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How to Start a Bookstagram Pt.2

This is a continuation of last week’s post: how to start a bookstagram. Last week we focused on style, props, and location. So now you have your pictures, what do you do with them? Today I am going to talk about editing, your library, and scheduling.

Editing

The next step is editing. When in doubt, I take all the photos I find pretty – even if that’s three from the same photo shoot with slightly different angles of the same book. I never want to run out of options so I just store them on my computer.

This is a photo where I just toned down the preset edits in PicMonkey

Your Image Library

Then I put them onto my computer organized by individual cover photos, book hearts/shots with no one cover in focus, and kindle photos where I can manipulate any cover on. Paperfury has a great post on this. I keep them organized so that when I am in the mood for an individual cover, or have a review coming up for it, I can look for it there. I also keep all the photos I am going to post for the month on my desktop – even the unedited ones.

Now back to editing. I edit all my photos using Picmonkey. For what I need it to do, it’s pretty simple. What I do is brighten colors, change the saturation, and sometimes add color filters. But it’s all about playing around with it and your mood. Sometimes I spend a while, sometimes I only do specific things. I have no patience to do major edits and also no skill. For photo manipulation of fancy things I ask my partner – like removing poles in a photo.

I save the new photos using {month} {day posted} so for example, Aug 1.

I did minimal edits on this one, only brightened the red of the title

Scheduling/Posting

What I do before each month is look on Instagram for the book challenges that are going on. I have a few I like to do all the time (#fanaticalbird{insertmonthhere}, #bibliophileworld{month}challenge) and so on. There are a few accounts that specialize in challenges. I have found this account in particular helpful. Then I make a list of the challenge with all the prompts. I do this for every single challenge I want to participate in. Sometimes I have up to 6 and so recently I’ve been typing it so I don’t get a hand cramp. Then I go through all the prompts and think:

  • where can I combine these
  • where do I know I have photos/specific books for this prompt
  • what percentage of new photos do I need to take

I tend to not have to take more than 10 new photos per month just because I have been in such a time crunch lately. So I always look through my entire image library and see which photos I have that will fit. This takes your own intuition, do you want to try to do a new photo that looks at all six? I try to balance high quality photos, photos I have, and the tags.

This one needed almost nothing, I thin I only brightened the photo as a whole

I highlight the prompt for that day and make a list of new photos I need to take. After that I make the time to take these photos and if inspiration isn’t hitting me, I’ll just sub in a photo that doesn’t fit into any prompt – especially if it’s an older photo.

Next I use Hootsuite to schedule all my posts. Every week I’ll schedule the next week of posts, that way I write out the caption ahead of time, tag people, and add my hashtags. To make sure I have no gaps, I’ll organize the photos on my desktop by the month and then eliminate the week’s worth of photos after they have been posted. This gives me a visual representation of how many photos I have left before the month is done.

So that’s about it! It takes a while, about two hours, to plan out my entire month, but after that the biggest and hardest work is done.

Questions

I did get one question on Twitter about how do I feel about ‘bookstagram’/instagram accounts that do not solely post book photos?

I think it’s totally fine! I’ve not really done it, but it’s all about trying to display pictures that mean a lot. I know some people are strict about having a line between them – like a personal instagram account. But as a viewer, I don’t really mind. What I mostly just like to see is beautiful photos. Books, food, sights, that’s all lovely to me. I don’t have an aesthetic theme or even strict opinions about instagram, so perhaps not the best to weigh in. One advantage I see about separate accounts is that I have a lot of professional goals associated with mine, like follower count, etc. But for my personal instagram, I really only post when I feel like it, when I have an exceptional photo. So if that’s the type person you are, then maybe having them separate helps? For me it does. But for me I’ve also tried to maintain my anonymity. I have only recently exposed my face and even given out my name. So it was necessary before. Now? I’m not so sure. My bottom line: the more beautiful photos the merrier. But I realize that was a pretty long paragraph answer…

Discussion

Do you have any more questions? Any tips?

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8 thoughts on “How to Start a Bookstagram Pt.2

  1. I read your first post, I can’t remember if I added any comment or not but I did find that incredibly helpful including this too. I actually have a similar process but I tend to do it on my phone. I don’t know if you answered this question in your other post but what camera do you use? A professional one or your phone?

  2. Okay so I noticed my question is already answered, yikes! Sorry!!!!! How decide what type of photo’s you want to take? Does it depend on your mood? Sorry if this also already answered!

    1. No! I love questions, even the ones that are already answered – those are easy! It depends on if I need them for the schedule, or if they’re new books that I need photos of. I try to always photograph books when I first get them. But that can be hard…Otherwise if I do outside things for them, I usually just pick books that haven’t been photographed yet. I organize my shelves by which ones are done and which are not.

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