Navigating Bookstagram!


Hai my loves!!! Okay we've established that you are a crazy bookworm and you want to share your love of reading with the the world. Okay maybe not the world, maybe a few million, okay okay let's be honest it'll be more like a few thousand or hundred, but still you are trying to figure it all out. I get asked A LOT about what it takes to create a successful bookstagram account; from growing followers, to aesthetics, to posting schedule and I can assure you that I do not have all the answers but here are my tip, tricks, thoughts and opinions on starting and maintaining a bookstagram. Really it comes down to personal preference, but here it goes. My points may be not what you're expecting, but I want to lay it all out on the table

1} Before you even come up with the most epic username ever, make sure that you are starting your account for the RIGHT reason. If you are starting a bookstagram to gain quick followers, likes and partnerships you have failed before you started. You love reading so you should be opening your account based soley on that.

2} Growing your Instagram takes time!!! Patience. Patience. Patience. There is no way of getting around this. If you are expecting to have 10K followers after a month then again you are doing it for the wrong reasons and you are focused on the wrong thing. And for God's sake please DO NOT DO SHOUT FOR SHOUTS for followers. Focus on the books, be genuine, take amazing photos and people will come. {Post coming on why I detest shout for shouts.}

3} Growing your Booksta is going to be determined by 2 factors; how active you are with other bookstagrammers and how often you post. One of the observations I've made about Bookstagram is that there is a sentiment shared about the lack of engagement. However, engagement is mutual. Comment on other people's photos, do buddy reads, book/photo challenges, start a book club. There are SOME pretty huge accounts that interact with no one. Although this may unnerve you, YOU CANNOT DO WHAT THEY DO LOL. They started small as well, remember this. The key to growth is connection and genuine creativity.

4} Do not confuse inspiration and copying. Although I have a theory about "copying" which I may share in 'RUSTIC RAMBLINGS'. "Copying" in hindsight doesn't always have to be a bad thing necessarily, but blatant copying is. Be true to who you are; to your own creative spirit; to what YOU LOVE NOT WHAT YOU THINK OTHERS LOVE. Let who you are and what you love come through in your photos and captions.

5} CiCi what the heck is this list? I want to know about lighting, angles, props.

6} To piggy back off of number 5 everything works from the inside out. It may be cliche' but it's the truth. What are your intentions with your bookstagram? This is the first question you need to ask yourself before you start thinking about props.

7} Now that you've made up your mind that you are an insatiable bibliophile that cares about reading and connecting with other readers. You can begin to think about aesthetic.

8} NATURAL LIGHTING. NATURAL LIGHTING. NATURAL LIGHTING. Find a window during the day and do your bookish photo shoots there. END OF STORY. A lot of people have asked me about filters. I only use filters when I feel it is too dark and the photo needs a little help. My wooden desk sits in front of a huge window and I use natural sun lighting. That's why the wood in my photos always looks a different color. It really depends on how the sun light hits it.   

9} There are some ridiculously stunning feeds that use minimal props to no props. Honestly I have not mastered minimalist photography even though I live my daily life minimally lol so it's up to you which you choose. I do not run out and purchase props. All the things in my photos are things around my apartment. Nature, natural and autumnal tones are my default {as stated on my 'About TRW' page haaa haaa}. My feed is a reflection of my home.

10} I think this is one of the most debated topics among the Booksta community, Theme or no Theme? Here's the thing, really at the end of the day it is about what YOU want to do. Some people like theme's, some don't and that's okay. You have a myriad of options to get your feed the way you like it. Even if you decide, "Hey, I want a messy feed." Then messy could be your theme lol.  I have to admit that for me themed Instagram's are aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but there are tons of accounts with thousands of followers and no theme and I love them. 

Okay that is all I have for now. Please let me know in the comments any other tips and tricks I might have left out!! Happy Bookstagramming!!! Here's a few feeds that I absolutely love. I check them everyday. They all have different style but they are all STUNNING!!! Find bookstagrammers that inspire you to create your own amazing feed!!

Top left: @crimeofrhyme

Top right: @bookvibes

Bottom Left: @foldedpagesdistillery 

Bottom right: @pollyandbooks