The Little Bookstagramer Manual

Are you one of those people who love to read and have a lot of books in your shelf or downloaded in your Kindle? Have you ever wanted to talk to someone about your readings, but you couldn’t find anyone interested? Or have you ever read a book that you liked so much that you wanted to talk about it for hours and hours and indicate to everyone?

Well, have you ever thought about creating a Bookstagram to transform your impressions in good content for those who are interested on reading? 

If you found it a good idea or already wanted to start your own Bookstagram but don’t know how to start, we interviewed three Bookstagramers with different ages and experiences to give tips for you!

  1. 1. Booksta-what?

    A Bookstagram is a profile where people who have a deep love for books and literature share their impressionsions about their readings, by making reviews and sharing excerpts from books read, also talking with their followers to know their opinions about it.

    The most cool thing about becoming a Bookstagramer is that anyone can do it, no matter the age or profession, you just need to love books and want to share your sincere opinions about them. 

    “I started reading as an adult, because I wasn’t introduced to it when I was a child. Someday my friend, that used to read a lot, gifted me and my children with books and, as I was on vacation, I read the whole book and couldn’t stop” said Érika Ferreira de Souza, 34 years old. “I didn’t have no one to talk about it [book] in my circle of friendship. Then, one time when I was in a literary event, one friend that I met there, told me: ‘You should make a profile to talk about your readings, because you express yourself very well when you are talking about them!’. With this and my 18 aged daughter incentive, I started my Bookstagram”, she finished.

    Érika is the owner of the Bookstagram Cantinho da Érika, with 14,6 thousand followers; and of a channel with the same name in youtube, with seventy seven subscribers.

    It’s very common that people start their bookstagram as an arm of their accounts in youtube or even literary blogs. That’s the case of Renata Dias Borges, 31 anos, from Retipatia (28,2 thousand followers), and Maristela Cilento, 20 anos, from Na Última Página (1.330 followers). Mari Cilento told us that the bookstagram was a way of go back writing about something she loves and uses to do in her blog, but needed to stop because of the vest.

    After you see this examples, let’s go to the tips!

  2. 2. Ok, I am interested… How do I do it?

    The first step of a successful Instagram account is thinking about a visual identity and the organization of the feed and it is a very personal issue. You may choose the colors and the aesthetic that you like to make it the mark of your Bookstagram and when someone see a card with this aesthetic, they will know that it’s a content related with your blog. 

    When asked about it, Érika told us that she is learning now how to organize her feed, but she made a very interesting organization system: putting “fotos respiro”, or “breather photos”, in English, (neutral photos, made for creating a less “polluted” feed) interspersed with her pictures with her daughter with books. But, Érika emphasized that are so many styles of Instafeed, like the clean style, the rustic style and the vintage, it’s a matter of taste. 

    Mari pointed two other important aspects for a bookstagram: having frequency and trying to maintain a rhythm of posts to incentivize spontaneous conversation. However, both bookstagramers said that maintain the feed organization and maintain this rhythm is not an easy task, so don’t worry if sometimes you can not do this. Try to always invest in good quality images, short texts with a good completion and it will work very well!

    Talking about the language to write your posts, they say that is very important to talk to your public equal to equal, use a simple and accessfull vocabulary, always reply the comments and interact with your followers. It is very important to produce an authorial content and always be yourself, because it will give you more credibility.

    “Authorial content makes the person's profile much more authentic.You have to worry about being sincere too, because people will want to know her work and, in addition, she will receive credibility because she is sincere in the face of what she is going through”, guides Renata.

  3. 3. How can I keep the audience engaged?

    Some strategies used by the girls to keep the audience engaged are very related with the interaction with the followers by making stories, lives, raffles and promotions.

     “I like making promotions so much, including raffles of books”, says Cilento, “I think that it’s a incentive for the people to follow you. When I had the blog, I used to do a promotion called ‘Top Commentator’, in which the person who comment about more books would win the book of the month. It used to make people loyal to the blog, in the beginning for obligation to win the book, but after you end up winning the reader too, because they will be always close.”

    Using the stories and the IGTV may be a little difficult in the beginning, because you may be very shy, but is also very important, because humanizes and create a certain sympathy. 

    “I use stories a lot, because it approaches the followers, they feel closer to you and your reality and participate of your day to day. It creates a bond of friendship! It’s also very important to reply the comments of your followers, authors and another bookstragms profiles in a way that you disclose then and then disclose you back!”, guides Érika.

    Mari also highlight a important point to to keep your audience: “It’s important to have a loyal relationship with the people who accompany you and also with the truth with which you are exposing”, in other words, always be sincere and expose you real impressions about the book.

  4. 4. Oh, ok be sincere… But what about when I'm reviewing the book someone sent me?

    Yeah, it can be a little difficult in the begging to have the guts of saying your real opinion about the book someone send to you to make a review. In that situations, you feel like you are bound to like the book.

    When asked about the pressure of reviewing a book someone sent to her, Renata said: “It’s always important to let clear to the author that you will be completely sincere in your review and if you found something that you don’t like so much, you will point it!.

    She then added: “it’s very important to have an open dialogue with the person you are partnering and always make clear how you work. If you think that you couldn’t find positive points, you can give back the book to the person that sent it or pass it on to someone who likes that reading style.” 

    So, a good tip is to make partnerships with authors or publishers that produce books with themes that you have affinity with and always said your real impressions to not be taxed as someone unreliable.

  5. 5. Can I make money with my Bookstagram?

    Yes, that’s a possibility! But, let’s be realistic, there will be a long way until you can monetize your account. Also, as Érika said, “the literary niche is one of the most devalued niches and it’s very difficult to enter in the market.”

    So, it won’t be easy to you to reach the point of being paid to make a review, but you can reach this point with some effort and study. Renata is already earning money with her profile, but now she is dedicating herself to use it as her primary source of income. 

    Being a source of income or not, the most important thing to a bookstagram to work well and become big is to do everything with love, have the conscience that you are putting your opinion in a public space, so that it will be faced with favorable and contrary opinions, and keep going, even though it seems that the other profiles are going much better than you.

    So, as the last lesson, here is a wise phrase from Renata: “We have the great tendency to compare ourselves. Then, we look at a very big instagram and think: so-and-so has a million followers and I'm still here. So it's about worrying a lot more about the work we do than about others”.


This article was edited by Amanda Oestreich.

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