I have been bookstagramming for months now and I must admit, at first I was very unfamiliar on how it works: what filters to use, the angle of the photos, and setting up a flat lay… but not anymore!
I became very attached to the bookstagram community, and my photography and editing skills have also been enhanced.
Disclaimer: this blog is a part of an interview with a bookstagrammer who thoughtfully asked me questions about bookstagram and bookstagramming. Stated here are all the questions and answers:
1. “How did you discover Bookstagram?”
I was always in the booktube community back then. Whenever I have free time, I browse through bookish videos. I started to subscribe some of the famous booktubers and have their notifications on so I would not miss anything if they have new content. One day when I was watching a wrap-up video, this booktuber (I forgot who), mentioned that she was going to take pictures of that certain book for her bookstagram. It was the first time I heard that word. I was immediately curious about it and started to do researching and browse something.
I remember the first few people I followed in bookstagram community. Their photos were just captivating and I just love looking at them. Later on, I was inspired to make a bookstagram account for myself and look where I am right now.
2. “How long have you been on Bookstagram? And how do you feel about doing it?”
I planned my bookstagram for almost a month. What my theme would be, my username, and other bookstagram basics before introducing it to the public and make it official. I launched my bookstagram on New Year’s Eve, January 1, 2018, to be exact. I was welcomed by lovely bookstagrammers and was glad to be part of a big community.
I always enjoy being on bookstagram. The possibilities were endless, the people you’ll unexpectedly meet were countless, and the books you’ll see were just relaxing and refreshing to the eyes so I genuinely enjoy spending my time in bookstagram.
3. “How do you decide on your theme? Do you prefer minimalist themes or colorful ones?”
I would describe my theme as warm, vintage, and simplistic. I don’t have a certain preference when it comes to themes. We have a different aesthetic taste. My feed is a combination of minimal and noisy photos, because I want to be able to freely take and not stick to one angle.
4. “Do you have any tips and tricks about doing your Bookstagram posts?”
Tip #1 Consistency is the key. Your photos should always have something in common. Whether it may be the props you use, the filter, or the angle of the shot, it should be uniform for as long as possible. As for me, I use only one preset to my photos. But still, it’s okay to have few adjustments to your photos like the brightness, contrast, temperature, shadows and highlights, and etc. especially when it is needed.
Tip #2 Always put a question of the day (QOTD) on your posts. This is a great way to beat the new Instagram algorithm, because the more people interact with your posts, the
higher the chance it would be on top of the feed. Also asking questions to your audience is a great way to know them. It could initiate something to talk about, a conversation. You’ll never know you might meet your best friend because of something you have in common. Always ask!
Tip #3. Interact more often. Liking and leaving a comment on someone’s post actually helps you! It makes your account be more prominent and disseminated when you are always active. Your account would appear in different places and it would allow you to gain more audience and/or profile visits. Don’t also forget to take advantage of your Instagram stories. When you have nothing to post or your stock photos are running out, always update on your stories to let people know that you’re still there. Being inactive can cause a massive an amount of unfollowers so if it’s possible, always let them show your presence.
5. “How often do you post on your account? And how do you decide on what to write on each post?”
My usual is to post 2 or more photos per week. The caption I put will always depend on my mood to write. First, I would put a quote that was said in the book I’m featuring. Then I’ll put the latest happening in my reading life, a reading update, a bookworm confession, or a random bookish fact about myself. The last part would be the question of the day to make it less boring and have something to talk about.
But there will be a time that no matter what, you don’t know what caption to put. When this happens, you should browse your tagged photos and look for fun tags to do/answer!
6. “Aside from books, what are your favorite items that you feature on your posts?”
I am a fan of bookmarks. It is relaxing to just stare at beautifully illustrated character bookmarks and it’s fun to collect your favorite characters and quotes. I just started collecting standard and magnetic bookmarks and I must admit that they pricey than it should but there are shops that offer discounts when you use their rep codes.
I am also a fan of bookish candles but I never bought one because of how expensive they are. I have been curious how it would smell if I would sniff it myself. But books are my number one priority so most of my money was spent on it.
7. “Who are your favorite authors?”
Marie Lu would be the first name that comes to my mind when someone asks who my favorite author is. Her writing style is cinematic and easy to devour. I like Cassandra Clare and Sarah J. Maas too, because of the preternatural concept they made and continue to make. The complexity of the world they crafted is something to swoon-over too. Also Rick Riordan because of his way of narrating stories, humor, mythological ideas, and a set of individual and fleshed-out characters.
8. “What is your preferred reading genre?”
I’m not picky when it comes to book genres. I read all the books in front of me. But I mostly buy and enjoy YA fantasy, high and urban both. It was just fascinating to see the out-of-the-world imagination of authors and how they could come up with fantastical ideas and concepts. It was as if that I am able to enter the weird part of their mind and to be invested in the life of the characters they made, explore the worlds they carefully crafted, and unravel the story of the chosen-one, anti-hero, or whatever they came up with. (read my Policy to know other genres I read and don’t read.)
9. “What are you currently reading right now?”
I’m currently reading Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (non-spoiler review soon). I’ve been anticipating to read this book for a very long time because I heard so many good things about it! (I’m enjoying it so far.)
10. “Tell me about your most memorable experience/s since you started your Bookstagram account?”
One of the most memorable experiences on bookstagram, was when I launched Bookstagramers Philippines, which is a community/club for Filipinos who love to read and capture literature. I wasn’t expecting the overwhelming amount of people who wanted to be part of it. And just the everyday work with my Team is already unforgettable for me because it’s fun to come-up and brainstorm ideas with them.
11. “Since you’ve been on Bookstagram for some time now, can you share some pros and cons about being in the Bookstagram community?”
Pros: bookstagram is a place of inspiration. It can inspire you to read more books and titles that you wouldn’t know existed. It could also inspire you to collect more books and maybe start your own platform too.
Pros: endless book recommendations. If you’re looking for certain topics or genres of books, bookstagram can give you that. Bookstagrammers consist of not just one gender, religion, age group, or ethnicity. Bookstagrammers are diverse meaning that our taste in books would vary. It would push you to read more titles that you never thought you would like because a person with an opposite personality from you liked it.
Cons: it might lower your self-esteem. Some of the bookstagrammers were just good at what they do because they’ve been doing it for a long time already. For the new members of the community, it could lower your self-esteem if you allow it to be. The comparison of yourself from them could make you feel bad. Just always remember that you have your own talent and almost everything nowadays can be learned (by means of self-teaching). And besides we are individuals different from each other, it is best to avoid comparisons because we have our own talent.
Cons: bookstagram can push you to spend more. All the books you’ll see in the community can tempt you to rush to the nearest bookstore and grab that book. As well as
other bookish products like candles, book sleeves, bookmarks, poster and postcards, and many more! Just make sure to have a strong self-control to prevent impulse buying when
entering this community.
12. “Who are your favorite Bookstagrammers?”
I don’t have specific favorites because I don’t set a standard which of which are the best. This is a community of passion. As long as you are happy to be able to share your reading life, that’s okay.
Though there are some bookstagrammers, which I talked about in the first question
that introduced and inspired me to make my own bookstagram. And they are @paperfury, @biblionatic, and @xenatine.
13. “What advice would you want to give to new members of the Bookstagram community?”
My go-to advice to anyone on every occasion is always to show their true self. It is vital that people would know the real you no matter where you are. No need to pretend that you like something when you don’t or vice versa. You don’t need to pretend as if that you’re passionate about something when you’re not. It is not hard to be yourself, it’s actually easier than pretending to be a person you’re not. You are entitled to your opinion and you shouldn’t be repressing anything, most especially your thoughts. If you don’t like a popular book, that’s fine! If you love an unpopular one, great! Negative reviews are allowed and do not necessarily mean that you’re seeking for attention. Having different thoughts among other should be something that you embrace. Just enjoy in this community, make friends, share your reads, and always show the real you, yourself within. It’s great to know that people like you because of your personality.
Even before I join this community, I am one of the people who are full of insecurities when it comes to talent. When you newly join in bookstagram, the comparison is ever-present. There will be a time when you couldn’t help yourself but point out the things someone can do, and think that you cannot do it. A talent is learned. Photography, writing, drawing, and painting, or playing instruments, you are able to learn it all. Just give yourself some time, and always know your direction. Someone’s achievement can be yours too! We are all in the middle of the journey in life, taking different paths, holding our own weapons for the challenges we need to cross. It might take you longer to get your goal, but life isn’t a race. Getting to the position you’ve been dreaming is what matters above all, regardless of how long your journey would take.
These are just my personal experience and opinions on the questions asked, it could be effective for you or not. I hope you guys learned something in this post. Keep on reading bookworms!
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One thought on “Bookstagram101: Tips and Tricks, Pros and Cons, and My Bookstagram Experience”
Your booktography is amazing and thank you for the great tips! You are so right about the endless book recommendations btw!! 😅 It makes me wish I could quit my job and take up reading full time :))