It’s time to spill some #bookstagram flavoured life hacks that have been close kept secrets for centuries.
“Um, Cait,” you say nervously, avoiding eye contact and focusing on your cupcakes because I have fearsome dragons at my side and have been known to use them, “bookstagram hasn’t even been around for centuries???”
EXACTLY WHAT I’M SAYING, MY FRIEND!! THAT’S HOW CLOSELY KEPT THESE SECRETS ARE. But because I know them and because I’m also a lovely person * I want to share these secrets with you so you can improve your bookstagram accounts. And while they’re guaranteed to make your life 500% better, I still put the disclaimer of MAYBE here because I don’t like people crying on me if my tips don’t work. I only have one umbrella okay? Go cry somewhere else.
Obviously makes hacks can’t fail. It’s you who would be the problem.
And if you have no heckin’ clue what “bookstagram” is it is books = on instagram. It was created by someone who realised that we are sick of looking at each other’s lunches and children and want to scroll through endless instagram feeds of what really matters in this life: pretty books.
ALSO WHILE YOU’RE HERE….other helpful #bookstagram posts you might like!
* Well I can be. Sometimes. I try to schedule “being nice” into my weekly routine, generally for 15mins a week. So this statement is still somewhat true.
LIFE HACK #1: OUTSMART INSTAGRAM’S HORRID ALGORITHM BY PUTTING YOUR HASHTAGS IN YOUR CAPTION NOT COMMENTS.
Lots of people put their hashtags (#bookstagram, #books, #bookphotography etc) in their comment section to separate it from their post which IS A GREAT IDEA…except apparently it makes bookstagram NOT let your post show up in those hashtags. I don’t even know why. Don’t ask. I saw Resh Susan talking about this on twitter and I stupidly did not save a link to the thread. ARGH. But here’s a link to a site that’ll tell you if your instagram page is being blocked.
Also my likes did go up when I started putting my hashtags in my caption again.
My likes DEFINITELY improved as you can see…although this still doesn’t always work. And I have no idea why some of my photos do well and some DIE SLOW AND LONELY DEATHS.
LET ME SCREAM.
I HATE THE ALGORITHM HATE HATE HATE HATE IT–
Excuse me. Let’s continue, shall we?
LIFE HACK #2: PUT MORE BOOKS IN YOUR PHOTO AND INCREASE THE CHANCE OF LIKES.
I find that the more books I put into a photo, the more chances of people saying “oMG I LOVE THIS PHOTO”. I suppose it’s because you’re more likely to favourite a photo you recognise??? Or I have no idea.
Obviously if you have a minimalist account this won’t work. BUT! More books = the merrier. Even if they’re just lurking in the background like true creepos.
LIFE HACK #3: SET YOUR IPHONE/IPOD TO HAVE TEXT REPLACEMENT TO EASILY ADD HASHTAGS TO YOUR #BOOKSTAGRAM POSTS.
Because who’s got time to write out 39898 hashtags every time you’re trying to post a photo on instagram, right?
If you have an iPhone or iPod, simply go to settings > general > keyboard > text replacement = then add in a code word like “hashtagbooks” so whenever you type that in, it’ll autocorrect to a list of your preferred hashtags.
I think you can only have 30 hashtags per post, so don’t put in TOO many into this text replacement. Just put the basics that you’ll always need (like #bookstagram, for instance. I have about 15 tags in mine).
LIFE HACK #4: TAKE HIGH-QUALITY PHOTOS OF EBOOKS BY PHOTO-MANIPULATING THE COVER ONTO YOUR DEVICE AND THE WORLD WILL SEE YOUR GENIUS.
Because if you don’t own a lot of books (or you read ebooks) sometimes bookstagram can feel limiting. NOT ANYMORE. Just take ebook photos! And because taking photos of the cover on your iPad/Kindle/iPhone/Etc sometimes ends up with weird lighting…just use pixlr (IT’S FREE THANK THE BOOKISH HEAVENS) to add on the cover afterwards.
Oh don’t fret. I have a step-by-step tutorial.
LIFE HACK #5: TAKE PHOTOS OF BOOKS YOU HAVEN’T READ AND SHAME YOURSELF INTO READING THEM.
This is super helpful for making you feel like a terrible bookworm because HEY this book is gorgeous and you’re photographing it for #bookstagram, but why the heck haven’t you read it yet??? WHAT IS THIS LIFE.
Make your bookstagram feed an artful and beautiful list of TBR shame.
LIFE HACK #6: NOT SURE WHAT TO PUT IN THE CAPTION? TALK ABOUT TOPICS FROM THE BOOK YOU JUST READ.
Like if you just read a book with a love triangle, do a quick caption on your opinion on triangles! Or if you just finished reading a book you couldn’t put down, ask everyone what book THEY couldn’t put down?
Alternately: I also use my tweets as captions sometimes.
Or a book quote.
And if I join in challenges/tags that gives me something to talk about it. Like if the prompt is “long titles” I talk about why I like long vs short titles.
Otherwise whyyyyyy are captions so hard. I CAN’T EVEN WITH THEM SOMETIMES. Like look at this book people, why are you expecting words too.
LIFE HACK #7: FIND MORE FRIENDS, FOLLOWERS, AND STRAY ALIENS BY JOINING IN CHALLENGES.
Bookstagram challenges are when an account gives a list of prompts for each day of the month and you join in and take a photo that matches the prompt! Often times those hosting accounts do shoutouts too — WHICH IS FAB. And you can network by liking/commenting/following other participants.
There’s an account called @bookstagramphotochallenges that tends to list TONS of challenges up per month.
Sometimes I think about creating my own challenge but then I’d have, like, be focused. And I’m about as focused as a dead owl.
LIFE HACK #8: IN ORDER TO HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO UPKEEP YOUR BOOKSTAGRAM ACCOUNT + EVERYTHING ELSE YOU DO = TRY NEVER SLEEPING AGAIN.
I also suggest immortality to take the pressure off trying to photograph all your books at once. But then I suggest immortality as the cure for ALL THINGS.
- Need more naps? Become immortal and so at least you can’t die from sleep deprivation.
- Hungry for a sandwich? Become immortal and eat sandwiches forever.
- Concerned your TBR is growing without permission? Become immortal so that your TBR never wins against you.
- Can never remember the protagonist’s name in a book? Become immortal and keep the problem always.
- Want books to be made out of chocolate so you can eat them when they’re annoying? Become immortal and patent this idea, mate, do it now please.
LIFE HACK #9: TAKE ENOUGH PHOTOS FOR THE WHOLE WEEK TO SAVE TIME.
Because setting up your things for ONE photo seems tiring. So set aside a good block of time to just go click-happy. And by “click happy” I don’t mean on Amazon book deals. I MEAN, WITH YOUR CAMERA, MARGARET. STAY FOCUSED HERE.
Plus if you’re like me (pls help us, no) then you spend a lot of time building book towers and structures that are perilous to society and your dog’s delicate anxiety levels. So you can utilise those towers for mULTIPLE photos. Less work!
Bonus Life Hack: if it rains on the day you planned to do a photoshoot, try yelling angrily at the sky and shaking your fist. You might get struck down by lightning and die but whatever.
Bonus Life Hack: Dogs do not have good taste in props. Seriously, Atticus, GET YOUR TOY MUSHROOM OUT OF HERE. THAT IS NOT AESTHETIC.
LIFE HACK #10: WANT YOURSELF IN THE PHOTOS? TRAIN YOUR DOG TO TAKE THEM FOR YOU.
Or, like use a self timer.
I suppose you could ask another human to help out, but that seems extreme.
And if your dog is going to have such a bad taste in props, you might as well utilise him for other purposes.
LIFE HACK #11: POST REGULARLY SO PEOPLE DON’T FORGET YOUR HEINOUS FACE.
You know what they say! If you want someone to remember you, then BE THERE ALL THE TIME! This has the potential to end up with you being super irritating bur whatever. But I find posting regularly makes the instagram-hated-algorithm kinder on my photos and more prone to let people actually see them.
I post twice a day but then I’M A LITTLE MAD and clearly have too much time on my hands.
It’s also because I found immortality so I no longer need to sleep.
And when I say “don’t forget your face” that’s assuming they’ve seen it. I don’t have a face. I’m a stack of books on legs.
LIFE HACK #12: WANT PROPS? USE CHEAP FLOWERS FROM 2ND HAND STORES OR MAKE THE PROPS YOURSELF.
I like to use origami props because it’s FREEEEEEEE. And the only thing I willingly spend money on is books. Okay, I actually bought some shoes the other day because my last ones were falling apart. But I also returned from that shoe-expedition with books. #WinningAtLife
But 2nd hand stores, peoples! I get all my flowers super cheap (sometimes even free!) from there. I’ve also picked up an actual second hand, too, to replace the one that got bitten off by a wild goblin in my youth as a pirate warlord. They’re such helpful stores. 10/10 recommend.
Also if you use food as props, it’s extra delicious and RELATABLE. The downside, however, is that you have to take the photo and not just sit down and have a picnic amongst piles of books. The sacrifices we make for bookstagram. IT’S UNBELIEVABLE. SOMEONE AWARD US.