Bookish

How I Bookstagram

how i bookstagramAround May last year, I discovered bookstagram (bookish Instagram) and was immediately enamoured. I joined not long after and have been obsessed since. It was the first of the online book community I became a part of, where I actually posted my own photos as opposed to reblogging other peoples photos on Tumblr. It’s been less than a year and I’m nearing 900 followers (thank you so much, you super amazing people). I’ve seen these types of posts going around lately so I thought I would do one, too since I absolutely adore bookstagram so I decided to share with you all how I bookstragram. This by no means a tutorial, this is just how I take and edit my photos!

Theme
The first thing I decided on was what I wanted my theme to be. A lot of people like their bookstagram accounts to have a theme so all the photos match and there’s a nice flow. I wasn’t too sure at the beginning how I wanted my account to look, and to be honest, I’m still not sure. I, personally, like to hold the book I’m about to start reading or a TBR pile or a haul or whatever it is in front of my bookcase and snap away.

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Most of my photos, except for the ones at the beginning, are taken ain front of my shelves and I really like that. I like being able to see the way my shelves have changed over the last few months. I often struggle with my theme. I look at other accounts and think I want my feed to look like that, that’s how I’m going to take and edit my photos now, etc. I hate having this mindset. I love my theme as it is and I know my followers love it, too. I take my photos the way I take them and they’re nice in their own way!

Lights, Camera, Edit
Originally, I took my photos on my phone. I had an iPhone 5S when I started and I was pretty happy with how they were turning out. In the last couple of months I’ve decided that I want my photos to be better quality so I started using my DSLR camera. I use a Nikon D3200 to take photos, which I then transport to my laptop to go through. I always, always, always use natural light for my photos. I like to take my photos in the morning so I can have them posted at noon or mid-afternoon. When I have decided on at least two photos, I import them to my phone to begin editing.

photos screenshotI’ve tried a lot of editing apps during my time on Bookstagram, and I’ve also used a lot of different filters. I’ve used VSCO, Litely, PS Express and the filters on Instagram. At the moment, I currently use the app Aviary. It’s here I choose my filter and adjust the lighting, colour and sharpness.

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I use the filter Indio in the Wanderlust section. My filter has changed a lot throughout my account because sometimes I prefer a crisp, bright look and sometimes I like the added enhancement certain filters provide.

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Network
This is something I still don’t do basically because I get super nervous about reaching out to people, even just on the Internet. But networking is such a good way to meet and connect with other Bookstagrammers! Commenting on a persons photo can go a long way. I know when someone comments on a photo of mine, it makes my day. I love knowing that people like seeing what I’m putting out there. The people on bookstagram are some of the best people and I urge you to connect with them! They’re there for the same reason you are: because you love books. Commenting on photos, tagging users for tags and just starting a conversation is the best way to make friends in this community and it’s something I’m trying to do more of now!

Captions and #Hashtags
I never used to make my captions lengthy because I didn’t want to annoy anyone who read them and I was also worried about writing lots for no one to read them. Now though, I try to make my captions a bit long.Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 8.51.24 PM.png
I like to include the star rating I gave the previous book I read, mention any of my bookish news like blog posts, hauls and series I’m excited for or whatever it may be, and I often like to include a qotp (question of the post) to reach out to my followers!

Spread the Word
If I want people to see my account, a good way to do that is by posting about and sharing it on social media. I often like to tweet a photo of my feed if I’m nearing a new followers milestone and I have my feed in the sidebar of my blog. Using other social platforms to spread the word about your bookstagramming endeavours is a great way to get in touch with likeminded people.

Be Consistent
I think this is pretty self explanatory. I try to post once a day, usually around mid-afternoon but often I end up posting every two days. I don’t want to post too much and flood peoples feeds but I also don’t want to post too little so people decide to unfollow me because I’m never posting.

Other Bits and Bobs:
I like to check ghost followers, all new followers and followers I’ve lost, total amount of likes, my fame and acclaim value and other stats with the app Followers+. This app keeps track of my photos per week, my average likes per photo and other things and I love using it to just sort of check on my account.
I prefer to keep my caption short. It includes my name, age, city/country, a short sentence about myself and my 2016 reading goal. I also have a link to my blog so my followers can check it out if they like.

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There you have it, how I bookstagram! If you have a bookstagram accounts, comment your username below and I’ll be sure to check them out!

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