Happy Monday everyone! Today, I want to talk about something that’s both been bugging me for a while and something I’m sort of nervous to talk about. I want to approach Bookstagram with its pros and cons and my general feelings about it. Bookstagram really has taken off in recent years and I jumped on the train last year to see how it was going to go. Let’s just say that I wasn’t exactly prepared for it…
1. Bookstagram in general
Basically, bookstagram is the book community on Instagram. People really can go all out with creating elaborate book pictures and use all kinds of filters and photo editing techniques. The picture above is one of my own examples. People use props like flowers, statues, fabrics, candles, fairy lights and even photo shopped flare for pictures. Publishers have even started moving to bookstagram accounts to use for book tours and accounts with large following to send ARCs to them.
2. Pros of Bookstagram
I will say there are plenty of pros when it comes to the bookish Instagram platform!
- I have met some great people there and even one of my real life friends started doing it too. When you peruse bookstagram and reach out, everyone is nice and welcoming. Some of the friends I’ve met do root for you and help build you up whenever you need it.
- You can also be inspired by other people’s posts! Many bookstagram accounts post monthly challenges, with everyday being a different prompt. No matter what genre you read, there’s always something that you like there on bookstagram. When I was new to the scene, those challenge prompts were good for me to think outside the box a bit and try to use books I owned in a different way.
- People are very willing to share advice with you. I tagged some people in my stories with asking questions and some of them reached out! Whether it was about ARCs, filters or even thinking about using photo editing software, the knowledge is there if you ask for it. Never be nervous to reach out to those who have been around for a while.
- This is another platform that uses visual creativity. While bloggers think of various posts to talk about books, bookstagram can challenge people to use visual creativity to highlight a book. You can be as elaborate or as simple as you wish. The possibilities are out there.
3. Cons & My Honest Thoughts
I’ll be completely honest with this platform now and I don’t want to come off as negative or salty. I do appreciate the good things about bookstagram and I do love my friends on there that are there for me. But now with being on bookstagram for the last year, it’s hard to not only break out into the platform, I also feel like I’ve maybe grown out of it?
- There are a few reasons why I say this. The first one is basically lack of genuine interactions. While I do have a few friends, I notice that people really don’t seem to want a lot of interactions with people. People will follow you for liking one picture but quickly unfollow you soon afterwards if you’re not active or just because. I have only noticed that many interactions I try to build are quickly left in the dust. I appreciate the friends I do have, but when you try to build more interactions with people and they’re not received, then…it kinda sucks.
- The other thing that bothers me is that I don’t want to spend a lot of money on photo editing software! Why does every single picture have to be photo shopped to get all the attention, when the cover is pretty enough or you have great nature scenery around you that you can use? I can respect a well crafted picture for bookstagram, but it’s sad that more simplistic pictures don’t get the love that they should. I think the simple Instagram filters are enough to help you bring better color balance, a better shade or even fixing little things to make it better.
- And I don’t know if this is me, but I keep seeing the SAME books/series on the big bookstagram accounts and that gets all the attention. I keep seeing the same books on bookstagram, just with different props and other books are left in the dust. I get that people love many authors and series, but where is the love for other debuts or other books that they love as well? I find it a bit irksome that only certain books are boosted so much, when others are left in the dust. I like seeing a variety of books with all social media and boosting all kinds books you read shows me as a consumer what you like instead of the same series over and over.
- Where are the review type posts? Is it just me or do people only talk about the ARCs they get in the mail, library books or just TBR books in general? If you’re really excited about a book, where are your final thoughts?! It makes me think “Don’t leave me hangin bro!” every single time when people talk about an ARC they’re reading or ones they get that they’re excited about. I get that we’re all stoked for books (it’s why we’re in the book community), but the lack of follow up is strange to me.
- The final thing that’s a real bummer for me that I’ve noticed is that I feel like you’re punished if you aren’t active on Instagram all the time. As we get older, our responsibilities change as well as our priorities. We don’t always have time to be on social media platforms and stay active. We shouldn’t be punished if we go dark for a while due to being busy or not just feeling inspired. It frustrates me that people will unfollow you if you’re not active like I mentioned earlier. But I know that personally I don’t want to be constantly on social media as I’m getting older. I have a job, a family to take care of and many other things. When it comes to bookstagram, I have decided to post when I want to and do the pictures that I want to. The algorithim can suck it (I’m not alone in this) and I just hope to keep the honest friends I have here and on my other platforms.
What are your thoughts on bookstagram? Do you agree with my thoughts? Am I alone in this? Let me know in the comments!