A guest post by Rowena Wiseman
The problem with being a writer is the act of writing is boring. Look here I am at my laptop, writing. Oh again, I’m at my laptop, writing. I’m drinking a long black coffee out of an aqua blue cup. I’m typing on my laptop. I’ve had three coffees already today, so I’m drinking a black tea. I’m at a cafe. Writing. Fingers, keys, laptop. I’ve got crumbs on my keyboard. The act of writing is repetitive and not very Instagram-worthy.
So when I came across #bookstagram I was like, finally, this is something I can contribute to! Type #bookstagram or #bookphoto or #bookphotography into Instagram and drool at some of the great photos #booklovers have been taking!
Instagram is a great way to connect with other #booklovers. People are like happy on Instagram – so if you want to feel some love, it’s the place to be! The use of hasthtags also mean that your posts have a wider reach and a longer life-span than they do on other social media sites. Hashtag a book #ItaloCalvino and it’s likely another Calvino lover will discover it two months down the track! That’s the beauty of Instagram.
Here are my best tips for how writers on Instagram can use #bookstagram:
- Search through #bookstagram #bookphoto #bookphotography and find some accounts that you like. Get ideas and inspiration from others.
- Take your time composing a shot, anything good takes time and practice.
- I like to set aside an hour and do a number of shots at once. I then use Latergram to schedule posts throughout the week (up to 30 free posts a month).
- Find good light. I often set up shots on the floor by a window, or on my white kitchen bench that has lovely natural light. I’ve seen some beautiful shots by one bookstagrammer who takes photos of their books outdoors in the woods, at the base of trees or next to wild flowers.
- Use props – your favourite teacup, a jar with flowers or coloured pencils. Set up compositions that aren’t obvious. One of my favourite shots was with a notebook, a cup of tea and a Kewpie doll …
- Think about colour, texture and patterns. For example, what’s on the front cover of a book and what can you match or enhance it with?
- Use image software to sharpen your shots – such as apps like Afterlight. Lately I’ve been steering away from those Instagram filters and prefer the #nofilter look!
- Since you’ve taken so long and so much care doing your Instagram shots – reshare them on Facebook and Twitter.
- Find inspiration outside of #bookstagram too – follow design, fashion, art and food Instagrammers.
- Use hashtags. My favourite book hashtags are: #amreading #booklover #literary #bookstagram #bookphotography #bookphoto #books #booklove #bookish #instabook #bibliophile #shelfie but don’t forget to connect with other writers of Instagram with writing hashtags such as #amwriting #mywriting #writersofinstagram #writing #writer #iwrite #lifeofawriter #writerslife.
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Rowena Wiseman writes contemporary fiction, young adult and children’s stories. She blogs about writing and publishing in the digital revolution. Her novel The Replacement Wife, about a woman who tries to find a wife for her husband, is published by HarperCollins.
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