Thanks to social media, there are now so many ways for readers to connect, discover great new books, and share their own ideas on what they read.
And since there seems to be at least one Instagram dedicated to every interest out there, it’s really no surprise that #bookstagrams are all the rage amongst the most dedicated bookworms.
What Is a Bookstagram?
#Bookstagram started as an Instagram hashtag to indicate book-related photos. Such posts are often accompanies by book reviews, discussion questions, or book club suggestions. Or, the photo might just be aesthetically pleasing, especially to book nerds. A bit of #bookporn, if you will.
However, the term “bookstagram” has flourished, developing into a term that encompasses a whole niche of accounts. Travelers, foodies, and fashionistas have all found their place in the world of social media—and now, finally, book influencers are getting their share of the spotlight!
Whether you’re a passionate bookworm looking to share your love with the world, or simply seeking new titles to help you make good on your resolution to read more, bookstagrams can be great sources of inspiration for content creators and followers alike.
Why Start a Bookstagram?
Anyone can start a bookstagram account, and for any motive. However, here are some of the most common reasons for starting a bookstagram account:
- You are passionate about books and want to try a new book-related hobby.
- You have a book-related blog or business, and you want to use Instagram to generate publicity.
- You might get some free book swag from authors or publishers.
- You might get affiliate commissions from companies looking for reps via bookstagram.
Whatever your inspiration, it’s important that you have a genuine interest—or hopefully a true passion—for books, because like any other blog or social account, a successful bookstagram will require dedication and consistency.
How Do You Start a Bookstagram?
Follow these tips to create a rockin’ bookstagram of your own.
1.Choose a solid handle.
Just like with any other Instagram account, if you want to get a decent following, you’ll need a name that’s unique enough to stand out, but also easy enough to remember while giving users a hint about what kind of content you post.
Here’s a quick checklist of things to consider when choosing a great handle for your bookstagram account:
- Check Instagram to make sure that brilliant idea that came to you while you were in the shower isn’t already taken. Be sure to check for trademarks, too!
- Try to choose a name that’s reflective of your brand or niche. Your handle might not explicitly state the exact kind of content you post, but other users should get a feel for your style and easily associate that name with your content once they’ve seen it.
- Make sure the name you choose is easy enough to spell and type. If users have to enter symbols, numbers, and different cases every 2 characters, chances are they probably won’t search for you at all.
- If you’re thinking about starting a blog, website, or any other social accounts with the same name, like a Tumblr for example, you’ll want to check that the handle is available on each of those sites as well. Check out our guide to starting a personal blog for more on everything you need to know before going live.
2. Find your niche.
Just as fashion influencers and travel bloggers are a dime a dozen now, bookstagrammers are growing in number, which means if you want to stand out, you’ll need to narrow your scope.
Maybe you want to share your take on monthly book club reads, or the books you read during your frequent travels. The category of “books” is quite broad, The good news is that there’s plenty of room for everyone to find their niche.
Ask yourself what only you can share about books and the world of literature. What knowledge, experience, or insight can you provide that adds value to the current discussion on books? You’ll rely on this knowledge to inspire you with content ideas and to fuel your passion for this hobby.
3. Figure out your purpose.
When you commit to posting content for others, it helps to have a purpose in mind to keep you motivated. So before you get started, ask yourself why you want to start a bookstagram in the first place.
Do you want to inspire others to read more? Do you want to start a conversation about contemporary books, or add to the discussion about the role of classics? Do you want to hold yourself accountable for reading more often? Or drive more traffic to your blog about books?
There are so many reasons why you might start a bookstagram. Identifying your purpose will make all those other decisions—like your handle, niche, and content—much easier.
4. Take quality photos!
I get it, not everyone who loves books also happens to be #blessed with killer photography skills. But this is Instagram, and this isn’t 2011, when everyone slapped a Nashville filter onto a photo of a book next to their cappuccino.
If you want to be taken seriously as a bookstagrammer, please, please, please invest a few hours in watching some videos on basic photography skills. If you’re able, try to also invest in a decent camera phone or just a quality camera.
Presentation is everything! So while you don’t necessarily need to plan out a whole scene with a bunch of fancy props, you do want to put some care and attention into how your photos will look.
5. Post frequently and consistently.
Posting frequently and consistently is the key to success for any social account or blog. Try to plan and schedule your content a few weeks in advance. You can even use apps like Hopper HQ or ScheduGram to do the scheduling work for you!
Set reminders on your phone for when it’s time to post, and keep at least 10 days of content (photos AND your carefully crafted captions) in your arsenal so you don’t have to worry about them on a daily basis.
6. Engage with your followers and the community.
You might be an antisocial introvert in real life, but drop that energy when it comes to your bookstagram. The more engagement, the better!
Like and comment on other bookstagrammers’ posts, and try reaching out to some of the top influencers of the book world. Don’t be shy! Upping your engagement can not only help your visibility, but it can also lead to valuable connections (and perhaps friendships) with other like-minded book lovers.
Book Instagram Accounts to Follow
Whether you’re an avid reader looking for great content to brighten your feed, or a bookstagrammer seeking some inspiration for your own account, we think you’ll love these bookstagram accounts.
Follow one of the most trusted and respected authorities of the literary world for daily reviews and recommendations from their team of editors, as well as some insightful quotes from your favorite authors.
The largest indie bookshop in New York City has become an institution in the world of books. Follow their account for reviews and recommendations that are both culturally aware and relevant.
If you’re a fan of the Humans of New York account, you’ll love @SubwayBookReview. Get real book reviews from real people, from New York to D.C., London to Chile, and beyond.
Are you passionate about supporting authors of color? @WellReadBlackGirl features reviews and recommendations of books that span a wide range of genres, all written by black female writers.
Aimed especially at fantasy and sci-fi fans, this account posts beautiful, moody pics of the “girl with no name’s” stellar book collection.
Madeleine’s account does an A+ job at engaging her followers, which makes her comments section a great place to connect with fellow readers and book lovers.
If Reese Witherspoon recommends it, it must be good, right? In partnership with Reese’s Book Club, this account features the actress’s favorite reads.
This independent San Francisco publisher posts vibrant photos of their favorite books, which often come with a side of flowers or puppies—and who doesn’t love that?!
If you’re in need of some inspiration for your own bookstagram’s aesthetic, look no further than @BookBento. Even if you don’t read all the books they recommend, they’re sure to brighten up your feed!
Books Instagram Accounts
Creating a bookstagram account can be a great way to share your literary insight with others, while also making new connections within the reading community.
Followers can also benefit from stimulating discussions, helpful reviews, and of course, all those pretty pictures of one of your favorite things!
Do you follow any bookstagram accounts? What do you like about them? Share your thoughts in the comments below!