It can be tricky to come up with Bookstagram post ideas when you’re trying to juggle everything else in your life. We’ve had a Bookstagram account for three years and although the book world provides lots of inspiration, we sometimes still run out of ideas. To help with this, we’ve created a handy list of bookstagram prompts in this post. You can either mix and match these, or stick with one theme. Bookstagram seems to favour consistency, but enjoyment has to come first and if you’re a beginner, we would recommend experimenting with lots of styles.
Bookstagram wouldn’t be bookstagram without book reviews! This is one place on the internet that you can visit and be sure to find other booklovers and some accounts only post book reviews. Word count can be an issue on Instagram so aim to keep your reviews compact and break up text with emojis. Flatlays work best for these types of posts. You want to ensure that the cover is clearly visible.
If you’re hoping to be sent advance copies then make sure you tag the publishing house. This isn’t a guarantee that you’ll receive books for review, but if you’re consistent, have a nice feed and good engagement, then publicists will start to notice. We’ve expanded on this in our post about Bookstagram influencing.
Tying in with the above, book collections are easy to assemble and can look fantastic on your feed. You can go with a co-ordinated flatlay of covers or a stack of spines. @placesandbooks is skilled at putting these collections together. Here are some suggestions for how to co-ordinate reading collections on Bookstagram:
- Book series
- Publishers (particularly vintage and design-led)
- TBRs (to-be-reads)
If you’re short on books we’ve shared tips for building a book collection on a budget. Remember that if it’s open, you can borrow from your local library as well.
Share your Book Nooks on Instagram
Show off your book nook! It doesn’t need to be fancy. There’s a wide range of tastes on Bookstagram so whether you go full rainbow or minamalist, bookstagrammers are bound to enjoy seeing your reading corner. This can be as simple as a bedside table or as a expansive as a home library. If you have photogenic bookshelves you can make this the focus of your entire feed – @wordchild does this to stunning effect.
One tip here would be to make sure that you take out as much artificial light as possible. This shows as a yellow tint on your image. To remove this, use the tint or white balance adjustment button to alter the tone.
Do you need Bookstagram Props?
When we started our account we bought a few bits and pieces, but over time found that we didn’t need these. If you are a bookstagram beginner then you might want to experiment with different themes until you find your voice. What we will say is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money! Don’t feel that you have to collect every Funko or buy special backgrounds.
Look at what already own and try out different shots. Maybe you can display your books creatively or trial a feed that has lots of neutral space (blank space around the object). Blankets and bookish signs can also theme a page, but use them sparingly.
Bookstagram Hashtags as Post Prompts
Everyone is searching for the perfect bookstagram hashtag formula these days. There’s no magic potion, but popular hashtags can be really helpful for framing post content. They also have the added advantage as doubling up as tags (more on that below) which can help to widen your community.
#meethebookstagrammer – your chance to reveal a little about yourself to your followers.
#tenonmytbr – there are multiple versions of this hashtag. The TBR is a perennial bookstagram feature so everyone understands when you post your tottering book piles.
#flatlayfriday – a chance to try out new styles and layouts.
#sundayshelfie – shelfies are always popular on Bookstagram. This can be a quick win for the end of the week.
#rainbowstacks – stack by colour and change the hashtag accordingly! This is a great one for tagging.
Tagging on Bookstagram
Tagging is another great way to discover bookstagram post ideas, especially if you’re new to the platform. When you use a hashtag, you can invite others to join the challenge too by tagging them. Once you start doing this, you should find that others begin to tag you back. If you’re looking to make friends on Bookstagram, I definitely recommend having a go at tagging.
It’s also worth joining in with hashtag challenges created by bookstagrammers as they often share posts in their stories. Our current hashtag is #mybookishreflection so please have a go and tag us!
Although there are highly successful Bookstagram accounts that only share photos from the same room or apartment, it’s good to get out and about. This isn’t as easy as it once was due to the pandemic, but there are other options to take bookstagram outside even in these uncertain times.
Again, if you’re visiting somewhere, definitely tag the bookshop, cafe or historic place as they might share your photo in stories or on the main feed.
Books in the wild
Taking pictures of books outside offers lots of opportunities for Bookstagram post ideas. You can combine book covers with landscapes, historic places, skies, gardens and murals to achieve striking compositions. @thebookboy does this really well.
Coffee and books (or tea and books)
Cafe culture never goes out of fashion. Take a shot at your favourite table. Bonus points if the cafe has bookshelves! Check out @theguywiththebook for inspiration.
The no.1 winner for bookstagram posts. If you manage to step inside a bookshop, I advise you take as many shots as you can particularly if the bookstore is characterful. Remember to take a photo of the building too.
Creative Bookstagram Posts
This is an area that we’ve dipped our toes in a few times. It’s the most time-consuming form of bookstagram post to create, but encourages you to build new skills. There are three main types of creative Bookstagram posts:
Photoshopped fantasy scenes – these look incredible but aren’t as popular as they once were. One bookstagrammer who is still doing this successfully is glindaizabel.
Giant bookish flatlays – books arranged to form a huge picture. James Trevino and Elizabeth Sagan are the undisputed royalty here.
Perspective Shots – where you change the scale of objects so that they appear either smaller or larger than usual.
This is a huge area to cover. I talk about it in more detail in this post about how we make creative Instagram posts.
Sharing book photos from other Bookstagram accounts
Some Bookstagram accounts generate 100% of their content by reposting photos taken by other people. The ones with lots of followers can be highly influencial. If they share your content, then there’s a chance that others will follow you. Unfortunately there’s lots of spam accounts out there too.
Generally, it’s better to produce your own content because this is where you’ll grow your skills. However, if you really want to repost then it’s etiquette to ask first, and ALWAYS credit the bookstagrammer.
How to plan Bookstagram posts
Once you’ve made a shortlist of Bookstagram post ideas, it’s a good idea to plan them out. There are various ways to do this but we use the Preview app for this. The basic package is free and allows you to draft out your feed before posting. This enables you to avoid any image clashes and basically to get the best out of your collection. There’s also the facility to save captions so that you can paste these into Instagram.
We don’t use the scheduling feature as there was an issue with third-party apps on Instagram a while back, but it’s worth trialling this if you’re short on time.
If you’re able to pay for packages then Preview offer extra features such as hashtag suggestions, multiple account users and analytics.
How often should you post on Bookstagram?
The million dollar question! It really depends what you’re trying to achieve. If you’re looking to build a bibliophile community then aim for 2-3 posts per week. If you’d like to grow quickly then aim for once a day.
The caveat here is quality. This will have the greatest impact on your account. It’s better to share less frequently with crisp images, well-researched hashtags and interesting captions than to pump out a bunch of poorly-composed posts.
We hope that this has given you a few Bookstagram post ideas for your account – whether new or old. If you found this useful, you might want to see our other Bookstagram tips.