When Whitney Richardson’s library closed due to the pandemic, she was at a loss. She missed her supply of free books and book recommendations.
“I looked at my husband and said, ‘What do I read now?’“ said Richardson, a speech therapist from Evansville, Ill. “My librarian and I have a good relationship. She usually suggested books for me.”
She started searching online for book recommendations, and that’s how she discovered the bookstagram community.
Bookstagrammers — people who post reviews and photos of books on Instagram — say their hobby provides a creative outlet and connects them with other readers.
It also gets them free books.
Richardson was inspired, so she started her own Instagram account (@whitfulreads). Two months later, she’s already obtained greater than 30 books from publishers.
Megan Putnam has been a bookstagrammer for for much longer — virtually 10 years. The mom of two and psychological well being counselor began her bookstagram as a result of she needed a inventive outlet. Her Instagram account (@_popreads_) now has greater than 5,000 followers.
“I began bookstagram throughout a time in my life once I desperately wanted a inventive outlet,” she stated. “I used to be a keep at house mother with two small children, an avid reader and was typically at house.”
We requested Richardson and Putnam to share their greatest suggestions and recommendation for aspiring bookstagrammers. Right here’s what they informed us.
Make Your Opinions Stand Out
Whereas many bookstagrammers put up the evaluation that the writer or writer has offered on Amazon, Richardson writes her personal.
“I feel that sort of units me aside,” she stated. That additionally helped her develop her viewers.
“I posted my critiques and was actually sincere and uncooked about them,” Richardson stated. “Once I first began I had about 100 followers, and in a matter of two months that was as much as round 1,100 followers.”
Richardson additionally stated she solely writes critiques for books she actually likes: “If I don’t prefer it so much, I’ll use the evaluation from Amazon or Goodreads.”
Join with Publishers and Authors
Richardson has gotten on lists of publishers like HarperCollins, each by actively reaching out to them and by making her contact info obtainable on her Instagram account.
“I’ve had fairly a number of up-and-coming publishers contact me simply by way of Instagram and ask, ‘If I despatched you this guide, would you be keen to learn it and share your evaluation?’” Richardson stated. “I stated, ‘Completely, ship it my approach.’ I at all times need to study new authors on the market.”
Putnam additionally talked about bookstagram tour teams as a approach to get free books whereas additionally supporting authors and publishers. Bookstagram excursions are organized by publishers and authors, who ship free advance copies of books to bookstagrammers. In return, the bookstagrammers are anticipated to put up in regards to the guide on agreed-upon days. The tip purpose is to generate as a lot pleasure and curiosity within the guide as potential.
And at all times ensure that to tag the authors and publishers in your posts.
“I normally attempt to tag authors and publishers in my posts to make connections,” she stated. “I additionally obtain direct messages and e-mails from publishers and authors about reviewing or selling their books.”
Along with tagging the writer and writer, bookstagrammers use hashtags like #booksofinstagram and #bookbloggers to get their evaluation in entrance of different bookstagrammers, and so they’ll additionally choose hashtags focusing on area of interest teams which may have an curiosity within the guide.
You can even observe authors on Instagram and attain out on to them.
Have interaction With Different Bookstagrammers
Bookstagrammers typically do giveaways, so partaking with them is a approach to get extra free books. Ensure that to observe them and go away feedback and likes on their posts, and so they could do the identical for you.
You’ll find bookstagrammers by following a few of these hashtags:
#books #guide #bookmail #booksharks #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #bookworms #booksofinstagram #Bibliophile #bibliophile #biblio #studying #booknerd #learn #readersofinstagram #booklover #bookbloggers #bookblog #bookbloggersofinstagram #bookphotography #bookreviewer #bookcommunity #booklife #furrentlyreading #studying
Take Good Pictures of Your Books
Instagram is a visible platform, so to face out, you’ll need to guarantee your images are on level. The following tips will help:
- Accent your images with vegetation, a cup of sizzling espresso, material, lace, candles, pinecones, and many others.
- Hold your images contemporary. It’s good to have your individual fashion, however don’t at all times use the identical location or accents.
- Give your guide a background. Set the guide on high of items of wallpaper or on scrapbooking paper that appears like hardwood flooring or clouds.
- Ensure that your images are properly lit with pure mild or lamps.
- Take your books exterior for a photograph shoot.
Keep in mind: Your purpose is to make your followers image themselves studying that guide.
Most Importantly: Have Enjoyable
Putnam reads extensively throughout a number of genres like mysteries and science fiction, however she avoids genres she doesn’t like, comparable to romance or horror.
“I wouldn’t say that I make myself learn genres that I don’t like,” she stated. “Bookstagram is a pastime for me so it needs to be enjoyable and pleasant.”
No matter your style of selection, Putnam stated she recommends guide lovers look into bookstagramming.
“In case you like to learn and need to speak books with different guide lovers, join Instagram, observe different bookish accounts, acquire inspiration in your personal images and create,” Putnam stated.
“Don’t let it grow to be a chore. It’s about studying the attractive books we love and sharing them with others.”
Katherine Snow Smith is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder.