Bookstagram, a hashtag on Instagram, has built a community with 46 million posts about books today. In the past few years, Bangladeshi bookstagrammers have been thriving. While some have aced the art of presenting beautiful snaps of their books, many are still new to the idea. As we grapple with the coronavirus pandemic by staying indoors, many young bookworms are exploring bookstagramming as a hobby. Here are five things you should do before you start bookstagramming.
You will naturally have to read a lot of books before you start writing about them. "Contemporary books serve best to new readers. They usually have very real characters, and are interactive," said Tabassum Irin Zaman (@whatirinreads). Initially, try to experiment with different genres. Once you have a clear idea of the kind of books you enjoy the most, read as many as you can to keep your profile updated. As a beginner, finishing close to 10 books per month is a good start.
Editing pictures to keep up the aesthetic quotient of your profile is one of the prerequisites of bookstagramming. You don't necessarily need an expensive camera. With the help of a few good apps, you are good to go. "I personally prefer using Photoshop and Lightroom, but VSCO, Snapseed and Lightroom are some other popular choices," said Silony Islam (@biblionomad). From fixing a colour theme to brightening up the pictures, editing is an easy way to attract followers.
Planning a theme for your profile is important. "Beginners can take necessary shots and edit them to see if they have achieved the style they want," shared Nawrin Oieshi Lira (@A_Readof_Roses). Planoly is a useful app for managing and planning posts.
Reading others' opinions, joining book discussions and commenting on others' posts are steps to increase engagement. "The more people you interact with, the more you appear on their feed. This is a simple hack for Instagram to boost your posts," said Sharfin Islam (@atinyreader).
Ensuring consistency is a major challenge for most people who want to start bookstagramming. If you don't want to write reviews, you can start other discussions that revolve around books, through regular journals. "The isolation period provides ample time to invest behind the account. A new bookstagrammer should aim to post at least four times a week," shared Saima Taher Shovon (@bibliophile_shovon). ScheduGram and Hopper HQ are some good apps to schedule your posts in advance, so that you don't need to worry for the rest of the week.