So let's talk about Instagram. Or specifically #Bookstagram.
What the fuck is that you say. Well it's instagram for books.
Ok what in the fuck does that mean????
Well it's simple really. Take a picture of a book or something related to a book, post it on instagram and bam you have just bookstagrammed. #Bookstagram
I am not an expert on Bookstagram but it is something I have recently discovered and I am loving it. It's just another way for me to express my passion for reading. Taking pretty pictures of books and staging them in a pretty way. You don't need to be a professional photographer, you don't even need to have a professional camera. Although it would be nice to have one let's be honest not everyone has cash coming out of their ying yangs. But the beauty of bookstagram is that it is fun and can cost you nothing at all.
So first let's show you a few of the pics that I have on my instagram account. Feel free to follow me @booksmacked.
All of these pictures were taking with my iphone and using the help of a cool app.
So what next.
Well first you obviously need a camera. And to be quite honest now a days phones have all these fancy types of cameras built into them that if you can't afford to get a nice camera because let's face it those things can get expensive as fuck, your Iphone, or Samsung or Android will do just fine.
Ok so the best type of light is natural light, however I do find that a sunny day offers a bit too much light and too much brightness so for me a cloudy or rainy day is the best.
Try and have a background prop if you can, whether its a nice fuzzy blanket, a counter top, a piece of wood (pictured below from Michaels which I got for $15), or even a white artist canvas (which you can get at any dollar store)
More props is basically anything you can find around the house. Mugs we all have those. Flowers again you can get them from the dollar store. Candles, blankets, pillows, really use your imagination you can't go wrong here. You can even have yourself in the picture with a pair of cute socks on or hell your sexy gams or your hands holding a book.
Ok once you have all that its time for the fun part.
Again there is no right way or wrong way to do this. Just take your favorite books, or your reading device whether its your phone, your kindle your ipad and ensure it has the book cover of course on the screen and start having fun.
Strategically placing items the way you want them to look and again no right or wrong way. You may change your mind several times over. And snap snap snap your pictures. You might take a dozen pictures until you are happy with how it looks.
Your very first picture especially taken with a phone is probably not going to look very pretty but then there's all these cool filters you can use. See below for an example of a picture taken with my phone untouched.
This is where the filters come in. You can use a multitude of different programs on your computer if you want such as picmonkey to alter the photos or you can download some apps that have great filters you can use. I personally use the pictapgo app http://www.pictapgo.com/ to alter my photos. It has some great filters and you can also do some adjustments and it's super easy to do. I am sure however that there are a ton of apps that will work for you.
Once you've altered and filtered and adjusted and are happy with the final product then its time to post your pretty picture to instagram.
POSTING TO INSTA
Ok time to post your pretty pic to instagram. This is where it becomes a bookstagram and this is what you need to know. Hashtags are LIFE !!!!! Just like on twitter and even facebook hashtags are popular and they serve the same purpose. If someone clicks on a hashtag on insta just like on twitter posts that have that same hashtag will come up. So hashtag it like a boss but be mindful as Instagram has some banned hashtags that you can't use.
What happens when you use a banned hashtag ??
When you use a banned hashtag it makes any other hashtag you use in that same post undiscoverable. Which means that no one can find your posts unless they are following you and stalking your page which I hope you are following me and stalking me.
How can you search to see what hashtags are banned. Well to check a banned hashtag just do a search on it. Below is what you will see.
If a hashtag is banned then eventually as you scroll down you will see that message Recent posts from #books are currently hidden....
If it isn't banned then you will be able to just keep scrolling.
Here is a list of some banned hashtags that I think some bookstagrammers will be most likely to use.
#Books (as you can see above is banned)
Here are some others.
Credit to planthat.com for this list.
Ok now what hashtags you should use.
#bookstagram #bookworm #bookphotography #bibliophile #booklover #bookaddict #instareads #book #bookblogger #instabook #reader #bookish #bookgram #beautifulbooks #reading #booktag #prettybooks #coverlove
Make sure your hashtag pertains to your picture.
If you are an author #Authorsofinstagram is also very popular.
An example of a post on insta below. You can word it however you want. You can include links if you need to but be aware that those links are not clickable. However if you share that post to facebook those links can be clicked on the facebook page or profile you are sharing it to.
Well I think that's pretty much it. I am always looking to grow my instagram and get more likes and interaction but the main thing I love about bookstagram is that I am having so much fun taking pics of the books that I have read and loved. Or even helping other authors get seen whether its a cover reveal or a new release. I hope this was helpful and I hope to see some of your bookstagram pics soon :)
Thanks for reading