The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Bookstagram

Okay, okay. I wouldn’t say I was lazy in general. But when it comes to making time to take perfect pictures for my instagram? Not so innocent. 

See, Bookstagram isn’t just a “thing”, you know. It’s a way of life (okay, I’m trying to be serious here), almost, the way we try to perfect this small picture for such a big following of avid readers. It’s also a community of friendly book readers and in a technological era made of more iPhones and smart-thingys-galore, we should be amazed that books are still a loved thing among so many young and old people on this platform. 

So, I’ll be the first to admit it’s totally not the easiest thing to navigate how to use Bookstagram to get yourself some likes. It can be really difficult to try to find your groove and your audience, but with my little guide, I’m hoping this might help you! This is a sort-of follow up to a post I did a while back, called Bookstagram Hacks, where I talked about what hashtags I used and how I edited my pictures. 

Picking a colour scheme and aesthetic

I think I’ve always struggled to get a theme going, but I’ve been trying out a bright/white/clean look as of lately. This might change, again, but that’s the beauty of instagram. 
The choices/options I’ve observed are:
  • Colourful or colour block
  • Minimalist 
  • Monochrome
  • Flat-lays
  • Blacks, greys, whites
  • Colour pop
  • Filters
  • Borders
  • Pastels
  • Puzzle board style
  • Alt-quote-picture
  • more
I usually stick to the same filter, the flat-lay mixed with colour matched options. But you can stick to just one, or mix all, to create your own perfect feed. It’s super easy to do. Let’s say, for example, you picked Colourful. Always make sure your pictures are full of multicolored books, props and backgrounds. For Flat-lays, a photo-board is your best friend if you don’t have wooden floors in your home. Lay everything and stand up (or get a camera stand), taking that perfect aerial shot with lots of daylight. 
And whether you choose a filter or not, my choices for them are Afterlight 2 and VSCO. Right now, I’m using Afterlight 2 the most. It has the best options of tweaking the settings and adding some dust effects to the images, coming out with a great quality afterwards. So if you’re looking for that professional touch without the price-tag, I’d use VSCO. But if you’re willing to dish out a few $/£, I’d recommend Afterlight 2. 

Remember to tag the authors/owners of the props used

Using props is guaranteed to make me click that like button. But when I want to see where you got it (okay, I’m not the only nosy one), if it isn’t tagged, that can be a turn-off. I always like to know where things came from and share the love. The same goes for tagging authors. I love to do this in photographs because I think it honestly makes the authors day to see their book in someone’s picture, all pretty and in pixels. So remember your tags! They are super important. 

Who needs a schedule? 

Whoever said you had to post every day to keep up appearances? It’s debatable. Personally, I wouldn’t unfollow someone because they didn’t post a day. I think every other day, or a few times a week is a perfectly normal amount to post. On the other hand, every day is totally cool as well. Throw that schedule out the window, guys. You don’t really need it. 

Bio or to not bio?

I can’t count the amount of times I’ve changed up my Instagram bio. I like to keep it clean-looking and up-to-date, but there are a lot of different options for getting it to represent you. I like to remember the key ALERT: 
  • ABOUT (who are you? where are you from?)
  • LINKS (where can we read your blog? where can I follow you? Linktree is AMAZING for this)
  • EMOJIS (I like to keep it minimal and space them out, but pick ones that suit you)
  • READING (what are you reading? how many books have you read this year?)
  • TAGS (are you a brand rep? what hashtag do you own?)
Here’s my bio, below. It’s recently been changed around a week ago, when I finally thought omg, I’m so happy with how it looks. This looks like me. This represents me. It might take you a while to find that perfect way of telling the world who you are and getting that follow button to light up, but you’ll get there. Start with the key above and you’re on your way! 

Suggested accounts

There’s a reason Instagram shows you these when you follow a new person. They compare them on some levels that might be appealing to you. But this also works by going to a person you love’s account, scroll to a photograph and see who has commented. From there, you can get a sense of who interacts with who. And maybe, find your next favourite account or a new friend! It’s worked for me. And I’ve found some of the best people, that way. It’s an Insta HACK, guys!

You don’t need to go all fancy with story covers

Seriously. I only just made myself some out of boredom and then they just match my layout, now. I used a free icon service to find my vectors and then put them on a royalty free image of wood from a royalty picture website. But you can buy instagram story covers on Etsy, and also make them for free on Canva. There’s even a few on freebie sites! 

Throw that camera away, get your phone out

Whoever told you that you needed a fancy camera to do bookstagram pictures was lying to you. Sure, they may look different or more HQ, but your phone is just as great. I’ve always used my phone, when I had an Android and now, when I have an iPhone. You should always turn on the HDR, make sure the flash is off, because you should rely on natural light, and check your lens isn’t dirty before snapping a picture. See? Who needs that expensive camera? Not you…

You didn’t really need a guide, did you?

I think we can all agree we’re doing amazing. There isn’t rules to bookstagram. I think that’s my favourite thing about it. You can post your pictures ANY WAY YOU WANT! You don’t really need a guide, but I’m hoping that you may have learnt a few things that will help along the way. If you’re looking for the most popular hashtags to use, I’d suggest checking out my first post about Bookstagram above, which has all the good ones. 

What’s your instagram name?

Let me know in the comments! I’ll be checking out all your feeds. 

happy reading!

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