About six months ago, I had about 250 or so Instagram followers. Let me say, first, I LOVE ig. Love it so hard. No politics. Few ads. Little conflict. My kind of place. It’s also really, really hard to reach out to anyone else. To create meaningful interaction, even though the endless scrolling through lovely pictures soothes my soul.
To be fair, the 250 was a huge improvement over a year ago, when I still hadn’t heard of tagging, but I digress.
Somehow, I don’t even remember how, (it probably popped up in my feed) I saw a post for an Instagram book challenge. And I thought….I like to take pictures of books.
I have tons of books.
This sounds like fun!
For about 2 weeks, I participated in that first challenge. I’m not going to lie. It was super fun. It was kind of hard. I took a lot of pictures. Most of them were pretty bad, actually. Poorly lit, badly staged. And so, to solve my photography shortcomings, I went out and bought new books.
(As an aside, I should mention, I’m a fulltime artist and I take about 200 pictures a week, edit them and post them to sell my glass pieces, so this is really nothing new. Just a different sort of photography, and one I really sucked at. At first.)
Now, I’m not saying this is how it’s going to go for you, but I will warn you, it might. There’s something about pictures and lighting and books that must make you want more. Just sayin’, because now I’m buying books every week and my husband thinks I’ve gone insane.
But I digress, yet again.
Each month’s challenges are usually different, have a theme of some kind, depending on who’s running them (Harry Potter, vampires, romance across the centuries, antique books, to name a few) so you do have a starting point. Then, every day has a theme of some kind- Favorite villain, best female character, best series, blue books, YA, Fantasy, and so forth. Then there are the “challenge specific days”, which go like this: #SockSunday, #MapMonday, #Bookshelfie, #StackSaturday, #MugshotMonday, #BookHaul, #TBR, and so forth.
For instance, this is an example for #FlatLayFriday
Here’s an example for #FantasyFriday:
So I take the pictures, I edit the pictures (either on my phone, or in the app), and either write something about the photo, or include a quote, to complement the daily theme. In six months, my followers have gone from 250 to 1380. I’ve gotten better at taking pictures of books, and depending on who you ask in my house, my book collection is awesome!
If you’re looking for a way to build your following, this is a fun way to try and meet some new bookish friends, and find some new readers. Search for the tags: #bookstagramchallenge, #bookishchallenge, #bookphotochallenge
Here are a few of my favorites:
They usually post the challenges during the last week of the month, for the upcoming month, so you have a week or so to prepare. There’s no need to do it every day, I usually skip a few days, just because I can’t come up with 30 ideas every month.
Check out my Instagram if you need any ideas: my instagram