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Navigating Bookstagram - Stories & Tips From a Small(er?) Account - The Truth About Bookstagram

As you, my fellow bookstagramers know, bookstagram can be a pretty tough place to gain attention. While we all love books a great deal (after all, we did dedicate a whole account just to the art of being a bookworm), in the end, popularity might boil down to what you've read or your picture quality. Tough stuff right there.

I mean, we all love books, so why should it matter which ones we read? So what if we don't read the most popular books on bookstagram? Those dystopian YA books with futuristic societies or tons of action? Who ever said that classic books were bad? And, no, I'm not just talking about those Puffin classics with the beautiful covers - but the ones with less visually appealing covers, too.

Who said that our pictures necessarily had to be good? I mean, sure - this is Instagram we're talking about, a social media network built upon pictures - but when did we let that get in the way of what we came here to do? When did we let a less popular style or "cluttered pictures" - pictures with tons and tons of books - make us hide away from those accounts? Doesn't that just mean that they have lots of books and a large love for them?

Sadly, though, this is what it's come to. I don't blame bookstagrammers - once again, this is Instagram - but I do believe that this should be taken as a warning. Sure: you're going to find some amazing people who really love books just like you do. But, at the same time, don't expect great fame in the bookstagram community just because your love of books is so strong. That won't cut it.

To be a bookstagrammer doesn't mean that you just love books. Just like how bookstagram isn't just books. There's two parts to it: The book-loving part, and the picture part. It's the art of taking beautiful pictures of books, sharing not only good books but also nice photography.


It's the art of taking beautiful pictures of books, sharing not only good books but also nice photography.

If you really want to make it somewhere, you're going to have to confine to whatever trends are popular at the moment and adjust your pictures to do so, or create a pictures style that's popular with others. If that's your style, go for it, but if you must, don't change yourself for others. You might be influenced by other bookstagrammers' pictures, and that's perfectly okay, but if what you're doing doesn't feel right, then it simply is not.

I suppose what I'm trying to say is this: don't let the dream of fame crush you.

Yes, being popular and getting thousands of likes might seem nice, and yes it probably does feel nice, but that's not going to happen to everyone. Like I always say with sports in gym class, someone has to lose. For bookstagram, there's going to be smaller accounts. And that's okay.
For bookstagram, there's going to be smaller accounts. And that's okay.

If you continue to worry about the number of likes you get, or the number of followers that you see on the top of your screen, you might not end up anywhere and will lose the reason why you came to bookstagram in the first place. Sure, I track our followers and likes, where we've been featured and whatnot. And, when we recently hit a new record of 390 likes on a picture, we celebrated. That's okay. That's good. Feel proud.

In this case, it's about progress, wanting to do better for yourself. What you're trying to avoid is thinking of bookstagram as all work and no play. Sure, there's work to it, such as being a representative for companies, but bookstagram isn't for followers or likes or any of that stuff. Don't get swept away from such thoughts.

Remember what is is that you're really here for: books. Books, books, books. Sharing your love of books with others and talking about books and showing your love of books and falling in love with them all over again. Why have thousands of followers when you could have a few who you know well, who comment on your stuff and actually like it and share an interest in the things you like? Why have tons of likes if you don't even like what you're posting yourself? In the end, it's the real connections to people, photography, and books that's going to keep you going. Not a number on a screen.
In the end, it's the real connections to people, photography, and books that's going to keep you going. Not a number on your screen.

So, please, if you can, don't worry about being bookstagram famous. Instead, work towards producing content you like and finding nice people. If you need someone, I'm here. Bookstagram is a community, not a competition.



Click here to read the next Navigating Bookstagram post, "Feature Accounts". Or click on the Navigating Bookstagram tag (below) or the link in the pages bar at the top of the screen to read more.

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