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 acquired 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 artistic 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 artistic outlet,” she stated. “I used to be a keep at dwelling mother with two small youngsters, an avid reader and was typically at dwelling.”
We requested Richardson and Putnam to share their greatest ideas and recommendation for aspiring bookstagrammers. Right here’s what they instructed us.
Make Your Opinions Stand Out
Whereas many bookstagrammers put up the evaluate that the writer or writer has offered on Amazon, Richardson writes her personal.
“I feel that type of units me aside,” she stated. That additionally helped her develop her viewers.
“I posted my evaluations and was actually trustworthy 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 evaluations for books she actually likes: “If I don’t prefer it quite a bit, I’ll use the evaluate 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 accessible on her Instagram account.
“I’ve had fairly a couple of up-and-coming publishers contact me simply by means of Instagram and ask, ‘If I despatched you this e-book, would you be prepared to learn it and share your evaluate?’” Richardson stated. “I stated, ‘Completely, ship it my method.’ I all the time need to study new authors on the market.”
Putnam additionally talked about bookstagram tour teams as a technique 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 e-book on agreed-upon days. The top objective is to generate as a lot pleasure and curiosity within the e-book as potential.
And all the time be certain 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 evaluate 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 e-book.
You too can observe authors on Instagram and attain out on to them.
Interact With Different Bookstagrammers
Bookstagrammers typically do giveaways, so participating with them is a technique to get extra free books. Make sure that to observe them and go away feedback and likes on their posts, and so they might do the identical for you.
You’ll find bookstagrammers by following a few of these hashtags:
#books #e-book #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 pointers may also help:
- Accent your images with crops, a cup of scorching espresso, cloth, lace, candles, pinecones, and many others.
- Preserve your images contemporary. It’s good to have your individual model, however don’t all the time use the identical location or accents.
- Give your e-book a background. Set the e-book on prime of items of wallpaper or on scrapbooking paper that appears like hardwood flooring or clouds.
- Make sure that your images are properly lit with pure mild or lamps.
- Take your books exterior for a photograph shoot.
Bear in mind: Your objective is to make your followers image themselves studying that e-book.
Most Importantly: Have Enjoyable
Putnam reads broadly throughout a number of genres like mysteries and science fiction, however she avoids genres she doesn’t like, equivalent to romance or horror.
“I wouldn’t say that I make myself learn genres that I don’t like,” she stated. “Bookstagram is a interest for me so it must be enjoyable and fulfilling.”
No matter your style of selection, Putnam stated she recommends e-book lovers look into bookstagramming.
“For those who like to learn and need to speak books with different e-book lovers, join Instagram, observe different bookish accounts, acquire inspiration in your personal images and create,” Putnam stated.
“Don’t let it develop into a chore. It’s about studying the gorgeous books we love and sharing them with others.”
Katherine Snow Smith is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder.