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Social media can be a great way to connect with others who have similar interests as you. The bookstagram community is a great place to meet other bookworms, but you may be wondering how you can start a bookstagram account.
What is bookstagram?
You may be wondering, “What is bookstagram?”
Bookstagram is a community of authors, readers, and book lovers on Instagram. Bookstagrammers share book reviews, pictures of their book shelves, and their bookish merch on their accounts.
How do I join bookstagram?
First you need to create an Instagram account. Some people use their personal accounts, but I personally started an entirely new account for my bookstagram. I strongly suggest setting up a business account so you can track your stats. You will need this information if you decide to request ARCs from publishers.
Next decide on your screen name. What is your specific niche in the book community? Do you love Harry Potter? Read mostly thrillers? Decide what screen name will fit the kind of content you want to make. I used readwithallison because I wanted my account to show what I was reading. I don’t stick to one specific genre, and I wanted something semi-professional because I knew I wanted to start a blog and work with publishers eventually.
So you want to request ARCs from publishers?
What do I need to start posting on bookstagram?
Books! Seriously, you just need books. When I started my account, I did not own many books. Most of my posts were library books at first. You don’t need to run to the bookstore and spend hundreds of dollars on books-you will accumulate them over time.
You can use your phone to take photos and edit them. I have a DSLR, but I have never felt totally comfortable using it. The good news is, most smartphones have amazing cameras now. So there’s no need to invest in an expensive camera!
Other items you may consider using are props and backgrounds. Some bookstagrammers buy backdrops or use scrapbook paper. Personally, I use surfaces around my home, like my night stand, end table, stairs, dining room table, and bed. Blankets also make a great backdrop. I am minimalist when it comes to decor, so I don’t use many props in my photos. The few props I do use are household items I already own.
Who should I follow?
Search hashtags to find bookstagram accounts. You could start with #bookstagram but I think you’ll find that overwhelming. If you read fantasy books, try searching #fantasybooks.
How do I get my first follow?
Interact with others! I always recommend following accounts with similar tastes to you at first because your comments on their posts will be genuine. I followed mostly fantasy and YA bookstagram accounts at first and found that I didn’t have much to say about their posts because those were not the genres I was reading. I am always more likely to follow back when someone makes a genuine comment on my post because it shows we have something in common.
Why should I start a bookstagram?
I started my bookstagram because my friends and family do not read much, so I wanted to have people to talk to when I finished a book. I have made so many friends on bookstagram, and we talk about more than just books! If you think bookstagram is just a way to get free books, I think you will be disappointed very quickly because bookstagram is more about the community and less about getting free stuff.