How to Get Started on Bookstagram
Everything you wanted to know about the basics of getting started on Bookstagram! If you’ve been wanting to get started on Bookstagram, but haven’t been sure where to start, this is the place for you! This short and simple guide will tell you about the basics of getting your footing on Bookstagram. Not sure what Bookstagram is, but feeling a little intrigued? Check out my post Bookstagram: The Low-Down.
First of all, you’re going to need to get the Instagram app
Don’t laugh at me and tell me this can’t really count as step one. I know that most people have the Instagram app, but some people might not! Instagram is compatible with devices with a camera – phones and tablets both! It’s free in the app store.
Create a username
You’ll need to create a username that will identify you as a bookstagrammer. And what I mean by that is, just simply using your name won’t immediately alert people to the nature of your account. They’ll probably think it’s a personal account, anyway!
Choosing a bookstagram name is both fun and daunting. You want it to be clever and quirky, but short and rememberable. Don’t make it too long that other people will have a hard time reading or remembering it.
How to pick a Bookstagram username
I would actually recommend checking out a random username generator online. Often, they will have you type in a couple of key words that you might want to use, and they can combine them in different ways to give you username options. Play around with it! Then find out if any of those usernames are taken by trying to sign up with your favorite one.
Remember, you can always change your username later if you don’t like the name. But I would caution against doing this too frequently, as name recognition is how people will identify you – that and your profile picture. People are on bookstagram to make friends with one another, so if suddenly your friends don’t recognize your username or profile picture, they’re going to wonder who the heck they’re following!
Choose an aesthetic
If you really want to grow your Bookstagram account, you should probably decide on an aesthetic for your Instagram feed.
Picking out an aesthetic and sticking to it will not only help brand you as a recognizable member of the community. It will also draw new followers in when they see your beautiful profile. It sounds like a lot of work, but it’s definitely something that will really pay off when you want to grow your following!
Above: My Current feed aesthetic. Light and bright with floral and greenery accents.
Above: My previous theme. Darker shadows, higher contrast, moodier, less color.
Above: An earlier theme. Darker shadows, higher contrast, pops of white and color.
Like your username, you can always go back and change your aesthetic at any point. But, I caution you all the same. Other bookstagrammers will recognize you by your style, so they might not realize it’s you when you suddenly change up your feed!
How to pick an aesthetic
What kinds of images are you drawn towards? What kinds of props or lighting do you have at your disposal? Browse through some other Bookstagram accounts and see which ones really strike you. Then do an honest evaluation with props/objects you already own that you could reasonably use in your photos. How can you use your props and personal aesthetic preferences to create a beautiful and unique feed?
Do you want light and bright images? Or darker, more moody and shadowed ones? What about bright ones with fun pops of color? Or minimalist images? Take a moment to decide on your preferences. Then walk around your house and get a feel for what props you can use for your pictures. Find areas in your home with good lighting.
Practice taking some pictures
Most people take tons of images to get the ones that are “just right” to post in their feed. Other people Post lots of pictures to stockpile them to have on handy in case you can’t take a photo on a certain day. And then again, many people take their photos right before they post them. Decide what works best for you, but practice taking some pictures.
Create your account, and upload a couple of photos!
To showcase your new account, you might want to start by uploading multiple photos in order to show potential new followers what kind of feed you plan to have. I would suggest uploading in multiples of three, since that looks the cleanest on Instagram’s profile feed. Upload 3-6 photos.
My trick is this: you don’t want to waste valuable caption space, so add your hashtags in the first comment on your post. It will hide the ugly hashtags from view once other users start commenting on your pictures, and will free up space in your caption. You can use up to 30 hashtags on Instagram, but I generally suggest around 10. It looks less spammy.
Bookstagram is about the community, so introduce yourself to your followers! Let them get to know you through snippets of your day. Express your favorite books and authors; let them know how your current read is going; tell them all about the long, hard day you had at school or work and how you plan to wind down with a good book.
Follow other Bookstagrammers!
Follow the accounts that inspire you, ones that are similar to your preferred aesthetic. This will help you continue to find inspiration for your own account. But, especially when you’re first starting out, don’t hesitate to follow the people who are following your account and commenting on your photos! Some people are a bit spammy, and will leave F4F requests. But for the most part, people are kind and genuine and you should take advantage of this easy friendship.
Let’s talk about it
Do you have a Bookstagram account? Leave your username in the comments so we can check each other out! Also leave a little description with your aesthetic style and your favorite book if ya want. Leave a comment below!