14 Steps To Ultimate Bookstagram Success

Okay, if you read my earlier post, What Is Bookstagram And Do I Really Need It?, you’ll know I’ve figured it out and decided that yes, I need it. Next step: to become a bookstagram star.

Here are 14 things aspiring bookstagrammers should consider, according to what I found on Google:


1. Theme

You don’t need a theme but, as my Instagram guru Paper Fury says, “I personally noticed a huge increase in my followers when I started trying to get a theme going.” Instagram is about the visual, so being consistent helps define you. What are you all about? Answer this question and you are ready for the next step.

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This is a darkly fantastic update to inform you that my review of #Reckless is on the blog (link in bio) and I GOTTA GUSH, PEOPLES, BECAUSE I’M ABSOLUTELY IN LOVE WITH THIS MAGICAL DARK SERIES. It surprised me too?? I didn’t think I’d be this in love?? But a brief list of why I’m obsessed: . . 1. Dark stabby fairy tales. 2. Jacob Reckless is a treasure hunter extraordinaire and will glare you to death. 3. But also spends 94% of his time saving his little bro’s life. 4. There is an epic shapeshifting Fox. 5. THIS IS ONE OF MY NEW ULTIMATE SHIPS. 6. Dark faeries. Evil that does not sleep. Magical objects. 7. Everything nearly dies x 10. 8. It’s so so beautiful and creative. 9. Set in Germany!! 10. I think I’m obsessed??? Hard to say???? . . I’m definitely putting this down as one of those series where you go “oh I’ll just try it but I probs won’t even lik— OMG THIS IS MY NEW FAVOURITE THING OF EVER”. I love that feeling. Hold me. . . QOTD: Is there a series you read with 0% expectations and then ended up ADORING?!? . . #bookstagram #bookworm #bookphotography #bibliophile #booklover #bookaddict #instareads #book #instabook #reader #bookish #bookgram #beautifulbooks #booknerd #booksofinstagram #reading #booknerdigans #prettycovers #ifellinlovewithabookcover #translatedbooks #corneliafunke #mirrorworld #thepetrifiedflesh

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2. Style

Are you pretty in pink, dark and dangerous, or the bookstagrammer next door? Choose a style that says YOU while also showcasing your love of reading. When you’ve settled on your style the next few steps will be easy.

3. Location

If your style is outdoorsy your images might reflect the changing seasons. Perhaps the beach is your spiritual home, endless opportunities there, just don’t get sand in the books – librarians hate that. A reading nook in your favorite bar or café may be more you. That leads us to lighting.


4. Lighting

Daylight works best, outside with a little shade or inside next to a window is perfect. But if a cocktail bar is your location of choice, Instagram has tools to help with that. And you can add some cute feature lighting, e.g. if your subject is about Christmas, why not add some pretty Christmas lights? And that means props.


5. Props

A coffee cup, a cocktail glass, a cheese sandwich, chocolate covered strawberries – props create a mood. It doesn’t have to be about food and drink though! Favorite reading mementos, even a body part or two – yours – add interest. Why not include a map if your featured book is set in an exotic location?


6. Cuddly critters

Your best reading buddy is more than a prop. A cute cat, adorable puppy or your hamster who reads will definitely attract interest. And speaking of cuddly  – nothing is more cuddly than a little person, if you have one.


7. Angles

Try placing your books at different angles to see what catches the eye. Straight on is good too but you’ll probably need to add a prop or two. This works well if your style is uber-organized.



Why not overlay your images with quotes? Say a quote from the book featured, or a quote about reading. Funny is always popular, ditto inspirational. There are plenty of tools to help with this. Canva is one of the best.


9. Editing

According to Colorlib, Instagram likes the following sizes:

  • Square: 1080px width by 1080px height
  • Vertical:  1080px width by 1350px height
  • Horizontal: 1080px width by 566px height.

Resize as necessary. Make use of Instagram’s cropping and editing features, and the filters are a great way to give your images a consistent look and feel.


10. Captions

Tell the world about your photo and why you’ve added it. If it relates to a blog post or book review, then mention that too. Unfortunately, you can’t link directly but bookstagrammers, being clever, will know how to find it.

11. Hashtags

People you don’t know, aka potential followers, find your photos via hashtags. Check out these: #bookstagram (obviously), #bookworm, #bookphotography, #booklover, #book, #bookblogger and #bookish. They are just a few with ‘book’ in the tag. You could also try #bibliophile, #coverlove #Ilovereading and about a zillion more.

You can also add tags that relate to your theme or your props like #bookcandles, #wizardingworld, #catsreading.

Wise words on hashtagging from my guru, Paper Fury: “Make sure you ONLY hashtag what’s in the photo though, okay? It’s super annoying to be looking at #bibliophile and be bombarded with selfies of humans outside admiring their toenails or whatever. I mean. C’mon.”


12. Post

Pretty obvious, but how often should you post? Regularly is a good answer. Some pundits say not more than once a day, others 10 times a day. That last one sounds a bit spammy to me. The amount of interaction will more likely depend on quality not quantity.

13. Share the love

Instagram is a community so interact, don’t just send your pictures out into the world and hope for the best. Follow other bookstagrammers, and like, comment and share, share, share.


14. Inspiration

Click the hashtag #bookstagramfeatures and thousands of stunning images by bookstagrammers will appear. Check out what they are doing and how they are doing it.


Now I’m ready to go forth and bookstagram. Follow my journey at kathygates12, all comments and suggestions welcome. And #Amreading’s bookstagram is omg_amreading.

YouTube Channel: Babbling Books


Feature image via Sincerely, Sara

h/t Bustle