Bookstagram, part II: Editing and creating a theme

Copie de Copie de Copie de Copie de Wanderlust GIFT IDEAS

Dear readers,

Before starting, I wanted to thank you all for your words on the first part of this guide. It means a lot to me to see that my advice can help some of you or made you want to join this beautiful community.

For this second part, I will focus on editing and planning your theme. I will start with some general advice, then will move on to how I edit my pictures then will talk about mantaining a feed.

Quick reminder that you can do whatever you want with your account.  Having a theme isn’t something you have to do – the only thing you should do is be proud of your work and loving what you are posting. Those are only tips and explanation on how I work. I am no professional and I do not know everything.


SOME TIPS
  • Use natural light

That’s the big advice: Use natural light – it will make your pictures way more beautiful, they won’t be blurry and you will edit them quicker.  Unless you have a camera and can take beautiful shots in the dark, taking your pictures during day time when the light is great will really help you. This also means that you have to organise yourself to take pictures when the sun comes out (I usually take my pictures on the weekend so I can wait for the perfect moment).

  • Do not force colours on your theme

With Autumn coming, that’s a thing I saw a lot on Instagram. Many accounts used orange filters to make their pictures look more autumnal but sometimes it just didn’t work out. Instead of “forcing” your pictures to look a certain way so it can go with your feed, find those colours out there. Add some props, go outside. If you want an autumnal thing for example, take pictures outisde with all the dead leaves or use things that remind people of the season. Use natural colours and your pictures will already look more beautiful.

  • No need to have a camera

As I already said, you do not need to have a camera. I have been using my phone since I started and never had problems with it. The quality was good enough and I have been able to edit my pictures for free. A camera won’t necessarily help you make more beautiful pictures.

  • Try new things

If you are lacking of inspiration, or even if you are not, try new things. That way you will improve. I used to take only pictures inside, so I went outside. I then only took pictures at the same place in the same way, so I changed once again. Do not be afraid to try new things and experience: new angles, new props, new places etc. That’s how you’ll grow.

  • Have your own identity

The best compliment I ever received was when someone told me that a picture reminded them of my work. I love it when you know who took the picture just by looking at it, and that’s what you should keep in mind. Find something that makes you.

HOW I EDIT MY PICTURES
  • My photoshoots

I know that it doesn’t go with the editing part but I thought it made sense to explain to you all how I organise myself to make enough pictures while still having my jobs, studies and a social life.

I tend to plan a new outdoors photoshoot every two weeks. I go with my other bookstagram friends because it is always fun. We also use this time to go to exhibitions or discover new places in Paris. I use one day of the weekend for this and I stay home the other day to take pictures in my room as well. I always take a lot of pictures so I can always have some. To this day, I can post without taking new pictures for two months – some of them are very similar so it won’t be interesting but I still do have a lot of pictures.

If I am home early on another day (which barely happens), I try to take new pictures as well. I do not miss a chance when the sun is still out.

  • VSCOcam

It is important to know that I don’t do that on every pictures. I can sometimes play with the lightning or saturation more to make them all look good together – it all depends of the picture. What I will present you today is what I usually do and what usually works.

VSCOcam is a free application available on Apple and Android.

I first upload all my new pictures on the application so I can have them all and start working on them. I open the first one and apply the A6 filter – I used to not use filters for a while but this one doesn’t change much and only gives more contrast to the picture.

Sans titre (3).png

I then move to the parameters and goes first on the exposure. It depends on every picture but I change it a bit to make it more clear. I then play with the contrast which I move sometimes a lot. I need the objects to pop out of the screen. I can also crop my pictures if I don’t like the original setting.

Then I work with the colours and start with the saturation. I take it down a lot so it isn’t as colourful as it used to be. My feed is mostly white and I want the background to be as white as possible. I also turn down the temperature a little so it gives it this cold vibe and erase all the yellow/orange parts. I work on the skin tone and turn it down to add just a little bit of colour.

Sans titre (4).png

I can then go back to the exposure and contrast to correct it, as I did for this one because I wasn’t happy with how the book looked like.

Sans titre (5).png

And voilà!

Sans titre (6)

Most of the time I am done here. However, when pictures are too hard to edit I switch to Snapseed to correct some colours there.

  • Snapseed
Snapseed is a free application available on Apple and Android.

As I said, I can turn to Snapseed when I need to make the background of my pictures more white.

All I do is edit my picture entirely to make the background looks like I want, even if it touches everything else. Then, I click on the arrow at the top and on “View edits“. From there, I click on “Tune Image” and then on the little square with the brush icon. Now I can only draw on the background to apply the previous editing: this way, only parts I touched will be edited as I did earlier.

I also use Snapseed to add my name on my pictures and blur them to put it on my Instagram story when I tell my followers that I posted.

To add my name, all I do is go to “Tools” then to “Text“. It’s as simple as that.

To make my picture blurry, I click on “Lens blur” in “Tools” again and turn down the “Vignette strength” to 0 before playing with the “Blur strength” until I’m happy with it.

CREATING AND MANTAINING A FEED
  • Try and plan it

The most important tip I can give you to make sure your feed won’t become messy is to plan it.

The first thing you need to do is to imagine it. Think of the colours you want your theme to have, the pictures that have inspired you for this. You can make yourself a collage of all those things to have a mood board of how your theme is supposed to look like.

Then, you need to start taking picture. Do not take them all the same day: they will all look alike since they’ll be taken under the same lightning, but you actually have to understand how to create an harmony by yourself. Many people change their feeds after having another photoshoot, but you shouldn’t have to do that. Plan several photoshoots and try to stick to your mood board.

When you have all of your pictures, or at least enough material to start working on them, you have to really plan your feed. I use the app Preview which is free to do so. All you have to do is to upload your pictures on the application and then play with them until you find the perfect combination. That way you will be sure your pictures look great together without being afraid of ruining your feed. I usually schedule every pictures for the week, so I’m sure my theme will stay the same.

  • Move and use different props

Many people take their pictures with the same setting and at the same place, and it’s okay. That is something that I used to do as well. However, I realised that most of the biggest bookstagram accounts didn’t work like that.

I know that it’s easier to maintain a feed when all your pictures have the same setting. But trust me, your theme will be more striking if you take your pictures with different angles and in different places. Try flat lays, go outside and take pictures of your book in a tree, put it on your bedside table, take a selfie with it etc. Your feed will instantly become more interesting to look at because everything will be new.

  • Do not be afraid to post non-bookish pictures

Ah, here we go. How many times have I seen people being afraid of posting non-bookish pictures and asking for permission? Well let me tell you: It’s your account and you can do whatever you want. Sure, if you are a bookstagram account, you are meant to talk about books but you can also post landscapes, outfits or anything else that makes you happy. Plus, having different kind of pictures will make your feed look way more beautiful and personal! It’ll be all diverse and it will look amazing. So dare present other things to your followers and show them your photography skills! Do not be scared to be yourself on Instagram: We want to know what you like besides of literature!



I hope that those tips will help you!

Again, it is important to know that you can do whatever you want with your account. There’s no better way to run a bookstagram; we all do as we can and all improve through time. As long as YOU are happy with yours and are loving how your account looks like, then it’s perfect! This article is mostly to explain how I work, since many people asked me how I edit my pictures over the months.

Do you like having a feed? Does that make you follow an account quicker than if it didn’t have one? What are some of your favourite themes?

Love always,

Clara

téléchargement

Advertisements

Bookstagram, part I: Creating your account

Copie de Copie de Copie de Copie de Wanderlust GIFT IDEAS (1)

Dear readers,

You may not know but I have been on Instagram for a year now and my account has been growing really fast without me realising what was happening or how I got so lucky. Over the months, many people asked for my advice and even though I gave some, I felt silly because I had so much to say and never really had the occasion to develop my thoughts.

This is why I am bringing you today the Bookstagram Guide which will be devided in three parts: the first part will explain you how to start, the second one will focus on the editing part and the third one on how to progress through the months. I know those kind of posts have been done a lot so I’ll try to say new things and talk about my story as well. In no way I am assuming that I know everything about bookstagram – this is only to help, as those blog posts have been helpful to me when I began to be sure I wasn’t doing anything wrong.


HOW TO START
  • Find a name

Now that you decided that you wanted to join the bookstagram community, you need a username. This step may seems easy but is actually really important. It should reflect your account, your personality and actually be striking. It can be the first thing people will see about your account, so choose carefully. Many people told me they started following me because of my username, and I do give a lot of thoughts before following soemone: Seeing an account being called “b00ks4lif3” won’t make me want to click on it.

Many guides tell you not to choose a too long username and it’s true that short ones are somehow better but mine is long and it never bugged me. The only advice that is worth taking is that your username should be related to literature: it can be a reference to a quote, to a character, to a book or just be related to the act of reading, the pages, the book itself etc: That way people will know your account is a bookstagram without having to click on your profile to check.

  • Decide if you want to stick to a theme or not

Now that you have your username, you have to decide what you want your account to look like. All my social medias look alike: they’re all white and apparently minimalist. My bookstagram also follows those rules and I work hard to maintain a feed.

What is a theme or a feed: it's the aesthetic of your account. Having a feed means that all your pictures look great together - they do not have to look alike but they respond to each others because of the colours you use.

It’s okay if you don’t want to start a theme because I know they are hard to stick to but I won’t lie: it’s better if you do. Most people I follow have one. I started to follow them because when I went on their accounts the whole thing looked professional and thought.

Sans titre
my instagram feed – @thebookwormofnotredame

I will talk more about editing and maintaining a feed on the second part of this guide.

  • Post on a schedule

A lot of people believe that posting once a week should be enough, but it’s not. You have to be constant in your posts and to give people something new at least every two days. When I started my account, I used to post twice a day and it worked. More people were joining every day. When I started to have a lot of followers, I decided to lower it to one post per day. Now, I post every day except on the weekend.

Many accounts still post twice or more, but you must be careful: do not over post (it can be frustrating for others and many won’t see them) and make sure you have enough pictures to do so. I highly recommend posted once to twice a day – it is enough and will make people want to see more of your work.

  • Talk to people and make friends

Now here is the most important tip I can give you. I started following many people because we started being friends, and not for their pictures. Plus, talking to people will make others commenting on your posts and talking about your account. So do not be shy: comment under others pictures, answer to stories, tell people you love their work.

I know how hard this can be but I can assure you that 95% of people on bookstagram are nice and welcoming. I suffer from anxiety but never felt unwanted there. Also, be sure to use the stories and to share about what you are reading, your life or anything on there. This is super useful to create a link between you and your followers.

SOME MORE TIPS
  • Do not be obsessed with followers, likes etc

I can see you rolling your eyes and saying, “Easy to say that when you have 13k followers”. But you know what? I also had 0 followers one day and I saw it growing. I was always thankful but never really cared about it – as I said, it came by surprise. All I know is that focusing on this will make you unhappy but I also know that it’s not that easy, that we all look to those numbers at the top of our accounts.

The thing is that we can decide how it affects us. It may take time for you to start seeing it in another way but you will eventually. I can assure you that your followers number does not define you nor your work – many of my favourite accounts don’t have much.

I also know that sometimes it doesn’t work. You may take beautiful pictures but you feel as if your work isn’t acknowledged enough and it’s okay. Your feelings are valid and you shouldn’t feel bad for being that way. So talk about it to your friends, you can even talk to me about it and we’ll find a solution.

The third part of this guide is dedicated on how to make people see your work.

  • Look for inspiration 

Pinterest will become your bestfriend in no time. If you are looking for inspiration, just log in and search for bookish pictures or else. I can assure you that it will come back. You can also scroll your Instagram feed until you have ideas again.

Sans titre 4

But be careful: do not copy others pictures. You can be inspired by them but not do the exact same thing. If you feel as if your picture looks too much like another one, send it to the person and ask if it’s okay. Do not forget to credit them even if they say that it is.

  • Schedule your photoshoots

How many times have I seen people saying they didn’t have enough pictures? The only advice I have is to schedule your photoshoots and to stick to it. Do as many pictures as you need/can. Sometimes it won’t work, that’s for sure, but you still have to try. Try new things, new places, new angles, new props, but always plan most of your photoshoots and make the best out of it.

  • Write captions

I beg you: write captions and ask questions. This may seems really stupid and maybe even logical but it’s not for everyone. Many people just put quotes and got surprised when they have no comments. You have to make people wanting to comment under your pictures.

Many people talk about their days (which I used to do as well) and others do like me and use those captions as mini blog posts. I love to open a debate, so that people can answer and talk in the comments. I always talk about a bookish subject, then ask a question at the end. I feel close to my followers thanks to it, and it has been working amazing since I started. (I also write all of my captions in advance every Monday morning for the entire week. It can take me an hour or so but it’s worth it. If you want me to talk more about I organised myself, tell me and I’ll write a blog post about it.)

  • Put hashtags

Future bookstagrammers, use all the bookish hashtags. I usually put them at the end of my caption after three dots so it’s seperated from my text, or in a comment.

Here’s those I use daily:

#bookster #bookstagram #booknerd #book #bookphotography #booklover #pages #instabook #reading #lovereading#vsco #vscocam #bibliophile #bookish#bookstagrammer #igreads #bookaholic#reader #booknookstagram

You can also put hashtags for the author’s names, the title of the book etc. Do not be afraid to use them: It’s a great way to make your work visible.

I’ll talk more about it in the third part.

  • No need to have an expensive camera or editing software

Know this: I always used my phone and free applications to take and edit my pictures. I’ll soon have a camera for Christmas but I still got where I am without it. So no pressure: You don’t need anything fancy to start nor to keep running your account.

I’ll talk more about this in the second part.


Now that you know how to start, I can’t wait to see your accounts. Send me your usernames in the comments!

Love always,

Clara

téléchargement

How to read when you’re busy

Copie de Wanderlust GIFT IDEAS

Dear readers,

If you don’t know, I’m a busy person. I have my studies, my job and I’m still trying to have a social life, to exercice and to write next to my bookstagram account. Now I also have this blog. So how do I even find time to read +/- 10 novels per month?

You know the struggle. A lot of us readers are busy— unfortunately we can’t just stay at home and read all day, even though we would love to. Life happens and we have responsibilities. For some person it’s really easy to coordinate everthing. For others it may seem challenging, nay impossible. This is why I decided to write this post— to help you to get through this and to have a guide that may help you to solve this problem with five simple rules.

  • Always have a book with you

This is the first and most important rule. You’re going to the grocery shop with your dad? Take a book. You’re going to the theatre with some friends? Take a book. You’re going to class? Take – a – book. You never know when you will finaly have the time to read. Maybe you will have to wait for your father for ten minutes, maybe your teacher won’t come to class, maybe your friends will be late. Having a book with you is a great way to be sure to always have some time to read. Even if you only read two pages, it’s already a little bit more than what you would have read in the whole day.

  • Be organised

When you’re a busy person, you have two options to deal with it: either you let life dictates you what you have to do or you try to be organised. I have to say that I am an organisation addict and that helps me a lot to find time to read. Because I know exactly what I have to do in a day and when I will have to do it, I also know when I can read and  so can organise my time to at least have a day per week (or every two weeks tops) to stay at home for my readings. If you’re busy and you feel like you’re running out of time, I highly suggest you to buy a planner and to start organising everything. Be realistic, otpimise your time and see when you can study/work/see your friends and when you can actually spend some times at home (or elsewhere) with your book. It will be a lot easier than just see what life has for you and try to read when the opportunity comes to you. You need to make the reading happens. That also means that you have to schedule your reading time. Let’s say that you want to read at least an hour a day, then you just have to make yourself read an hour before bed. Figure out what time is the best for your reading and do it. It may demands a lot of discipline but it’s a good way to keep reading even though you’re busy.

  • Read everywhere

If you want to read a lot when you’re busy, you can’t just be happy with only a reading day per week. Because you’re a reader, you will want to read more and more and more. And here is the solution: read everywhere. It may seems stupid but it’s not that simple for everyone. Some people are unable to read outside because they need the comfort of their house. But if you want to keep reading while being busy, you’ll have to learn to appreciate reading outdoors. If you have to take the train or else to go to work/school, read in it. A lot of people have at least an hour before arriving to their work and you can use this hour to read. I personnaly love to read in the train, even more than reading at home, but I know some people find it frustrating and irritating because you always have to stop at the worst time and also because there may be a lot of noise. It’s still a great way to read if you don’t have the time anymore. By having a book everywhere with you (rule number one), you’ll always find some time. You can read while waiting for your next class (or during class if you feel rebellious), while eating your lunch etc. Don’t just see reading as an activity you can only do at home.

  • Read with your friends

When you finally have some free time, you may want to spend it with your friends instead of staying alone at home (even though it’s always a good idea to stay home or to spend some time alone). If you have friends who also love to read, then you’re incredibly lucky because you will be able to associate your reading time with your friends! All you have to do is to throw a reading party. Nothing’s easier— on a table (or on the floor, who cares?) put some food and drinks. Invite some friends. Take a book. And… read! You can also challenge your friends, like you can try to see who can read 100 pages faster or how many pages you can read in only an hour. You can also create a book club (or simply join one). And, of course, you can force your friends to read or be unsociable and read whenever you’re with them because who cares what they think? Talking is overrated.

  • Read on different formats

This is the final rule of this guide on how to read when you’re busy. As for me, I mostly read physical books. I love their scent, how they feel in my hands… well let’s just say that I love physical books a lot. But sometimes it may seem easier to find another way to read. For exemple, when I’m bored in class, I tend to read some e-books on my iPad (who’s rebellious now uh?). Since I can’t pull out my big book in class, reading on my iPad is a little bit more discreet. Plus, if you think your book is too heavy or that you have no space for it in your bag, e-books are always a great idea. You can also listen to audiobooks, even though I don’t really do it, but I heard it’s a great way to keep reading while driving or cleaning your room for example. Finaly, all you have to do is to read  different books at the same time. I don’t do it all the time but it may happen and it does help me to read more.


I hope that this post will help you to find a way to keep reading even though you are busy! And never forget that it’s okay to not read, to be behind your reading goal, to priorize your life or studies to reading. You are a reader no matter what.

What are some of your tips to keep reading even though you are busy?

Love always,

Clara

téléchargement