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I’m probably the last person to be posting a HOW TO BOOKSTAGRAM post. My Bookstagram account isn’t large by any means, actually, it’s pretty small considering the follower count SO MANY people have. So it’s a good thing I’m NOT doing a HOW TO post, huh?
Well, I guess it kind of is. Mainly, I want to share with you some info on how I do what I do, or what I do, rather. Plus some extra stuff!
Confession: I lack a theme. I have tried SO MANY and I while I like them, and I could totally swing it and make it work, it doesn’t feel like me. I haven’t found ME yet. Therefore, my themes are weekly. You can tell what pics I took around the same time and it’s quite hilarious! But PERFECT!
Anyway, before I bore you to death, here is my start – finish guide!
I do 98% of my Instagramming on Sunday’s. ALL of my pictures are taken then, save for book mail, and I schedule them for the week. But, more on that later.
Lately, just about everything I post is attached to some sort of challenge. (Not all, because I am much more comfortable doing my own thing vs when I started, but a lot of them still are.) There are SO MANY, and it’s a great way to find other users and grow your account. Before my shoots, I write down what I am going to take shots of. Pink books, rainbow, etc. Even though I have it on my phone, writing it down makes it stick.
Get your things!
Now, I take that list and gather all the books & props. Typically, I use the same 15(ish) books but that all depends on what the “challenge” is for the day. But on any given day, I will have at least 30 books around me from all over my house/shelves. I change my mind a lot, and I like to take a variety! As for props, I have a storage place (i.e, my dining room), and I drag it all to where I do all the shoots… my son’s room! It has the best lighting, in case you were wondering why.
Take some pics!
So, now that I have ALL THE THINGS, I take the pics! My camera is my phone – no fancy camera here – and I think it works well! I take at least 3 shots of the same angle and switch things up as I go, ending with 5-10 of the same book or same “shot” rather. I’m usually inspired WHILE shooting vs before hand, and it works out well for me. I then, mark off the “challenge” as I go, to make sure I get them all. If there are days within the schedule that I am not doing, I take random pics and hope to use them later. It’s happened!
Get them ready!
After taking all the pics (and putting everything away, which takes FOREVER) I find my favorites first and email those. Then, I go back and check out the leftovers and I email those, too. Now, I didn’t use to watermark my pics but I do now. I use Picmonkey, simply because they have the font that I use for my blog, so it makes sense.
As for editing, I hardly EVER edit my photos*. And if I do, I don’t use anything on the computer, such as Photoshop, pic monkey, etc. Why? Because the pics look SO DIFFERENT on the computer than my phone. Trust me. And I don’t like “over edited” photos. Sorry, but you can just tell if something is edited and It’s not my thing. If I do edit anything at all, I use an app on my phone OR change the brightness on Instagram. There are filters that I’ve used in the past sometimes. Maybe if I used a DSLR camera I would think differently, but NO editing here!
Once all the pics are watermarked and ready to go, I go to Later and get scheduling! I love this feature, but I use well over my 40 allotted posts for a free account, so when that happens, I use Hootesuite! I schedule by challenge/theme/day and write-up my
boring catchy descriptions and…
Boom baby! Done.
That’s how I #Bookstagram!
*This does not include cropping my toes or the carpet out of the pic, or zooming. Because, obviously.
Bonus content & Advice:
- DISCLOSE DISCLOSE DISCLOSE! Even reps must disclose when they receive a product for endorsement/review. (More on this next week!)
- My favorite place to find props is Goodwill. I find cheap, clean and awesome pieces each time we go and I love the hunt! Besides my fake (and real) flowers, my backdrops and a few other things (my daggers!) everything else I’ve purchased has come from either Goodwill or the clearance section of Hobby Lobby. I use things from all over my house, too! Color pencils, glass bottles, vases, alarm clocks, mugs, wicker baskets, beads. I mean, endless possibilities! Or, make some!
- Another money-saving tip – I use flowers from my garden, I didn’t plant much this year, and most are done blooming now, sadly. In lieu of that, I suggest utilizing the clearance section in the floral department of your grocery store. Chances are, they have some that need to sell fast and in most cases, they look fine! I use them for one Sunday, put in a vase for the week in the house and then hang them to dry out. Now I have props for later! Win win! (see header photo — those are dried flowers from 2 weeks ago!)
- I take ALL my pics between 5-6:45 PM when the lightning is the best unless I am going outside, then I wait for the golden hour. Natural light is best.
- Captions are hit or miss. I don’t read long captions, and it’s not often I read captions at all. Yet at the same time, they are kind of a big deal. So, my advice, and take it as you will, is to get one that is short sweet and to the point to hook your readers to comment.
- Do what feels right to YOU. I’ve noticed my tastes are WAY DIFFERENT than most, and I get that. But doing what feels right to me is so much more rewarding then 10k+ followers.
- Have a clean feed. I, too, do rep searches every once in awhile, but I usually delete when it’s over. However, I unfollow people every day because that’s all they post are rep searches or giveaways. It’s the same as Twitter. No one likes spam!
- HAVE FUN!
It takes me a long time but I love it! And stick to what you love!
- Do you have a #bookstagram? Leave your link in the comments!
- Do you take pics all in one day? Or throughout the week?
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Tonyalee is an avid reader, gym junkie, coffee addicted workaholic and blogger. Be sure to follow on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram for random shenanigans.