Bookstagram is arguably the best community on Instagram, but I am pretty biased. And this review of Bookstagram: The Ultimate Guide by Taylor at Reader.Haven on Instagram details the cheap and easy resource I used to start and grow my own Bookstagram (@bookish_jules).
The good news is that the Bookstagram community is incredibly welcoming and helpful. The bad news is that it can be overwhelming to learn (or be expected to know) the lay of the land and to grow exponentially.
So, when I got an Instagram ad for Bookstagram: The Ultimate Guide at such a cheap price, I figured I couldn’t go wrong by giving it a shot, even if I learned only one or two new things. Below is my honest review of everything you will get from Bookstagram: The Ultimate Guide.
Review of “Bookstagram: The Ultimate Guide”
What is “Bookstagram: The Ultimate Guide” and who wrote it?
It was written by Taylor at Reader.Haven, with nearly 6,000 followers (a sizable number for Bookstagram!). Taylor lives in Austin, Texas, and like me, she is an INFJ, so I felt I could trust her. (The INFJ is “the counselor” — perfect for mentoring and teaching someone the ropes!) She previously owned an independent online bookstore and has since transitioned into running a blog called Reader Haven.
Who is “Bookstagram: The Ultimate Guide For?”
Having read Bookstagram: The Ultimate Guide several times and being part of the Bookstagram community for a little less than a year at the time of posting, I believe it is best for people who are new to Bookstagram, or relatively new and/or for people who are looking to improve a smaller sized Bookstagram (a few thousand followers or less) in some way: to be more branded, have better photos, work with more publishers, etc.
And I agree with Taylor when she says Bookstagram “is not just a hashtag; it’s a way of life.” I also agree with her philosophy of maintaining sight of why you joined Bookstagram and her mentality that “done is better than perfect.” These have all been important driving forces for me in both creating something meaningful and also getting things done!
What topics does “Bookstagram: The Ultimate Guide” cover?
Bookstagram: The Ultimate Guide has five parts:
- A Bookstagram Backstory
- The First Impression
- Content Creation
- Dynamic Strategies for Growth
- Publishers Partnerships and Brand Deals (Oh My!)
Each part contains several comprehensive subsections, such as the anatomy of the perfect bio, improving your Bookstagram photography, how to conduct giveaways and working with publishers to get free books and more.
While Bookstagram: The Ultimate Guide contains 200 pages worth of topics, below are the ones that really stood out to me personally as providing bang for your buck:
You also learn how to optimize your bio to: show up in searches; get clicks; and get more followers — things we all can re-evaluate and improve.
Taylor helps you decide whether to have a business or personal account.
You will learn “the three C’s” of creating content that makes your Instagram feed look like your own personal vision board. I find this to be so important to define who you are online and having people “get it” in a one-second review of your feed (it doesn’t take long for people to decide to follow or move on to something different). It’s also what helps people become familiar with you as a person. And we all like familiarity from the people we follow online!
Taylor helps you decide the best time to post on Instagram.
Bookstagram: The Ultimate Guide does a really excellent job of teaching the basics of better photography, even if you are just using your iPhone. This includes easy photography principles for getting a better shot (like how to frame the shot and what color schemes are complimentary), as well as some quick tips for things like avoiding odd shadows.
On the same note, you will learn all the basics of photo editing in a way that’s super easy to learn and understand … and then implement yourself! I really believe Taylor’s photography tips are where this book excels best — she kept it so simple and just the basics you really need to know to get better pictures — nothing too fancy, yet still very comprehensive. (And I have taken photography courses.)
Taylor also gives hashtag tips for optimal performance of a post and clears up some of the questions about hashtags that people are always discussing.
She then tells you how to avoid being “shadow-banned” on Instagram, which means that your posts don’t appear to non-followers. Eeek!
Bookstagram: The Ultimate Guide teaches you everything you need to know about running giveaways from start to finish, including how to increase the reach of your giveaway and what hashtags to use. Giveaway templates are included too!
Additionally, you will learn how to get more views on your Stories and the best apps to use for better Stories.
Importantly, Bookstagram: The Ultimate Guide gives all the details on what all newbies want to know (but are too afraid to ask) about working with publishers and brands.
This section is what sold me on buying this book because at the time I purchased it, I hadn’t worked with any publishers and wanted to make sure I was doing things “the right way” and increasing my chances of getting great partnerships.
You will learn everything from how to find the right contact to how to pitch them. This was invaluable advice to me! I have since started had several partnerships and have been getting a very nice amount of book mail. Yay!
Lastly, I really liked that Bookstagram: The Ultimate Guide shares tips from numerous other successful Bookstagrammers, so the reader gets the benefit of multiple perspectives on what works. It’s also just great for finding new Bookstagrammers to keep up with.
Overall, I found Bookstagram: The Ultimate Guide to be a really comprehensive resource for new or new-ish small to mid-sized Bookstagrammers. It was way more comprehensive than anything I could have created myself, and I pride myself on being comprehensive.
And the price point is fantastic! I think most Bookstagrammers will have some great takeaways and feel like it was worth their money.
There were a few things I found were either not included or could be improved upon:
First, your purchase gives you a certain amount of clicks to download the book, and then you are locked out of it. At first, I hadn’t printed it out, and when I went back to refer to it a few months later, I could no longer access it. However, I emailed the author and she very quickly re-set the link for me and I printed the book out for myself.
Second, while I thought the breadth of Bookstagram: The Ultimate Guide was pretty comprehensive, I noticed that it didn’t contain a few resources that I found to be important and created for my blog. However, since I have already created these resources, you can access them anytime for free here:
- a beginner’s guide to Bookstagram
- my Bookstagram hashtag guide
- free Instagram story templates
- my literary social media calendar
- my favorite blogging and Bookstagram resources
- how to start a book blog
Buy “Bookstagram: The Ultimate Guide”
If you are a small to mid-sized Bookstagrammer who wants to up your Bookstagram game with this cheap and easy resource…
Lastly, Taylor also sells a helpful Bookstagram planner and hashtag flipbook for those interested in extra Bookstagram tools.
I hope this review of Bookstagram: The Ultimate Guide helped solve your Bookstagram problems.
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