I started my bookstagram page at the end of September 2020. In under half a year, I have amassed 3,400 plus followers, held conversations with some of my favorite authors, and made many bookish friends. There are many bookstagram “secrets” only accessible to those engaging with other accounts, consuming a lot of content, and running an actual bookstagram account. Thus, I have gathered my most useful tips and tricks on how to operate and brand a successful bookstagram account.
Book lovers, take a look at your shelf. What do you see? Not all of us can be Bookstagram stars with a plethora of breathtaking displays, but recently I’ve discovered that my books seem to follow a very similar color scheme. At first I thought this was a happy coincidence, but it turns out that publishers definitely know what they’re doing. In the book publishing world, marketing all begins with the cover.
Keeping a consistent brand, no matter how personal the account, is so important. People want to follow accounts that they can trust will post fairly similar art, because they like that art. You wouldn’t commission an artist who gave out a different-styled piece every time someone requested their services; in a similar way, people will not give you that follow if you remain inconsistent and unpredictable.
It’s not just bibliophiles who are making the most of the bookstagram side of Instagram, publishers and other publishing professions have seen the potential of a few great books pictures and are now using them to promote their own brands. But are the Instragrams of publishers as artistic and effective as those of bookstagrammers, or are they doing something different?
As a publicist, I am always curious about how much of an impact publicity actually has on a book’s success. So I decided to conduct a small experiment. For an entire week, I asked everyone I saw reading a book two questions: Where did you first hear about that book? And, why did you choose to read that one in particular?
You’ve probably never heard of Litsy, and you’re not the only one. But what is it exactly? Litsy is a mobile iOS app (an Android version is in the works) that launched in the spring of 2016 by the founders of Out Of Print, a clothing company all about books. It brands itself as “a place to organize, interact with, and document all things books,” and Bookriot has deemed it as what would result “if Instagram and Goodreads had a perfect baby.” The layout looks and feels like the Instagram app, and similarly, you can scroll through a timeline of images uploaded by users. If you want to find something more specific—perhaps you are looking for reviews on a book you are considering purchasing—you can use the search tool to find authors, titles, etc. Essentially, it is an ideal marketing tool for those wishing to promote upcoming titles.