Bookstagram, part I: Creating your account

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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