Bookstagram: Beginners Guide

So I will start by saying I am by no means an expert, however, I have managed to pick a few things up along the way!

I asked over on my page about what you wanted to know or any tips and I got some really interesting questions. Before I jump into them a point to note about Bookstagram (and instagram in general!) is it's a social site - instagram loves if you connect with others, like posts, comment, save, share - go wild! But also follow other accounts! There's an unspoken 'rule' on social media that you should be following less than you follow and I think that is ridiculous! Follow accounts you love regardless of how many followers they or you have!

Okay onto the questions...

Should I wait until I have perfect pictures to start bookstagram?

Absolutely not! Everyone hats start somewhere and the more you take and post the better you'll become. I also only use my phone (I have an iPhone 11) and I think it's fine! I have sometimes used my Canon DSLR but I always prefer my iPhone pictures! (I bought the camera to use on holiday way before bookstagram so definitely not a necessity)

How do you get all your posts to look similar with different book covers?

I use Lightroom (it's a free mobile app or is included in the Adobe software suite which is £9.99 a month.) and I always use the same preset - occasionally tweaking the brightness if necessary. Shameless plug here because I actually sell my preset on etsy but you can use any you like or even create your own!

How do you blend aesthetic with honest recommendations and reviews?

This is tough because we can all be drawn in by a pretty cover only to find we don't enjoy the book! Number one is obviously don't lie, if you don't like something don't pretend to just for a post. That being said - do not tag authors in bad reviews, by all means share your opinion with your followers but the author didn't ask you to slate them and they probably don't want to read it!

On the other hand what do you do if you love a book but it has a cover you really do not want to post? I've included a few examples below but you can always turn the cover back and use the title page, put it under another cover in a jumble, put it in a stack and show the spine, and props are your best friend!

You only have to scroll through bookstagram for 10 seconds to see 10 posts with amazingly placed props! A few of my favourite items to include are:

  • Hot drinks / food

  • Flowers

  • Pillows and throws

  • Mugs (I have bought so many mugs since joining bookstagram!)

  • Clothes (cosy jumpers are always a winner!)

  • Candles

The list is endless basically whatever you have in your house can be used in your posts!

Beginners photography tips?

I am a beginner myself but a few tips I've picked up are:

  • Use bright, natural light as opposed to a ring light, easier said than done in the UK I know!

  • Save posts you like for inspiration

  • I always do a rough edit in Lightroom of my posts before I move the props to make sure I'm happy with it as it always seems to look different edited!

  • If you're placing items try and make sure they're equally spaced

  • Play with negative space (this is great if you don't have many props to use!)

How to pick an aesthetic and stick to it on a brand level?

This one is trial and error I think! Play around with a few different filters/presets and see which one you like best. I use a scheduling tool called tailwind which allows me to view my grid before I've posted so I can see if any images stick out and look odd, you can also schedule your posts which brings me to my next question..

How to make time for bookstagram?

Unless you are a professional blogger (I'm not) finding time to create content, edit, schedule, write captions, post, interact with others is a lot on top of working etc. To make things easier for myself I take all of my pictures on one day (except for the breakfast posts I take them as I go) and then edit and upload them to my scheduling app, then on a Sunday evening I write all of my captions and hashtags for the week so when I get the notification I can just press post without having to think of something to say first thing in the morning or after a long day!

Should I have a personal/creator/business account?

This is essentially personal preference about what you want to use your account for. I have a creator account as I can see my analytics and I love analytics! A business account is more for - you guessed it - businesses! They also don't have access to the good sons for reels due to copyright laws so I'd stick with a creator!

I think that's all for today! If you have any other questions feel free to leave them below and I'll do follow up post with anything I've missed!

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