Hello, fellow readers! Today I am spilling the tea on bookstagram! Admittedly, this is not a new idea. Earlier this year, there was a tag floating around called Booktube Real Talk Tag, but I decided to make a tag with the same concept for bookstagram. I tried to find the original Booktube Real Talk Tag video, and I think this is it.
What is something nobody told you about bookstagram before starting your account?
Nobody told me that, at times, the community can begin to feel like a popularity contest. I don’t let it affect me, but I see posts or stories almost everyday about this.
What is your opinion on the typical bookstagram posts (TBRs, book hauls, unboxings, wrap ups)?
The only typical bookstagram post or story that I don’t engage with is unboxings unless its like BOTM. I don’t love all the fandom items in most subscription boxes and tend to scroll past these posts. And I swipe past unboxing stories. Sorry!
What is your opinion on book review posts on bookstagram?
I love book review posts! Alot of people say their reviews get the lowest engagement, which blows my mind because they are my favorite posts. A book with a random caption that has nothing to do with the book is not engaging to me.
What is your opinion on bookstagram stories?
Honestly, I spend more time looking at stories than posts most of the time! I hate that you can’t sort the Instagram feed chronologically, so I get tired of seeing posts the same posts for days in my feed!
What is an assumption you had about bookstagram before you started your account? Was it proven to be correct or not?
I assumed bookstagramming was easy, but it is not! Not if you want to be taken seriously and grow a following anyway. Or maybe others had an easier experience, but I feel like my account has been stagnant for a year.
What is something you’ve done to help increase your engagement on your account?
Giveaways. I have mixed feelings about giveaways even though I’ve done a few. It’s really no different than buying followers. But I’ve found some great accounts from being tagged in giveaways, so I see a positive side to them too.
What is a mistake you see new bookstagrammers make or a mistake you made when you first joined?
New bookstagrammers seem to have it figured out better than I do! Mistakes I made in the beginning were trying to take photos at night because that’s when I feel motivated to do things and feeling like I had to read all the popular books to be accepted. My first photos were a hot mess until I started working with natural light more. I also requested several books from NetGalley when I first started and they were not well known or hyped books, so I never wanted to read them because I wanted to keep up with the trends and be current with everyone else. Huge mistake because I probably missed out on some gems!
What are your thoughts on bookstagrammers working with publishers?
I have worked with publishers (and by worked with, I mean I’ve been sent review copies and worked with publishers on a couple of blog posts-I have never received money from anyone), and my experience has always been pleasant. As a personal rule, I only request copies of books that I know I will have time to read and review. I definitely don’t receive 10+ books a month from publishers like some accounts. I would feel so overwhelmed if I had that many books each month. It’s not possible for me to read and review that many books.
I feel like the bigger accounts are sent so many books because, duh, they have a huge following, so even if they only post the book in a story or a post, that’s still a ton of people who see the book. So from a publishing/marketing standpoint, I understand why those accounts get more books than smaller accounts. But I also can’t help but feel a tad jealous sometimes because who doesn’t love book mail!? I also sometimes feel a little mad because people will receive an ARC I really, really wanted, and they act like they’ve never heard of the book or say they’ll probably never read it. I see that more on booktube than bookstagram though. But I have noticed that some of these accounts will either host a giveaway or do a bookswap with books they receive but don’t want to read or don’t have time to read. So I do like that they try to get the books in the hands of someone who really wants to read it!
Do you think bookstagram is dying?
I do not. If anything, I see more and more new accounts every day now!