Let’s Talk: Blogger to Blogger // How I #Bookstagram

How I Bookstagram

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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!

The Prequel

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!


It takes me a long time but I love it! And stick to what you love!

Let’s Talk

  • Do you have a #bookstagram? Leave your link in the comments!
  • Do you take pics all in one day? Or throughout the week?

Never miss a discussion!


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*Post linked to 2016 Discussion Challenge

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15 thoughts on “Let’s Talk: Blogger to Blogger // How I #Bookstagram

    1. tonyalee

      I started taking it more seriously about 4 months ago, but it’s fun! It’s not my first social media outlet of choice but I love it

  1. Nereyda Gonzalez

    Ive tried doing challenges and I never make it past day 9. I just cant handle having all my books out of place, I need them in their assigned spots on my shelves. I tried the taking pictures all at once thing too and I just dont think im a bookstagram kind of person, which is fine by me.

    I find it odd that bloggers think its okay to decide which ftc laws they want to follow or not. Like disclosing. I rarely see it on bookstagram and when I do its worded in a way that doesnt really make it clear, such as ‘partnered with’ or somethjng like that. People need to disclose, end of story. Looking forward to your post!

    1. tonyalee

      That’s why I like to do it all in one day. It’s a fuckin mess but only for about an hour.

      AND OMG the research in this and how many I’ve found that don’t disclose is MIND BOGGLING. In addition to the “partnered with.” you have to say you got it for free. I have emailed some companies and haven’t heard anything yet. (Tonya is pot stirring lol)
      tonyalee recently posted…Let’s Talk: Blogger to Blogger // How I #BookstagramMy Profile

  2. Christy LoveOfBooks

    Wow , I had no idea. I always see IG pictures people share on FB and know people take pictures like this, but didn’t realize it was such a big thing. I am so not a picture taker. Sometimes I go through spurts of posting them of random stuff, but I’m so not into the staging and stuff. The photos are beautiful, though! I wouldn’t be able to do them like that.
    Christy LoveOfBooks recently posted…All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn GreenwoodMy Profile

  3. Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight

    Your pictures are so pretty! I’m just awful at Bookstagram though and have basically given up. I don’t have the time or the energy or the props and am just not motivated enough. If I get a paperback, I’ll usually snap a photo, but it’s not usually a very exciting one lol. But this is cool, showing the before and after explaining how you do things 🙂
    Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight recently posted…Book Review: Machinations (Machinations Book 1) by Hayley StoneMy Profile

  4. Simone

    Your instagram feed looks so lovely!!! I’ve been trying to get into bookstagram this summer because I had a lot of time and I feel like it’s such a great creative outlet. I love playing with props and angles but I’m still a newbie and I don’t really know what I’m doing. 😀 I tried monthly challenge this july and it was awesome because I didn’t have to think about what books I want to take photos of and it was easier and I definitely saw increase in likes and followers. 🙂
    Simone recently posted…About the fears of writingMy Profile

  5. Geraldine @ Corralling Books

    I find it so hard to bookstagram – but hopefully these tips will make it easier!
    Especially with the scheduling tip – I had no idea there were apps out there for that o_O
    And then Goodwill for props?? YES, IDK WHY I NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT BEFORE!!
    Wonderful post – thanks so much for sharing!! <3

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