Bookstagram Basics – Integrating Instagram with your blog! – Join the cool kids club. Bookstagramming isn’t new, it’s been around since Instagram became popular, but I’ve noticed recently that a lot of bloggers are integrating their blog posts and reviews with clever photography, taking the #Bookstagram tag to the next level. These bloggers speak to me on an intrinsic level. I get them. I wish I was them. Let’s figure out how to do it. Especially that now my twitter feed is full of the #bookstagramchallenge posts – I’m loving it.
What is Bookstagram? Basically, Bookstagram is the book community on Instagram. We’ve got Book Bloggers, BookTubers, Bookstagrammers — basically on any platform book lovers thrive. The cool thing about bringing Instagram into your everyday blogging – is that it is relatively easy.
There are some fabulous bookish peeps that function solely on Instagram. They post beautiful photos. This isn’t a post on how to become part of the Bookstagram community, or where to get into a Bookstagram niche – this is just how to set up posts on Instagram to compliment your blog.
Quick Tips on Getting the Perfect Instagram Picture:
The key is the shot. Make it compelling. And the hashtag. Make it relevant.
- Don’t use the App! – Take pictures using your phone camera or use a “professional” camera and import the photos into your phone. The latest iPhone has a 12-megapixel camera, it has optical image stabilization and a true-tone flash. This means there will be no red-eyes or blurriness and the picture will have an amazing depth. Use your phone camera. The Instagram app does not implement the great features of the phone camera, like zoom, focus pixels etc.
- Balance – Make sure your images are symmetrical, good use of white space. This is when the grid system comes into play. This is what photographers call COMPOSITION. Where you place objects in a photograph. Check out this YouTube tutorial by amazing photographer Steve McCurry for the basics.
- Don’t go Crazy with the Filters. Keep it simple. The more you edit, the more “fake” it looks. Make sure you have good lighting to begin with so you don’t have to do a lot of editing in the end.
- Take a Ton of Shots. Don’t just take one and then done. Take a bunch of shots and choose the best.
- Think Before You Shoot. Think about what you want to share first. Plan ahead and choose photos and shots that promote your “brand.”
- Go for Color. Beautiful color shots with a “hue theme” are always popular.
- Natural Light. Light and bright images stand out from dark, shadowed images. They pop off the phone and say “like me!” Curalate did a great infographic on better-engaged photos that is worth a look.
- Don’t Forget A Great Title & Your Hashtags. Caption your photo so it explains what’s in your image. Make sure to mention any publisher or author that you want to notice your image. Also, find great hashtags within the community and use them. Some go crazy with the hashtags, others use a few. People see the image first and then the hashtags, so I see nothing wrong with tagging it.
Your bookstagram should reflect your content. If you are posting a review today, take a picture of the book you are reviewing. Even if it is a library book, or an eBook, snap a picture and post it on Instagram. Include a good quote from your review. If you want to get quirky, set up the shot with what you are doing while you read it. A pretty coffee shot, or maybe in the chair you are reading it in. Make it personal.
I found a great new blogger called the BookCollective, her blog looks very new – and I found her already by using Instagram, even though she only has 6 posts:
Go artistic. Display your books in a fun way. Remember to use the right hashtags for maximum exposure, like @Hafsahfaizal did for her beautiful picture below.
Happy Sunday, friends! Who’s enjoying the last day before a work week? Definitely not me. I’m hard at work on edits for a client’s design! You know what they say, no rest for the wicked. 😆 . My semi-circle of white books is for today’s challenge prompt from #sammyreadsjuly16. I never knew I owned so many white spines until I started stacking them up! . How was your weekend? .
A photo posted by Hafsah (@hafsahfaizal) on
Show off your #BookMail and pair it with coordinated items in the post. A good way to do this is by taking the books outside for the best lighting and placing it by something it matches in nature. Use hashtags for the publisher that sent you the books and #bookhaul #bookmail along with others that describe your post. I’ve been testing out Ripl, a free app, to make things a little more interesting:
Show off your Current Reads and Must Reads. Co-blogger Patti @thelovejunkee is giving this bookstagramming thing a go. I love her shots. She’s doing the “prop” thing and she intergrates her book hauls and current reads.
A photo posted by Patti (@thelovejunkee) on
Ask your readers to pick your next read! I love this and the publishers even do it. A good way to promote books and have your readers get excited about what you will be posting.
If you are looking to spice up things on your account – why not join a challenge? They are always going on. Doing a challenge might translate to your blog and vice versa if you post the Instagram picture on your blog and post your URL on the Instagram. Look at this beautiful Diverse Reads pic from author Lisa Dane:
After a week of not sleeping very well, last night I slept HARD 😂 Woke up this morning to see my hubby had gone to work. He always kisses me goodbye so I must have slept thru it, lol! I kinda don’t want to get out of bed 😂 . Day 11 for #julywithcj is: Diverse Books. I don’t have a ton of diverse books, so I went with my Outlander series. I love reading about my heritage in Scotland ❤️ Plus, I’m kinda in love with Jamie 😍😍 Yeah, there’s totally that too 😝 . What diverse book do you recommend I read? How was your weekend? . . . #totalbooknerd #bibliophile #stories #bookgeek #booknerdigans #booksgram #booktography #booktoday #booktube #booksandflowers #dianagabaldon #jamiefraser #bookworm #literature #read #reading #bookishfeatures #bookishlove #author #bookaholic #swoonyfictionjuly #fairylitjuly
A photo posted by Elisa Dane, YA Author (@authorelisadane) on
Don’t overthink it. Take the shot. Post it. If people don’t like your shot, they aren’t going to be all grumpy with you. It should be an easy thing. It should be a natural thing. I like the images that don’t look”too” staged, as if it’s a professional product shot.
Sharing the love – some of my favorite accounts:
I really need to finish this series 😹 Have you read #TheWinnersCurse? I looooved it! So many books, so little time. || #books #book #bookcover #booksoutside #booksoutofdoors #bookish #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #instabook #instaread #instablogger #instabookish #igbook #igreader #igbookish #bookblogger
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