts.)
  25. home libraries / booknooks
  26. If you liked this, read that.
  27. interviews (with authors, etc.)
  28. just finished books
  29. libraries
  30. literary travel
  31. meet the Bookstagrammer
  32. monthly wrap-ups
  33. other Bookstagrammers
  34. pets with books
  35. re-creations of the cover art
  36. seasonal themes
  37. stacks of books 
  38. style inspired by books (I host #lookofthebook for these posts.)
  39. tips
  40. to be read (“TBR”) list
  41. what’s in your bag
  42. wish lists
  43. wrap-ups (monthly, yearly, etc.)

How to Grow Your Bookstagram

Now that you understand the basics of Bookstagram, let’s talk about some next steps to book the success and quality of your Bookstagram.

How do I get more followers on Bookstagram?

You can get more followers on Bookstagram by engaging with other Bookstagrammers. This means: entering and hosting giveaways, participating in challenges, reaching out via direct message with a genuine comment, liking and commenting on other’s posts, tagging relevant accounts in your posts, and being a genuine, kind person.

I personally don’t recommend other forms of engagement that aren’t genuine, like “follow for follow” threads. In my opinion, the point of having followers and following others is to authentically share.

I also think it helps to hone your personal voice. My discussion about how to write a negative book review online may help you do so, especially when it comes to tough reviews.

Lightroom Presets for Bookstagram Photos

I take most of my photos on my phone and I edit my photos in the free Lightroom app, as do many Bookstagrammers. I purchased presets for the free Adobe Lightroom App from Creative Market, by which I edit my photos in one click! Etsy is another great place to purchase, among other handmade items, digital goods. I recommend that you search through these sites and find a present that matches the overall mood and/or color scheme you want to project. Remember to be unique and be yourself!

Bookstagram Props

People can get really creative with styling photos with books as their models. I like to pair a book with something it reminds me of (a pairing), like an outfit that matches the cover, a personal photo from a location in the book or a meal mentioned in the book.

Other ideas are capturing books where you are reading them, with yourself (a selfie!) with other books, in the air, with nature, with something in your house (like a candle, mug of coffee, or cozy blanket), or a bookish accessory (my list of gifts for book lovers may help you with that).

I personally don’t like to buy props specifically for staging, like backgrounds, because it doesn’t feel authentic to me but to each their own!

Related post: Ideas for Bookstagram Props

Bookstagram Hashtags

Instagram allows you to add up to thirty hashtags per post, and doing so can really increase a post’s visibility. However, you will want to vary your hashtags and keep them relevant, or Instagram may start “punishing” you with less visibility.

Related post: Check out my hashtag guide for over three hundred hashtag recommendations to make this process simple.

Bookstagram Story Templates

Another way to boost your Bookstagram is through the use of stories, which last 24 hours and are generally more lighthearted and less polished than traditional posts. I find that this is where people really get to know each other.

Related post: Check out my Bookstagram story templates for several easy bookish templates you can copy and use in your own stories.

Learn More About Bookstagram

That sums up a beginner’s guide to Bookstagram, but if you want more, check out my review of Bookstagram: The Ultimate Guide, a cheap and easy e-book that breaks down each and every thing you need to know about Bookstagram.

Bonus: Printable PDF of my Bookstagram Hashtag Guide

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