How to Miserably Fail at #bookstagram – Dishing Junk

How to Miserably Fail at #bookstagram – Dishing Junk

Dishing Junk – The act of dispensing ideas of little value in a casual or silly manner.

Bookstagram(mers) are the new COOL kids of the book blogging world. First, the Book Tubers came along and pissed all in our cheerios and now it’s them + the bookstagram peeps. And what’s more annoying than spelling bookstagram? Seeing their pictures will all the stuff in and thinking – to compete with that I gotta spend a crap ton of money on tchotchkes that are gonna get full of dust and sit on my shelf taking up precious book space. But – if you are dying to get in on the craze, I have so not-so-good tips just for you!


Your photo will not be seen unless you use a hashtag. Hashtags are the way other can search for photos similar to the ones they post. Everyone who posts using #bookworm will all be in the happy #bookworm family. So…you want to be in as many groups as possible, so hashtag in every way you can. Instagram has ones that just pop up – click and click and click by just typing #. Then if it doesn’t pop up, make shit up. Who knows, you might start a trend.


Bookstagram Tips


Props make the #bookstagram. Without props you are taking a picture of a book. Oooh. No one has seen that before. No need to spend any money on props. Just grab whatever you have lying around and stick it in the picture. If you are confused, just color code it and make it awesome. Don’t second guess yourself, throw it in there and just do it. Sure, a dried up old leaf has nothing to do with the Steampunk book you are promoing…but it sure looks cool with that cover. It’s not about the book – it’s about the photo!

Bookstagram Tips

Lighting and Resolution

Any photographer will tell you lighting and resolution will make the image. Make sure you have the proper lighting and take the photos with a good camera. If worst comes to worst go outside and drop your book in the grass and take a photo. Outside lighting is the best, especially – well I’ve read – dawn and dusk. Then snap a picture of your sunset and get another great Instagram photo.

Bookstagram Tips


There are tons of great bookstagram peeps, get your ideas from them. I mean don’t copy them exactly – that would be – well I don’t know, it’s not really a copyright issue, but you know you don’t want to make anyone upset. Hashtag #oops

Bookstagram Tips

Camera Skills

With the popularity of the iPhone and other phones that might be out there that are competitive with said iPhone – but I can’t name them, because who doesn’t use an iPhone? Not this girl. Well, use the iPhone to take your images, the resolution on the camera is as good as any fancy camera you can find at fancy camera stores. Then practice how you shoot, mess with angles and how you set up shots. Make it fun. Do things differently.

Bookstagram Tips

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  1. Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

    This made me laugh so much. I’ve tried taking interesting photos of books, and for the most part, they’ve been either mediocre or utter failures. I’m using a decent digital camera and editing the photos, but it’s not helping much. And it takes So. Much. Time. I’m not sure how the really good #bookstagrammers find time!

  2. Melissa

    HA! This is hysterical. I am so a bookstagram fail…!

  3. Katrina @ Bookish Things

    This is awesome. I suck at bookstagram. I used to try to compose pics, but honestly, I don’t have time for that. And storage for all the props, where would I put it all???

  4. Angie

    Sometimes #bookstagram is like Where’s Waldo, if Waldo were a book. So many props! Where is the book?!

  5. Rachel

    Hahaha love this! I will never be a good bookstagrammer. I start to balk when I hit three #. I am a sucky photog so usually the bookpic looks worse than the real life book! And I am so freaking jealous of those bookstagrammers that have the time to artfully compose their books with crafting supplies, nature, ribbons, bows, rainbows and unicorns.

    At least when I’m instagramming other pics they’re of things I’m doing/nature so the pic speaks for itself. The backdrop is what’s happening. I have no back yard, I have no leaves, I have no cute things to pose the book with.

    And I’m NOT going to be one of those bookstagrammers that take pictures of their books while they’re in bubble baths, implying something sudsy’s going on. Nooooo. You can’t take that back. Ever. And when instagram decides again that they own those pics you’ll become the next ad campaign for gosh knows what. Ugh.

  6. Tanya @ Rantings of a Reading Addict

    #bookstagram drives me crazy. I suck at taking pictures and don’t have the time to practice. Then finding props? I totally overthink it. Thanks for the tips!

About The Author


Rachel, whom you might know as Parajunkee, is the blog owner of and the design blog To make matters even more confusing she is now a published author under the pen name of Gillian Zane. Rachel has been blogging for over eight years, designing / web programming for over fifteen, but her real love, reading, has been her favorite hobby since childhood. Rachel has won numerous awards for her writing, the blogs she has created and her design work. If you want to check out more about her books click "The Books" on the navigation bar at the top of the page.