How to Bookstagram 101 (Part 1)

If you followed me because of my Bookstagram, then good, you already know my Instagram. If you have no idea at all, my Instagram/Bookstagram is @bookwormaniac. So in this post, I will guide you to the world of Bookstagram. This may not be as detailed as you hope it would be, but I will try my very best.

I have gathered a lot of tips/advices from famous successful Bookstagrammers that I know of on Instagram. I am truly grateful that they have replied back to me, and in return, I will give back to you what they have given me.

sam precious

This community is too precious for me to give up.

As suggested by a wonderful Bookstagrammer named Adam from @booksss.0k which I think is a great idea, I will make this post in a conversation format, so that you’ll know what we were talking about.

First, I have asked them on some simple tips for me to share to you, the awesome bloggers, and amazingly, they responded with amazing and inspiring answers. Please note that you’ll see a lot of my replies and comments from time to time. We did this on a direct message (group chat). To say in advance, sorry if this is long, but I hope you find it interesting. Without further ado, this is our conversation:


 

Emmanuel from @emdawgreads: Well first I think it’s best not to take it too seriously, we’re all just doing it for fun anyway! So yeah, just focus on taking photos you like, and trying to meet new people by checking out and commenting on different accounts. Oh and don’t ask people to follow you, that can get really annoying, because then it seems like you’re just doing it for the follower count and not the books, or photos.

Urooj from @urooj.reads: Agreed even though I take it religiously.

(lol)

Urooj from @urooj.reads: For starters. Go easy. Take pictures of books you are currently reading. Your hauls. Your recommendations. Follow around. Talk to people. Make sure you comment and tell others if you see a familiar book around. Interact. Bookstagram is mainly about FANGIRLING/FANBOYIN. And presenting your criticism about literature, sugar coated by a pretty picture. And that is the fun part basically.

Emmanuel from @emdawgreads: Haha definitely!

Urooj from @urooj.reads: And well if you are good at photography, all the people who used to make fun of your booknerdiness shall tell you how awesome you are (been there).

Me: Thank you, Rooj! Haha! And thank you, Em!!!

Urooj from @urooj.reads: You know how to treat me now.

Me: You guys are the best!

Andrew from @britbookboy: Totally agree with the advice Em and Urooj have given. Also experiment with your photography and find a style that works for you. Also try to incorporate as much of your personality and sense of humour into your captions so that people get a sense of who you are and what you’re all about!

Me: Thank you so much! Your advice are giving me life!

Urooj from @urooj.reads: Yes! Thank you for pointing out the caption tip, Andrew. IMPORTANT!

Monica from @bookishjourney: Agree with all of the above!! And maybe doing some book tags will help with inspiration? I know it did for me for the first few months of Bookstagram (and then I got lazy to do them… haha). And good lighting too.

Jacqueline from @booklovingjacky: I agree! Also, you shouldn’t stress about the quality of your pictures or the amount of followers you have. And try not to imitate other accounts, though it’s definitely okay to get inspiration from others. 🙂

Jeanette from @myriadinklings: I think one thing to add is to not do too many SFS (Shout-out for shout-out). It’s nice to do some shout-outs for accounts you really like, but I think a lot of people dislike spam of SFS often. The main thing would be to not worry about the follower count, post what you like (find your own style, tags, monthly challenges, etc.), interact with other Bookstagrammers. Also, connecting with users through other platforms such as Goodreads and Twitter really helps form friendships. I hope that helps, I think everyone covered a majority of the topics above.

Chantelle from @huntingforbooks: I love Bookstagram because of how fun it is to take pictures and let out my creativity! You could say to newcomers to not be nervous to interact with “bigger accounts” as this community is so incredibly friendly!

Danny from @thebookorder: I find doing buddy reads with other accounts helps build friendship as well.

Urooj from @urooj.reads: Agreed with everything stated above.

Ava from @bloomsbery: You guys have honestly not left much for me to add, I completely agree with you all. The main thing that drew me to Bookstagram was the interaction, I enjoy reading reviews and learning what a fellow bookworm thought of a particular book/series. Conversing about books is just so lovely and the people on Bookstagram are so friendly and inspiring. I think you guys are the reason that it’s so enjoyable to spend time here.

Chantelle from @huntingforbooks: Awww I agree! I love everyone on here so much.

Ava from @bloomsbery: So for me, the community and friendship are what makes it worthwhile, I really appreciate you all *sends many virtual hugs and kisses*.

Urooj from @urooj.reads: Yaaayy. *I was watching YouTube videos about make up mistakes as it’s my first day of college tomorrow and I don’t wanna end up looking like a potato* and I paused it to send you all hugs! This is huge, ladies.

Vic from @sapphire.reads: I pretty much agree with everything stated above. Haha. I think it’s important that you do this because it’s fun and something you want to do and not to have many followers as possible. Bookstagram is such an amazing community and I’m beyond happy to be a part of it. You’re all amazing. You’d be one pretty potato though, darling. Haha!

Urooj from @urooj.reads: Hopefully. Good night guys. I’m so happy I know you all.

Emmanuel from @emdawgreads: Ah good luck tomorrow Rooj, I’m sure you’ll be fine! And hot damn Ava, did I ask you to whip out the feels?? Hahaha no but seriously I agree, you guys and all of Bookstagram really, are a big factor in why I still do this!

Me: Guys? You left me in awe. Thank you so much for the answers! I didn’t expect to be answered like this. Thank you!

Jacqueline from @booklovingjacky: No problem, Justine! I can’t wait to read your blog post.

Me: I’m going to send you guys the link so you can see. Thank you so much!

Chantelle from @huntingforbooks: Ooh I can’t wait to read it!

Andrew from @britbookboy: No problem mate! Glad we could all help. Looking forward to seeing your post!

Emmanuel from @emdawgreads: T’was a pleasure my friend, excited to see how the post turns out!

Monica from @bookishjourney: Yes yes can’t wait!!

Antonio from @maniacwithbooks: Okay, so I seriously have nothing to say, since everyone has already said it! We should all do this because it’s fun and we love to talk about books and take pictures of them. I also think that, as Andrew said, incorporating your own personality into your shots is definitely essential. The way that people interact with each other makes this such a united community. The simple fact that people from all around the world join together to talk about books and what they like or not is just amazing! I’m seriously so happy to have you all and be part of Bookstagram. Love you! Oh, by the way good luck tomorrow Urooj! And I can’t wait to read your post, Justine.

Urooj from @urooj.reads: THANK YOUUU ANTONIO and Em! It’s 6:30 AM here. Time to get ready. GOOD morning to you all. And BEST OF LUCK JUSTINE.

(It’s evident that Rooj is that feisty, isn’t she? She’s a goddess.)

Me: Thank you, Antonio!!!

Adam from @booksss.0k: Don’t let the pressure get to you, post what you want to post. It’s your profile and you do it for fun. If you aren’t having fun anymore then it is always okay to post new stuff. Don’t feel like you are stuck in a box with what you post, it is all what you make it. Also, follower count DOES NOT MATTER. Sure, it’s good to have a wide audience, but I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we are just normal people. Being online is just part of my life, not my whole life. You don’t see the ups and downs in my time I’m not online. I am normal just like you. Don’t be intimidated, it’s okay. I’m nice and I don’t bite that often.

(When I first talked to Adam, he really doesn’t bite. He’s incredibly nice!)

Urooj from @urooj.reads: True. Very true. And I think that pressure is a given. No matter what, one is bound to feel it. But as Adam said, don’t let it get to you. Bookstagram isn’t you whole life– merely a part of it. And concentrating on your pictures earns you respect. Concentrating on the follow count might earn you digits but not the love.

Adam from @booksss.0k: I felt the pressure to post something tonight because I hadn’t posted in a few days, but it was a deserved break. breaks are good to take once in a while. Just get out and walk around a bit, find you own coffee shop or place to read. I want to feel grounded in reality, so that helps me set apart my reading time from becoming an “obligation” with Bookstagram. I love to read, but sometimes it seems I am reading just for my profile. I try to disassociate myself from my account because it isn’t a job, it’s part of your life, but don’t feel an obligation. You should feel that you post just to share rather than getting the amount of likes you want, getting a new follower goal, or becoming “insta-famous.” Just post because you like what you share. It’s only for you, not your followers.

(Preach, Adam. Preach.)

Adam from @booksss.0k: This may sound strange, but I think it is a good idea to keep a personal account. It definitely gets you out of the mindset of Bookstagram so that you can post for people you know and care about. I hardly ever log onto Bookstagram, but like I said, it isn’t my whole life. I’d prefer to have a few good friends than thousands of followers any day. It is just like a detox to where you feel like a normal human being and you avoid letting the follower count get to your head.

Monica from @bookishjourney: Agreed with Adam. I have a personal account as well and it’s a different atmosphere, but it’s nice not to be on Bookstagram the entire day, no matter how much I love it.

Adam from @booksss.0k: ayyeeee Monica! You caught my drift. I’m not the only one.

(I have been replying once in a while here in this conversation because I had classes, so bear with me.)

Me: Wow! I am speechless. I really love your answer, Adam! Thank you so much for this. I can’t wait to show you guys the output, and I already have read a lot of answers from you guys and another group DM from another set of people (which will be posted on Part 2. The thrill is real). Thanks again!

Adam from @booksss.0k: I would love you to publish this in a conversation format like a chat room. That would be epic. Chat rooms are so 2005, I mean to say group message.

(And here it is.)

Me: I’m going to try. I think it’s a great idea.

Ava from @bloomsbery: I’ve enjoyed being part of this immensely, thank you Justine! Can’t wait to read your post.

Me: Thank you, Ava. You’re so sweet. I really adore your pictures and feeds!

Chantelle from @huntingforbooks: That’s so true, Adam! Sometimes I stay on my personal for up to a week to get a break and refresh my mind. I lack inspiration due to work and school and sometimes feel so awful when I don’t post. But then, I always remind myself that it’s only what I want, and I feel less guilty! Hope everyone has a great day today.

Antonio from @maniacwithbooks: What Adam said was so so true. Post because you want to and not because you feel like you have to. I really loved talking to you guys. Thanks Justine for starting this! I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Alina from @lovelyreads_: Hey. Sorry I am a little late on this. I 100% agree with Adam. I just took a break from social media and it was the best thing I could have done. I am under a lot of pressure because of Bookstagram and all the stuff sometimes and ever since I’ve gained more followers, I feel like I need to post at least 1 photo a day and all my photos have to be book related. And I know that’s stupid and I try not to let it get to me but it’s really hard sometimes. I am a perfectionist and a people pleaser. So the best thing is just to have fun with it and to use Bookstagram as a creative outlet. And to connect with people of course.

Me: Thank you, Alina! I’m glad you’re back. Also, thank you to you too, Antonio. Can’t do it without you all. Thank you, Chantelle! I hope you have a great day too.


(THANK YOU TO THE AWESOME BOOKSTAGRAMMERS WHO HELPED ME ON THIS!)

Special thanks to Emmanuel, Rooj, Andrew, Danny, Jeanette, Vic, Alina, Antonio, Adam, Chantelle, Ava, Jacky, Monica.

I hope this post helped you in some way that Bookstagram is indeed a wonderful community filled with amazing people. If you need for more tips, I will have a part two. So, stay tuned? Yes?

Here’s the link to the second part: https://bookwormaniac.wordpress.com/2015/12/23/how-to-bookstagram-101-part-2/

Thank you, everyone!

Here are the links to their Bookstagram account, make sure to follow them:
Emmanuel @emdawgreads: https://www.instagram.com/emdawgreads/
Urooj @urooj.reads: https://www.instagram.com/urooj.reads/
Andrew @britbookboy: https://www.instagram.com/britbookboy/
Monica @bookishjourney: https://www.instagram.com/bookishjourney/
Jacqueline @booklovingjacky: https://www.instagram.com/booklovingjacky/
Jeanette @myriadinklings: https://www.instagram.com/myriadinklings/
Chantelle @huntingforbooks: https://www.instagram.com/huntingforbooks
Vic @sapphire.reads: https://www.instagram.com/sapphire.reads/
Antonio @maniacwithbooks: https://www.instagram.com/maniacwithbooks/
Adam @booksss.0k: https://www.instagram.com/booksss.0k/
Danny @thebookorder: https://www.instagram.com/thebookorder/
Alina @lovelyreads_: https://www.instagram.com/lovelyreads_/

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23 thoughts on “How to Bookstagram 101 (Part 1)

  1. Awesome post! I follow most of the accounts mentioned here, that’s awesome that you all know each other! And there’s definitely awesome advice! Great post 🙂

    Like

  2. This is great! I loved reading what everyone said. I’ve been in bookstagram for more than a year and sometimes its hard to not feel the pressure to post, like an obligation. I do it because I love books, I love photography and bookstagram is those two things. Sometimes is hard to not be like ‘this pic is not good’ becuse you see all those amazing feeds and pics and I just remind myself that I’m doing the best I can while enjoying it. I just took a break to remind myself that I don’t have to have those amazing feeds and to have some inspiration again. Other thing, some time inspiration doesn’t come and it’s hard to not be pressuring it. So, this is a great post for my return to bookstagram! Thank you and I’ll check all those accs!

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    1. Thank you so much! I completely agree with you. Sometimes, I’m stressed because I run out of ideas of what to post. Even it feels like an obligation, I try my best to post because I feel like doing it, not for my followers. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes! I love this post. I follow and am friends with some of the people mentioned above and yes, I agree to every single one of what they said. Also, as a kind of newbie myself on Instagram, it’s really helpful to know that people who have lots of followers and are famous are not hard to interact with. Like they said, they’re still normal people. And as long as it’s about books, why not interact, right?

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    1. I agree. It’s not bad to interact because they’re famous. They started off as accounts with no follower at all. It’s their perseverance and drive that made them achieve this success, and I’m proud of them, every single one of them. I’m glad that I’m friends with these accounts. I’m so thankful for it. Thank you so much, Nat! 🙂

      Like

  4. I think I’m already following all of them, if not, most of them, and they have always inspired me to share my thoughts and bookish pictures on bookstagram. It’s really nice to know their sentiments on the community and their advice on not letting everything go to your head and just enjoying and being yourself as a part of the community. Thank you Justine!

    Like

  5. I almost accidentally stumbled upon this post and I must say it boosted my inspiration level loads. Been following most of you awesome people for quite a while, but never in my life have I thought you to be quite so nice and friendly 🙂 awesome post ^^

    Like

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