New to Bookstagram

Yesterday, I made the somewhat mad decision to start a bookstagram account (@aliceandherbookshelf). It was something that I had been thinking about since starting this blog and as my blog as been more successful than I ever anticipated I thought I would give it a shot. The book blogging community have been so welcoming and since I have finished university for the year, I have the time to devote to books and taking pictures of them.

I did a lot of research yesterday on bookstagram accounts before I decided to launch my own. I was reading so many things about themes and photo-editing platforms, all things I know nothing about, my personal Instagram photos are just posted with no edits. It has to be said that I was hugely intimidated. All of the accounts I found were stunning with their grid all matching and their photos so aesthetically pleasing and I just couldn’t see how I could create something like that. And, even though I still feel that I can never match their aesthetic I took the plunge.

For those that are possibly new to book blogging or thinking about setting up their own bookstagram account I thought this post may be able to help you. My account was only started yesterday and is by no means inundated with followers but if a bookstagram account is something you are considering I hope this encourages you and shows that if I can do it so can you.


One of the main things that I found during my research that is an easy start is what username to pick. If you are linking your bookstagram to other things such as a blog or twitter it is good to keep your username consistent so that those that follow you can find you on other platforms. If you can’t find an exact match don’t be disheartened, make use of underscores and other punctuation and this small change may make it an available username.

If you have no other platforms just try to pick a username that will reflect what you plan to do with that account. This way, when people are searching for bookstagram accounts yours will easily come up.


Themes are not an essential part of having a bookstagram account! There are so many accounts that don’t use them and then there are the accounts that their theme is to be as colourful as possible. For those of you that do want a consistent theme I have some tips that hopefully help you.

Yesterday I put out a tweet asking what people used to edit their pictures so thank you so much to everyone that helped me out! The majority of people responded saying that their either used Adobe Lightroom or VSCO. I personally chose to use VSCO because for me it was simpler but from what I understand they both work in a similar way.

VSCO comes with its own presets and be warned that they are not all free. You can chose to use these or you can choose to edit the picture manually for saturation, exposure etc. I then took to trusty Pinterest and just searched free VSCO themes. From there you get a whole host of results showing you what to do on VSCO to get that specific theme with your pictures, using the free themes and some of the editing tools. It was Ciara that gave me the idea to do this and it honestly saved me and was so easy to use. It definitely made the task of thinking and sticking with a theme a whole lot easier.


As I mentioned the pictures of bookstagram are stunning and so well thought out. If you are thinking of starting a bookstagram be under no illusion that taking these pictures until you are happy will take time. Some creators have said that they spend hours thinking of how to stage their books and take the picture. Equally, it can take as much or as little time as you want it to.

One thing it is important to remember is that your bookstagram is for you! Some accounts have been actively posting for years so they are bound to have a bigger following and have more of an idea about what their followers want to see.


I never have utilised the hashtag function Instagram until yesterday. My personal account is private so there is really no need to use them as I am not trying to grow my following in that way. I read that to use hashtags successfully you should choose hashtags with less posts than most. Don’t just pick middle of the road #bookstagram because your content will soon get lost. Try to pick your hashtags carefully to make sure they reflect the picture and try to make them as unique as possible. This is something I am very much learning how to use from scratch despite having had Instagram for many years.

These are just a few things that I have learnt from my twenty-four hours on bookstagram. I am not a successful bookstagram account and I don’t pretend that I am. This post is intended for those people, like me yesterday, are on the verge of making their account and just need a small helping hand.

As I mentioned above, it is important to remember that this account is for you. If a theme would not be sustainable for you don’t let this put you off. Instagram is a feed and as much as people will see your profile grid, they are going to see your individual posts more often. You are the person who will see this content the most and the person who will have to take the pictures so just make sure you are happy with them.

Don’t worry, my blog will still be my main focus and the hope is that my bookstagram will be closely linked to this blog and the pictures will be of books I am reviewing in depth on here.


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