Monday, November 21, 2016

Navigating Bookstagram: Stories & Tips From a Small(er?) Account - Introduction


Hello, everyone! How are you all today? As most of you probably know already, Em and I have a bookstagram (bookish Instagram account) where we share pictures of books and our love for reading! The bookstagram community is actually pretty large (the largest account I have found so far has 200k followers), and while it’s full of great and wonderful people, it can also be a bit intimidating and scary for newbies and smaller accounts alike.

We’ve been on bookstagram for about seven months now, give or take, and have gotten more used to the swing of things on bookstagram. While there’s still so much for us to learn, we do know quite a few things that should prove to be useful to beginners and fellow smaller accounts. (I know that we have 1.1k, but if an account with 3.8k account I was talking to considers themself, then I think we count.) That’s why I’ve created this little series of posts where I plan to share some of my own stories every other Monday. Us smaller guys have to stick together, right?


"Us smaller guys have to stick together, right?"

First, let’s start with a little introduction, okay?

My name is Julia, and I run the bookstagram @readingisinevitable along with my best friend/twin sister, Em. (Yes: our relationship is finally revealed!) I run the blog, however, unless she goes and writes a blog post which is such a nice treat. We run the bookstagram together; a weird combination of her taking pictures, me editing and posting them, along with interacting with others, and both of us planning the pictures.

We started our bookstagram on March 13th, and since then have posted 214 pictures (in which only some are good), and gained about 1,100 followers (the number dances around 1,115 and 1,120 due to unfollowers).

When our bookstagram was still young, we had no idea what we were doing. Our pictures were not set up nicely for we didn’t yet know what kind of angles and layouts looked good for books, and something went wrong during the editing stage:



Em had also followed about 100 people in a manner of minutes (we were actually blocked from following people for a little over a week because of that). At the time, I was upset with her for following so many people at once, but now I see that maybe that was a good thing, because 1) we found bookstagram (originally we were just making an Instagram for our blog), and 2) we got a good taste of what people liked, even if it was a bit of a scary thing at first.

I mean, there were so many accounts that have already been in the game already, and I was looking at book after book that I had not even heard of before. I had thought that we were just going to create a little Instagram for our blog, but what I didn’t realize was that there was already such a large and active bookish community on Instagram. It was overwhelming, definitely, and I found myself wondering, What in the world did we just get ourselves into?

Looking at all of these accounts, I realized that we weren’t just going to need to post advertisement for blog posts but also additional book pictures. There was the question of when to post, how much to post, photo challenges, shoutout-for-shoutouts, and loads more. It was obvious that this wasn’t going to be as easy as we thought it was.


"It was obvious that this wasn't going to be as easy as we thought it was."

And even once I adjusted to the whole bookstagram idea, there were still more obstacles to hurdle. You aren’t going to gain 1,000 followers in two weeks. (While I have seen that done in the past, it’s near impossible.) There’s going to be unfollowers, too: lots and lots of them. And there’s even going to be low people who steal pictures and repost them without proper credit.

In the beginning, we just had to run with it and pretend like we knew what we were doing. We had to learn a bit here and there, and we’re still learning. Hopefully, by making this little blog series, this journey will be easier for you. And if you’ve been here for a while and sit in the same boat we’re in, hop along too: there’s still much more exploring we’ve got to do.

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