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 names, photo 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.
You should consider using book-related words in your Instagram handle, so that people immediately know it’s a Bookstagram profile. Some words you can incorporate are: books, Bookstagram, read, reading, pages, bookish, lit, literary, literature, book club, bookshelf, fiction, novels, bookworm, book stack, library and booked.
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: How to Write a Negative Book Review Online may help you do so, especially when it comes to tough reviews.
42 Bookstagram Photo Ideas
I brainstormed this list as a resource of photo ideas to post on Bookstagram when you are low on inspiration:
- author spotlights
- book / bookish quotes
- book carts
- book clubs
- book hauls
- book lists
- book pairings/ things inspired by the book
- book recommendations
- book reviews
- bookish merchandise
- bookmail / book haul
- books in the air
- books on tv / in movies
- bookshelves (“shelfies”)
- coffee or tea with books
- cover reveals
- currently reading
- discussion questions
- favorite books
- food cooked from a book (I host #cookthebook for these posts.)
- home libraries / booknooks
- If you liked this, read that.
- interviews (with authors, etc.)
- just finished books
- literary travel
- meet the Bookstagrammer
- monthly wrap-ups
- other Bookstagrammers
- pets with books
- re-creations of the cover art
- seasonal themes
- stacks of books
- style inspired by books (I host #lookofthebook for these posts.)
- to be read (“TBR”) list
- what’s in your bag
- wish lists
- wrap-ups (monthly, yearly, etc.)
How to Grow Your Bookstagram
Now that you understand the basics of Bookstagram, lets talk about some next steps to book the success and quality of your Bookstagram.
Lightroom Presets for Bookstagram
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!
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!
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. 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. 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 everything you need to know about Bookstagram.
BONUS: GET A FREE PRINTABLE PDF OF MY INSTAGRAM HASHTAG GUIDE
Get a free printable PDF of my Bookstagram hashtag guide (with my BONUS lifestyle hashtags by category — not published anywhere else) when you sign up for my weekly email newsletter — a quick, warm and fuzzy email with curated book pairings. If a good book leaves you wanting more after you turn the last page, this is for you. It’s like Reading Rainbow for women.
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Related Bookstagram Posts:
- A Beginner’s Guide to Bookstagram
- Bookstagram Hashtag Guide
- Bookstagram Story Templates
- Literary Holiday Calendar for Social Media Planning
- How to Start a Book Blog
Pin this beginner’s guide to Pinterest because you can refer back to it as a valuable Bookstagram resource: