So now that I’ve had a photo on Instagram with over 1500 likes, I feel like I’m pretty much an expert. 

(Not really. It’s just that everyone loves shelfies. But still, most of my photos get 100 likes so it was INSANE to get 1500+)

Anyway, even though I’ve kind of taken an impromptu blog hiatus (whoops), here are my top 5 tips for those who are new to Bookstagram.

1. It’s all about the people. 


(random Instagram photos will be inserted into this post because why not. Also, I am a people. My cat is not a people. My cat is a cat. )

Liking: everyone likes a like. Before I post my photo each morning, I go back through my feed and like…well, pretty much all the pics, because ALL of the people I follow are amazing.

Commenting: there are lots of reasons why I comment!

  1. The photo is just INCREDIBLE and I want to make sure the Bookstagrammer knows.
  2. The Bookstagrammer has asked a question in their caption (we’ll get to those), and I REALLY WANT TO ANSWER.
  3. If the book is one I really want to read/a book I really loved.

Tagging other people: I have to admit, I’m not the best at tags. I’m tagged in a bunch of things but either I’m too lazy to go back through my tags or I’m just not feeling it. But this can be a great way to make new friends.

As they say, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

2. Hashtags!


#topnotchphotography #godmyphotosrock #narcissist

Instagram lets you have 30 hashtags. I never end up using all of them because I get sick of typing things out, but you can definitely use them to your advantage.

It’s through tags that my shelfie got so many likes. A lot of people – including me – browse through tags looking for awesome new people to follow.

Tags I use include: 

#shelfie #bookstagram #booknerdigans #instabook #instareads #igreads #booksofinstagram #bookchallenge #bibliophile #rainbowbooks #bookishrainbow

And there are TONS of them.

3. Experiment!


I adore Bookastagrams with a consistent, similar feed with variations of one look. Two of my faves who do this are @newleafwriter and @abi.s_cupboard whose photos are just absolutely #goals.

HOWEVER, consistency is not my forte. I have “Loony” in my blog name, for crying out loud. So I do a ton of things:

  • Balance books on my head.
  • Chuck books all over my floor.
  • Coerce my cats into posing for book photos.
  • Generally make a mess.

I wrote a post for Sarah @ New Leaf Book Nook about experimenting with different styles, so you should go check out that post as well. 

But anyway, by experimenting, you can choose which type of photo works best for you – or if, like me, you want to take ALL the photos.

4. Get involved in monthly challenges. 


This is a #bookishchevron…kind of. It was one of the prompts for an April book challenge.

I’m super-bad at sticking to monthly challenges, but they’re SUCH a lot of fun. By browsing through the hashtag for the specific challenge, you can find a ton of new people to follow – I also find I gain quite a lot of followers from them.

…now if only I could stick to a whole month.

5. It’s all about the personality. 


For example, people know I’m the kind of idiot who tries to balance books on her head. You can do this lots of ways:

CAPTIONS: captions are great. Though not a lot of people will read them – they’re just scrolling through their feed – some do, and your caption can mean the difference between a follow and a…well, someone not following.

I talk about lots of things including books, recent idiotic things I’ve done, Satanic rituals…you get the idea.

POSTING PHOTOS OF YOURSELF: this isn’t for everyone, obviously, but you definitely come across as more of a PERSON if you have photos of yourself. Even just a profile picture goes a long way.

So there you have it! These are my top 5 Bookstagram tips for newbies like me. Do you have Instagram? What tips would you give others?