Lessons Learned… A guide to bookstagram + tips

Here on ‘Closet Readers’ we believe in learning from each other and we are inviting you to come share with us the lessons you’ve learnt. If you would like to be a guest on our blog and share something you’ve learnt now or in the near future (this is a permanent feature) find more information here Lessons Learned Help and FAQ.

I hope we can all learn from Mariana from fireheartbooks today, here sharing her wisdom! She is sharing bookstagram tips which is great- bookstagram has always been a mystery to me.

Hello everyone!

Last summer I started taking my bookstagram @aelinstormborn (You’re more than welcome to check it out haha) more seriously and since it’s been such a wonderful thing in my life, I’ve decided to put together some tips to help you to start your own bookstagram or improve yours!  

What’s the key to a successful bookstagram?

Interacting with your followers as much as possible!

This will help your followers relate to you and it’ll make it easier to make friends in the community! Trust me, bookstagram is a lot better with friends. Here are some tips to help you with this:

-Do QOTP (Question of the post); 
-Always answer the comments on your posts;
-Let your followers know you better through your posts and IG stories;
-Ask your followers questions through IG stories.

How do I get people to notice my account and follow me?

Tag your pictures! This is important to put your pictures out there! Or else how will people find them? You should use regular tags like #books #bookworm and such but I also suggest that you start by taking pictures for well known book tags like the #RedBooks tag (or any other colour), the #DustThatJacket tag or a great first one, the #MeetTheBookstagrammer tag! A lot of people search these tags so it’ll make it easier for your pictures to be noticed.

Have a theme! An account with a defined theme catches people’s attention. You can try different themes until you find the one that describes you better. It can be a minimalist theme, a rustic theme, a prop you always use, like flowers, fairy lights or candles, a certain background, like white or wooden, you can even have a theme for each season! Just be creative and see what works best for you!

Have a pretty icon! I will definitely check out an account whose icon catches my eye. Try to use one of your best pictures, one that represents your style!

Choose a nice username! Like a pretty icon, a nice username can catch people’s attention and make them check out your account. Sometimes the username you want won’t be available and you’ll have to be creative, but try not to make it too complicated or too long.

Follow some bookstagrammers and be active on their accounts! Do to others what you’d like them to do to you. If you always like someone’s posts and comment on them often it’ll be hard for them not to notice you! They’ll definitely check out your account and might even give you a follow!

Once you have some followers, participating in the occasional shoutout session can help more people to discover your account and follow you!

How do I make my pictures look good?

There’s nothing wrong with taking inspiration from other accounts (be sure to thank them, though!) but try to be creative!

Use natural lighting. This is so important!!! It’ll make your pictures look 100 times better.

Make sure your pictures aren’t blurry. Instagram can sometimes reduce the quality of some pictures and that makes them less appealing, so if your pictures are already blurry it’ll be even worse. Natural lighting can help with that.

Edit your pictures! You can use a filter or just adjust brightness, contrast and clarity to your liking. The editting apps I like to use are Afterlight ($0.99 but worth it), VSCO and Polarr when I want to change a certain colour.

When you have a photoshoot, always take lots of pictures, from lots of different angles. Then choose the ones with the best quality and only choose the one you’re going to post after you edit them. Honestly, sometimes a picture that you weren’t so sure of when you took it looks a lot better after you edit it!

Other tips:

Tip #1 Keep your feed clean! Don’t spam your followers with non-bookish pictures, it messes up your feed wich can be off-puting.

Tip #2 Post consistently! Always try to post once a day (or every other day). I can tell you from personal experience that every time you post a picture you will gain followers and if you don’t post for more than 3 days you’ll lose followers.

Tip #3 Write an interesting caption! It can just be you talking about your day, as long as it’s not just one line or just tags (and please use spacing when you change subject! Makes it a lot easier to read). Like I said before, interact with your followers, ask them questions!

Tip #4 Have an interesting bio! I have my name, age, country and a quote I love, “To the stars who listen- and the dreams that are answered.

Tip #5 Use popular books! You’re more likely to get likes on your pictures if you use popular books, especially if you tag them like #ThroneOfGlass for example.

Tip #6 If you own bookish merchandise, use it! Bookmarks, Funko Pops, bookish mugs, tote bags and candles, etc. make great props! I love when people include them in their pictures.

Tip #7 Join a Bookstagram Photo Challenge! Search for one in the tag #BookstagramPhotoChallenge and choose the one that appeals to you the most. This is great to give you inspiration for new pictures, to help you post everyday and to get other people find your account through the challenge’s tag.

And that’s it! I hope this was helpful.

Thanks for reading,

   Mariana xx


Do you have an instagram account? Leave a link below! What has your bookstagram experience been like? Any tips. Do you recommend bookstagramming? Have you tried it? Do you have an account but rarely use it? Or do you love it sooo much you can’t not post every day? Share please.


Want more? Find Mariana here.


13 thoughts on “Lessons Learned… A guide to bookstagram + tips

  1. Hey. Found these tips really helpful. My feed is a little cluttered as I am slowly finding my desired zone. Also, I like writing little pieces of poetry or verse with my pictures, because I think I am a better writer than a book photographer (sigh). But, I do it for the love of it. I would love to know what you think of my feed. https://www.instagram.com/aritri.c/
    Lots of love.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. These are such great tips! Posting frequently is definitely a big one for me. It might be difficult to keep up with taking so many photos, but it’s worth it– and it’s super fun! 🙂


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