5 Tips To Grow Your Bookstagram

Instagram can be a great way to unleash your creativity, build up your own bookish community, make new friends, and work with brands.

5 Tips To Grow Your Bookstagram
5 Tips To Grow Your Bookstagram

5 Tips To Grow Your Bookstagram


How to Start a Bookstagram

Starting the bookstagram itself is as easy as setting up an Instagram account with your email address and password, then picking a name.

If you already have a brand established (like a blog or a YouTub channel) then this will be easy. If not, have a think about what sums up your bookstagram account themes, and what will catch people’s attention.

It could be worth reading on and planning out your theme and niche before committing to your new name. Of course, you can always change this later (I think I went through at least three changes since I started).

Once you’re all set up, follow some accounts in your niche so you’ll immediately be engaging with other bookstagram and bookish accounts and can be easily found by others.

Engage, engage, engage

And then engage some more. To show the Instagram algorithm that you’re involved with their app, you need to invest some time in it. This is one of the basic Bookstagram tips, but it works.

Like and comment on posts, react to people’s stories and share the love. Save posts that inspire you. Comment and answer someone’s question of the day. If you’re up for it, block out some time in your day to like & comment on the posts in your home feed.

Engagement before and after posting your photos is also really important. I once read that you can increase post visibility by engaging on Instagram 15 minutes before and after you post. There’s no science behind that exact number, but the logic is sound.

After you post a picture, don’t just close the app and go on to doing something else. I always respond to comments on my previous post right after I post my latest one.

 Ask open-ended questions

Most Bookstagrammers include a “question of the day” in their captions. While it’s definitely a fun activity for both you and your followers, it’s also a great strategy to increase engagement.

It gives people a reason to comment on your photos and interact with you. Here’s my spin: focus on asking open ended-questions What does that mean? Instead of asking your followers, “Do you like fantasy books?” rephrase it to something like “What is your favorite genre?”

Research Other Instagram Profiles Within Your Niche

When I decided I would create a bookstagram, I read countless articles on how to create a successful page. I read everything I could about hashtags to determine how many and which ones I should use, for example. I read about diversifying my content feed, and how to avoid repetitive posts. I read about the best times and the worst times to post on Instagram, as well as how often I should post. As much time as I spent reading, I realized that there’s nothing quite like hands-on experience when it comes to Instagram growth. Despite the onslaught of Instagram tips floating around out there, there’s truly no one-size-fits-all plan for growth on the platform.

Every audience within every niche is different. The Insights section within your Instagram settings will reveal a lot of information about your unique audience, providing key data about the best times to post and what content is most popular amongst your fans. I check this frequently to guide what times I will post and what days to post my best content. You can also see where most of your followers are from as well as their demographics. This is vital information to understand as you’re growing your bookstagram or author profile on Instagram. 

As you post content, take notice of what people enjoy most! Do they love covers of books or spines? Do they like seeing just one book or several? Do they like “book art” or book reviews more? Which of your posts gets the most attention? Follow these trends and try to give the people what they want! I could spend hours writing a riveting review, but thousands of people loved my book flower more than my review. What does that tell me? Do more book flowers! 

Don’t copy other profiles but, instead, learn to glean inspiration from other accounts and create your own unique content. What do you like about other people’s feeds? What aesthetics are you drawn to? Determine what aspects of other pages draw your attention the most and learn to tweak and make these elements your own. I studied many bookstagram feeds before I started my own.

Lastly, follow the Instagram trends. Instagram is a social media platform that changes often. Currently, Instagram is moving towards more videos than photos. Many are resistant to this change, but if Instagram is showing more videos than photos, it may be beneficial to lean into the changes and go with the flow. It takes a lot of time to create content, so don’t get lost in dated practices by not shifting with the latest trends. Learn to go with the flow of social media trends so that your profile can have the greatest impact! 

Do You and Have Fun on Instagram

Yes, DO YOU. If you’re creating an Instagram platform, make sure it brings you joy. It takes time and energy to grow a successful Instagram platform, so make sure what you’re building is fun to create. If it’s just another chore, people will quickly see it shine through your images. I’ve been told so many times that my photos make people laugh and they can tell I’m having fun. Sure, I’m certainly sweating my butt off and often starting over after knocking over a row of books, but I’m having a blast! People are perceptive. If you enjoy the content you create, people will love it, and you’ll continue to create it. Be authentically you and don’t be too hard on yourself. If you find you aren’t having fun, change things up. 

When I started my page, I had many goals and achievements in mind. As the page grew, I developed relationships with thousands of like-minded people. I can truly say the community I’ve found on Instagram is amazing. These are people who will laugh with you, cry with you, and support you through thick and thin. If you lean into the community Instagram offers, you may be surprised to find yourself with not just “followers” but true friends.


There are many editing tools out there – from the standard settings on your phone to paid apps such as Lightroom and VSCO. It’s worth trying out a few of these on your book photography. We know bookstagrammers who have amassed huge followings using standard filters. Here are the main ones:


A solid place to start. You have two options – Filter and Edit. The Filter applies a fixed recipe of amendments to your photo and shows a tiny rendition of each at the base of your image.

The edit function is more specific and allows you to adjust the basic settings on your picture including brightness, contrast, saturation, and warmth.


Snapseed has been developed by Google and is totally free to use on Android and Apple phones. It has 29 tools and filters and goes a stage further than Instagram by including extra functions such as healing tools (to remove blemishes) and double exposure.


VSCO is a popular editing app on Instagram with lots of different filters and editing options to choose from. The standard option is free. If you want to upgrade and gain access to 200+ VSCO presets, you can try a free 7-day trial and then it costs $19.99 per year.


The most advanced of all the editing tools and the most costly. In the UK, this costs £10 per month and comes as part of a larger Adobe package (including Photoshop). This includes profiles and presets. If you’re serious about developing your photography, this is worth considering.


This applies to everything in life, not just bookstagram. If you are consistent you are bound to get noticed by the platform. 


Consistency is important in various areas. For bookstagram, I believe the primary point of consistency is focus and subject. The focus as the term bookstagram suggests is books. That’s the starting point. If the content isn’t predominantly about books, I think it’ll be tough to pass off as a bookstagrammer. Sure, it’s everyone’s prerogative to post what they want but posting 90% photos of your cat and 10% of your books will attract a larger following of pet lovers. Your focus will determine your following.


The way most bookstagrammers achieve a consistent theme is through filters. They edit their photos with photo editing apps such as VSCO or Snapseed. Often they’ll apply the very same presets to give their photos similar moods.


Determining a theme for yourself draws a lot of benefits. Applying a fixed style across all photos gives rise to a cohesive feed. Someone who is new to an account will much more likely tap the “follow” button. When the feed looks great as a whole, your followers will gobble up your photos for eye candy. Fixing a theme gives you the recognition factor when your photos show up in others’ feeds. When others recognize you, they’re much more likely to interact and comment on your photos.

On a creative level, some might feel limited by using the same filter over and over again. Others may grow bored. Yet keeping a theme also gives focus and direction. Over time you learn what looks good and you’ll come to frame your photos even before you pick up your camera. Knowing what you want to photograph can save a lot of time.


Find a rhythm. Whether you post daily or twice weekly, try to stick to the schedule. Posting a photo then disappearing for weeks on end alienates you from your followers. There are so many people posting photos every day, that long gaps will cast you into oblivion. In order for others to notice you, you need to be a consistent presence on bookstagram. You want others to remember you.

On the other hand, avoid posting a lot of photos in one go. Spread them out over a few days. At the very least, post one photo every few hours. Clogging up others’ Instagram feeds isn’t cool. Yes, hauling ten books is a great cause for excitement. Still, refrain from posting ten photos in a row. Round your book stack up in one photo or post a book haul photo a day.

If your output of photographs exceeds 365 photos a year, then post two or three photos over the course of a day. Pace yourself. Make sure that you neither overwhelm your followers nor fall into a posting drought. A good way to stay consistent is through. That way you can prepare ahead of time and still get to post even when you’re busy with life.


Continous learning to hone your art & adapting to changes. 

1. Books can be glamorous.

Whoever thought books are boring never visited bookstagram. There is glamour in hardbound books, their beautiful dust covers, book stacks, flatlays, shelfies and so much more. Have you seen some of the props bookworms use? They are gorgeous, shiny, and beautiful and so much effort has been put into making these masterpieces. The themes book lovers follow for their feed is nothing short of inspirational. I could look at them for days.

2. You are not alone.

If you thought you would be the only one taking book pictures, you were wrong. If you compare yourself to a book, bookstagram is a library, no, a national archive of books. Truly you will find thousands if not lakhs of bookstagrammers.

3. Boys/men love books too and yes romantic ones too.

This was a surprise. Really. When I was researching for this blog to create a user profile in my mind I always pictured women who read books, reading about my blog. I mean all Google trends, Analytics, Ubersuggest everyone said the audience would be the feminine club. So naturally, I was surprised to find not one not two at least 10 accounts on the first day of Male Bookstagrammers young and old taking about books and bookish fetishes. Subsequently, I’ve come across at least 1 or 2 accounts daily. The number isn’t huge but it’s most definitely encouraging. Read On Guys!

4. Giveaways are a huge thing on bookstagram. But don’t expect to win.

I did my first giveaway, in the first month. Yeah I know you’re going to say, that was way too early. But I had 24 unique people commenting and participating. That’s a good number in my opinion. Well better than nothing. And got at least 50 new followers so I went from 100 to 150 followers. Yay!

Well I chose a winner, the winner got the voucher, and then she even got her book. But I see at least two giveaways every day, participate in at least one of them, every day, and I’m yet to win a single one. Go figure.

50 Creative Instagram Ideas for Bookstagram

1. Share your favorite seasonal books.
2. Highlight the best YA books.
3. Act out your favorite book scene.
4. Rate the book versus its movie adaptation.
5. Share your favorite romance novels.
6. Post a tour of your bookshelves.
7. Rearrange your bookshelves with a timelapse.
8. Problems that bookworms have.
9. Film your latest book haul.
10. Give a 15-second review of the last book you read.
11. Share your favorite book covers.
12. Ask people to vote on your next read and share 3 options.
13. “What I would wear if I were XYZ character…”
14. If you like this movie, try this book…
15. Film a quick morning routine video with books and coffee.
16. Share a few books that made you cry.
17. Highlight some of your least favorite books.


Like anywhere else building genuine connections with genuine people goes a long way, Connect with them on a human level, not on a superficial level. 


I cannot stress how important it is to talk to people. It’s called SOCIAL media for a reason. It’s called a Book COMMUNITY for a reason. Engage with people and not just try to get noticed by a big account. Talking to the people who actually follow you allows them to get to know you better. Commenting on posts also helps start those conversations, but you have to be relevant. What you’re trying to do here is build a relationship with people. This is why YouTube stars do so well. You’re talking to someone and sharing a little bit of your life with them.

The book community is quite big and we love to talk. We talk about books, book reviews, bookstagram, new books, reading, reading life, whatever. There are so many topics to choose from, so write about them in your posts, talk to the people who comment, and don’t forget to talk to others outside your circle. You can easily expand your reach if you open up.

I strongly advise not asking for shout-outs or how to get more followers or how to get free books. These kinds of conversations aren’t genuine and you might be curious as to how that happens, but it’s not the place to do it (unless the bookstagrammer says otherwise).

Be respectful

This has got to be the biggest piece of advice I can provide you. BE RESPECTFUL. There are A LOT of opinions on books here and that stirs a lot of emotions. If you want to get noticed and be a respected member of this community (and most importantly, be respected for your opinions on books), you need to understand that there are going to be a ton of differences in opinion out there. Reading opinions, genre opinions, political opinions, lifestyle opinions –it’s all going to be different, but the only way for our community to thrive is through respect.

If you don’t agree with a review, let them know privately or discuss the book in an adult way together. Do not call someone out for not liking a book and in return, do not call someone out for calling you out.

I feel like this is unique to bookstagram because we’re not trying out some yoga pants or a new matcha drink and sharing our opinions on it. These are BOOKS; they take time to read, time to process, and then time to actually come up with something to say about them. A lot of effort goes into forming these opinions, so speak to people in the same manner you want to be spoken to. Share your thoughts and feelings in a respectful way. Don’t shame anyone for the kinds of books they choose to read or their opinions on it.

You don’t have to love every book that comes out. You’re more than welcome to hate on books, but there’s a way to criticize a book you didn’t like that doesn’t upset others or the author. Books take a lot of hard work and dedication to write and authors appreciate feedback that critiques the book but doesn’t bash it to death with a sledgehammer. Bashing a book doesn’t explain at all why the book didn’t work for you. It doesn’t give other readers a sense of how they’ll feel before they read the book. Reviews are meant to be informative and critical, not hateful.

Something else to keep in mind is that not all bookstagrammers are alike. There are bookstagrammers dedicated to solely YA, fantasy, romance, literary fiction, diverse fiction, or LGBTQ fiction to name a few. There are non-fiction accounts. There are accounts dedicated to only reading library books. There are even folks who write notes in the margins, bend back their covers, or even dog-ear their pages. There’s so many variants that it makes it easy for anyone with a very specific interest in books to find their people. However, none of these groups are invalid for their interest. No person should shame another for only reading romance or dog-earing their pages or only borrowing from the library. Like I said before, there are a lot of differences in our group and if we want to keep bookstagram a community where everyone is welcome, then we need to keep these in mind.

And yeah, perhaps stirring the pot gets you followers and likes and all that, but do you really want to be remembered as the person who calls out folks who don’t like the books you like? To me, that doesn’t feel like a good PR move.


Post content that is either inspirational/educational or entertaining. And always aim to help the audience or solve their problem. 


Aim to build trust Er credibility among the audience, not just chase numbers. If a method/practice doesn't sit well with your heart don't do it. 

Look at your analytics

Not just the numbers. Don’t care about how many followers are left or how many you’ve gained. Don’t even look at your likes. Look at your content. Make some overall summations on what your followers like and don’t like about your photos. What photos tend to do better on your page? What doesn’t? How can you improve the photos that don’t? You have to remember that Instagram is still an aesthetics game and sometimes serving what your followers like will help to boost those numbers. While we’re all here for the bookish thoughts and to share our love of reading, we also have to keep in mind that Instagram on the whole is entirely visual. Folks are scrolling through their feeds casually. Sometimes they don’t even read your captions, so see what captures their eye.

For me, a lot of my followers and outside of my group love photos of open books. They love seeing me in my “natural habitat” reading a book with a cup of coffee in a cozy corner of my home. They always respond to photos where I’m in it. They don’t like just the cover or any of the ones that I put more work into the photo. LOL. This is good for me to know because then I can make content that will engage my followers and make them hit that like button. It makes it easier for me to plan a book photo session and how I want to stage my book.