~ Bookstagram Tips ~
What is Bookstagram and how do I get started
I often get asked a lot of questions over on my bookstagram account, ranging from how to get started, what to take photos of, how to take photos, how to edit them, how to gain followers and if there’s anything that can be done about the algorithm Instagram insists on running, that makes it almost impossible to gain attention – unless you have a lot of followers (which aren’t easy to get if your account is being pushed to the bottom of the pile by Instagram!). So, I decided over the next several weeks, I’d create a series of posts where I can share some tips that have worked for me. Please feel free to chime in with anything you’ve also discovered, or let me know if there are questions you would like answered!
You may have heard the word “Bookstagram” floating about the internet, or you might already have started a bookstagram account (if so, you might want to skip this post and wait for my next posts over the coming weeks, with more tips and tricks!). Bookstagram simply means an Instagram account where you share photos of, and discuss, books and bookish merchandise. You can see my bookstagram account here
So, you love books, you love talking about books, you want in, right?
Setting up an account is super easy. Even if you already have an Instagram account, you can set up a seperate account as your “Bookstagram” account. There’s some great instructions here for how to set up a second account.
Choosing a user name
First, you’ll need to think about what you’d like your username to be. If you already have a bookish blog, or a username you use around the internet, go ahead and use that. Otherwise, just be creative and pick something bookish! I’d suggest making your name easily identifiable as a bookish account – something with the word ‘book’ in it works well, or something incorporating a short phrase or bookish reference.
Choosing a profile picture
From what I have seen, it is best not to change your profile picture too often. People become familiar with the picture attached to your name and changing constantly can get confusing, so choose something you’ll be happy to stick with for a decent amount of time. Some people use a photo of themselves, some choose a character type photo and some use a photo of books. It’s entirely up to you. Please don’t steal someone’s artwork to use as your profile picture though.
What do I write in my bio?
On your profile home screen, you will be able to edit your profile. The fields available are: Name, Username, Website and Bio. Your name, website and bio will appear underneath your username on your profile once you have completed them.
You do not need to publish your full name in the name section if you don’t want to. Many people will publish their first name and where they are from. Putting at least your country in this section can be quite helpful. There are often giveaways run on Instagram that are country specific. If there is a giveaway in your country and someone in the community wants to tag people they know are eligible to enter, they’ll be able to see at a glance where you’re from.
The website section can also be left blank. Otherwise, go ahead and enter the web address of your book blog or Goodreads account if you have one. Your Goodreads account will just be http://www.goodreads.com/ then your username. For example my user name on Goodreads is bookbookowl so mine is http://www.goodreads.com/bookbookowl
The other website you might want to consider having here instead is a Linktree address. If you’d like to display several different web addresses, this is the option for you. Simply go to the Linktree site here and sign up. The free account is absolutely sufficient. I use my linktree to display links to my Goodreads account, this blog and all the bookish companies I rep for (more on this in a later post!).
Lastly, you’ll need to pop something in your bio section. Painfully, it’s limited to only a short amount of characters AND it’s not easy to enter information on seperate lines. The way I get around this is to type my bio in my notes app on my phone, then copy and paste it into the bio section on Instagram. I like to display what I’m currently reading and the audio book I’m currently listening to in mine. Here is what my account looks like in the edit profile section:
And on my profile home screen:
You are now ready to start Bookstagramming! In my experience, the bookstagrammer community is a lot of fun and a very welcoming place!
My next post will focus on tips for taking photos and creating themes.
I’ve listed my intended future topics below and will link to each one as I post them. Let me know if there are any others you’d like to see me discuss!
Gaining more followers and managing expectations