My Bookstagram Tips + Tricks

I have had many Instagram messages asking me if I have a post like this…so here we are! I would like to say I have some magical formula on how I grew my bookstagram account (Books + Instagram = Bookstagram) but alas, I do not. And honestly my account isn’t all that large compared to some out there but one of the things I’m going to talk about is just working hard no matter the followers… but more on that later!

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Photo taken by me and can be found on my Instagram @TheLibrarianFiles

I really want to focus on the tips and tricks I’ve discovered and learned from other people to help other Bookstagrammer’s who are just getting started or looking for fun ways to switch up how you do things on your accounts!

So, First Things First!
As I’ve already said, ‘Bookstagram’ is simply Instagram Accounts dedicated to books and run by bookworms from all over the world! It’s such an amazing community to be a part of and is the sole reason my TBR (‘To Be Read’) List is spiralling out of control!

Now! On to some tips and tricks I’ve learned in no particular order…

 

1. You’ve gotta do it because you love what you do

This applies to anything in life. If you love what you do or, in this case, take photos of that should always be your main priority and I find that when I focus too much on likes and follows I lose my drive, passion, and excitement for what I do.

 

2. ENGAGE! ENGAGE! ENGAGE!

for me when following other accounts, whether they respond to comments left and are a decent human being honestly says a lot if I’m going to keep looking at a page and going back to it and following posts. So don’t be a petty human and think you are above everyone else. Just have fun with it! I promise bookstagram is an amazing place and you will definitely make some friends on the way. So just engage with people in your posts. A good way to do that is to put a question of the day in your caption that people can answer. Like ask people what their favourite book is, why they like a certain book/series, their favourite fandom merchandise. Even ask a favourite holiday or season. Cause bookstagrammer’s are people too 😛

 

3. Comment Loop Groups are your Best Friend

The IG algorithm SUCKS sometimes. It’s horrible. So comment loop groups are an awesome way to keep up with your friends and other bookstagrammer’s page by spreading the love to their posts and them to yours all while kicking the algorithm in the butt a little bit

 

4. Instagram Stories? 10/10 would recommend

Instagram stories is such a fun way to connect with your followers! You can film un-boxings of your orders, book hauls, every day life videos, ask questions/post polls, show off your amazing book/fandom merch, shoutout all your friends accounts and SO much more! It’s a fun and more personal way to connect and invite your followers into your real life a bit! ( Stories Tips: Use hashtags in your stories as well as your posts! People will find your stories more)

 

5. Create your own style. Do what you love!

This is your baby. Your thing! Be creative. Come up with a theme or general look if you want. For me, I started off using just a plain white background (I’ve recently switched to a wooden panelling background) and if you look, my photos are pretty simple. I use very few props and items but for some people, they use lots of props and items! For me, I find that, because I don’t currently have as much time as I would like in a week to take photos I go the more simple route so I can get photos taken but something that is practical for me is also what I love! Like, I have seen some photos where people have multiple books in their photos and multiple props and I love them but that just isn’t for me! So find out what your theme/style is and go for it! Experiment with it. But also don’t constrain yourself to one kind of photo.

Decided you don’t like the background you are using? Change it up! Be you!

Want to go from shelfie photos to flatlays? Go for it!

Only want to post photos using the same 5 books and nothing more? Go for it!

Remember, this is supposed to be fun! Don’t work yourself up and stress yourself out!

 

6. Hashtags!

So you might be sitting there thinking ‘Duh. Of course I would use hashtags’ but seriously. This is super important if you want to get your photos out there! There are some accounts on Instagram that have either feature hashtags or feature accounts! This is an awesome way to get your photos out there. Use that hashtag in every photo. You also want to make sure you find some hashtags that work for you. For me, I have created my own hashtag to track my photos using my username and then a second one with my username with the word ‘reads’ at the end. (e.g @thelibrarianfiles @thelibrarianfilesreads )

My advice for hashtags, is to make sure you use the same or similar hashtags for all your photos and then, on top of those hashtags, you add more based on the theme/book(s) featured in your photo! This sounds confusing but it’s not. Let me give you an example here using one of my posts as an example:

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So, my usual hashtags that I have found work for me, (you have to find what works for you! But feel free to swipe my technique 😛 ) are listed there in the caption, and then as you can see I added some hashtags based on the book features in the photo! It’s really just that simple. Just find what works for you (might take a few posts to find what works best for you) and go for it! But hashtags are super important if you want to get your photos out there.

 

And those are some of the tips and tricks I’ve discovered! Did I miss anything? Is there anything else you want more information on? Comment, Send me a message (through my contact page), or find me on social media! I love helping people pursue bookstagram and doing what they love!

Thanks for tuning in! If you liked this post and want to see more like this let me know!

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Interview- Jennifer Murgia

Hello Readers!

Today I have the honour of interviewing Jennifer Murgia, Author of Forest of Whispers.

So lets get this thing started, shall we?

 

Hello Jennifer, and Welcome! Could you tell us a bit about your novel?

I’m happy to! FOREST OF WHISPERS is a 17th century Bavarian witch mystery detailing a horrifying inquisition that centers around the life of a sixteen year old girl, Rune. Rune has been raised in the Black Forest just outside a village that, years before, had burned a witch at the stake for a murderous crime. What Rune discovers is that this witch was her mother and she begins to hear her whispers of intent to exact vengeance upon the village.

 

Wow. Sounds interesting. (I have this book on my TBR list) So, What inspired you to write FOREST OF WHISPERS? 

I love witch novels—always have, always will. I also love researching and found it beyond interesting that the largest (and original) sweep of witch trials began in Europe, mainly in and around the area of the Black Forest. My mother, who is a HUGE genealogy buff, had traced our family back to pre-Germania and later discovered our ancestors had settled in Southwestern Germany, and I couldn’t help wonder if they had lived through those horrible years and what they could have endured. Not only that, but it has long been rumored that a great, great, great grandmother of mine was accused of witchcraft. Incredible fodder for a story, wouldn’t you say?

 

Did you write an outline before writing the novel?

No. I’m not really an outline person. I tend to begin with a prologue to keep me focused, but the prologue doesn’t always become part of the story. It wasn’t until I was about ¾ through that I wrote a small outline to keep the timeline on track. I just always need a good chunk of the main story under my belt before I know if I’m headed in the right direction.

 

What was the hardest part of writing Forest of Whispers? 

During my research I read several accounts of those who had been accused of witchcraft, and suffered deeply as a result. What a dark and hideous time it must have been to live in. There was no hope as neighbor turned against neighbor for the silliest of reasons—famine, plague, jealousy. It had catastrophic results and even the most respected or wealthy could not be spared of the accusations.

 

In Bamberg alone, 60k innocent people were condemned. This was so hard to stomach as I tried to create a world around fact for my novel. If you were accused, denying your involvement only prolonged your sentence. Many eventually admitted they had cavorted with Satan or cast spells just to get it over with, as the torture they had endured was so excruciating it was better to admit you were a witch and welcome death.

 

What is one way you relate to your main character(s)?

Rune learns she is a solitary witch, which is often called a Hedge Witch. She doesn’t belong to a coven, nor does she follow any strict rules, other than honoring the Sacred Mother. I’m a very private person. My beliefs are my own yet I do follow a simple structure. I feel connected to Rune’s character in the sense that life is a gift, we should give thanks for what helps you along the way, and always stay true to your soul.

 

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

If you are to judge someone, prepare to be judged yourself – for things come around threefold.

 

Did you learn anything from writing FOREST OF WHISPERS and what was it? 

I love history and weaving it into a work of fiction gives me a tremendous feeling of satisfaction. You know when you hear of a tragedy and it’s almost TOO BIG to process? Like the Titanic sinking and picturing what the passengers went through on that fateful night—how they felt, what they saw, what they KNEW was about to happen . . . Researching and writing FOREST OF WHISPERS had that same effect on me. The backstory was so intricate, so horrifying it was nearly mind-numbing to accept. When you take the general history and break it down into individual stories and records—when you realize it’s not just a page from a book, or an idea, or a tale passed down, but a REAL event that happened to REAL people, it’s devastating.

I guess I can say I learned how much my heart can hold when I read about how people treated one another, and it breaks when I question if hundreds of years later, have we really become a society that treats people any differently? We may not have village burnings but we have other ways of pointing fingers and ruining.

 

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

When I was in High School the Young Adult section in bookstores was very limited—consisting of either very young, very sweet, or topics written anonymously and whispered about at school. I found my way to the works of Milan Kundera and devoured his titles. They spoke to me. They were emotional and gripping and begged me to dig deep and find myself. I grew up wanting to write like him.

 

What is one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members?

God. I can’t tell you how many prayers were sent to steer me in the right direction and to help me through the rollercoaster moments.

 

Do you have any advice for other writers out there who are looking into publishing or just writing a story in general?

It’s a two-step process, really. Write the story first. Lock yourself away if you have to so you can pull the best possible story out of yourself, then revise, revise, revise. Have a few trusted individuals beta read it for you. Take their suggestions, plug them into your story. Oftentimes we’re too close to what we create to see the flaws, find the correct flow. But the more open you are to accepting suggestions, rejection, ideas on how to make what you have even more polished, the story will shine.

 

Where can we as readers stalk you on social media? (Pinterest, Goodread, FB, Blog etc etc.)

Website: www.jennifermurgia.com

Email: jennifermurgia8@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.murgia

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JenniferMurgia

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/jennifermurgia/

Goodreads TBR: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18506004-forest-of-whispers

Instagram: Jennifer_Murgia