Books · Bookstagram 101 · Tips & Tricks

Biggest Bookstagram Mistakes + How To Fix Them

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Hey Guys!
Happy Sunday
Today’s post is continuing my Bookstagram 101 series; Biggest Mistakes. I’m going to be sharing some mistakes you could be making, that could be affecting your account and how to fix them!
If you want some tips for starting a bookstagram, you can check out my first post here!


Let’s get onto the mistakes:

1) Bad Lighting

I cannot stress enough how important lighting is!!
Use natural light – it’s your best friend in photography. Poor lighting can make your pictures look low quality, dark and dull. Light and bright photos definitely do the best on Instagram.
Fix: Take your photos by a big window or go outside!


2)Big Watermarks

Nothing ruins a pretty picture like a watermark. I know you don’t want people to steal your pictures, that’s fair but watermarks are so ugly when they take up a lot of the picture. It can be off-putting to some to follow someone who puts a huge watermark across all their pictures. It ruins the photo, in my opinion. I am always hesitant to follow people who use massive watermarks. We’re literally on there for the aesthetic after all.

Fix: Stop using the watermark/ Make it smaller/ Don’t place over entire picture


3) Dark Background

As mentioned before, light and bright is best. A darker background can work if you’re skilled but it isn’t always popular. Use a light or white background, plainer the better; you want your books/bookish items to be the centre of attention. Use can still incorporate other colours/patterns but keep it minimal and strategic!

Fix: Use a white/light coloured sheet


4) Not Engaging in the community

Engaging with other Bookstagrammers is KEY for a successful account.
If you’re one of those people who just posts, never uses stories and rarely comments on others’ posts and expect success then you’re doing it wrong.
Never engaging comes across as impersonal and distant, you want to be as active as possible – not only will this improve your likes/comments but you’ll make friends!

Fix: Use your stories, comment on posts you like, host/join shout outs! Be present in the community.


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Books · Bookstagram 101 · Tips & Tricks

So You Want To Start a Bookstagram?! | Bookstagram 101

booksta

Hey guys!
I don’t usually post on Thursdays but here I am. I am busy preparing for my holiday tomorrow! So I’ve been good and scheduled a few posts for when I’m away.

Today I wanted to talk about Bookstagram. I have been trying to write this post for ages but have been putting it off due to other posts taking priority. Better late than never!

I’ve been on Bookstagram for a while now and I thought I’d share some tips for beginners/ people wanting to get into the Bookstagram community!


 

1) A good username is key

Use something simple + catchy. It’s hard at first but look around, take inspiration from other users, books, fandoms etc. You could even go with something as simple as *insert your name* reads. One of my usernames, before I settled on LiteraryLeisha, was LeishaReads.

Top tip – DO NOT USE: full stops, hyphens, loads of numbers etc
Why?
It makes it so much more time consuming for people to find you.
It’s harder to remember the placement/order.
I recommend not using them at all.


2) You DON’T need a fancy camera

Your camera phone is sufficient. Trust me. The vast majority don’t start out with a fancy DSLR camera. Most use their smartphone. You just need to learn to use it to its full potential and you can get some incredible shots.

Example – this was taken on my phone (Samsung Galaxy s8):

Which brings me to my next point:


3) LIGHTING. LIGHTING. LIGHTING

Good light is KEY.  Lighting is everything. Remember that and you will succeed.
Natural lighting is your best friend. Take all your pictures near a good source of natural light. You could take it a step further and go outside. As much light as you can possibly get, the better.


4) Choose/Find your aesthetic™ / Keeping to a theme

So, once you got a great username and some pictures ready to post, you’re going to need to edit. To edit you need to know what your aesthetic is going to be. Cool toned or Warm toned? Black and white? I recommend using an app and sticking with the same filter for every picture, that way you create an ongoing theme – which will make your feed look aesthetically pleasing.

I customised my own filter on the app VSCO and copy it onto every picture I want to post. My current theme looks like this:

 

5) #Hashtags

Image result for #hashtag gif

Now you’ve got some great pictures all done and ready to post. So you need people to actually see and appreciate your work. This is where hashtags are key!
Hashtags allow others to discover your pictures.
Tips for utilising hashtags:
– Keep a note of your most used hashtags so you can copy + paste into each post
– Use relevant hashtags (i.e. #Bookstagram)
– Don’t use too little; you want as much exposure as possible
– Don’t use too many. Apparently, there is a limit of how many hashtags you can use but also how many times your picture can appear. I recommend around 15-20 hashtag maximum. With a minimum of 10.


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Books · Tips & Tricks

Reading on a Budget: How To Get Books For FREE!

free-books

Hey guys!
Make sure you check out my first ‘Reading on a Budget’ post; Where to Find Cheap Books
In this post, I’ll be talking about how you can get books for free!

 1) The Library

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The obvious place to go if you want free books is your local library!
I am guilty of not using my library enough, however, I am planning to change that.
The library is great, free books and it means you don’t have to find space for a new book. Plus if you don’t end up enjoying the book, you have no money loss!
Also, most libraries have eBooks and Audiobooks, which brings me to the next way:


2) BorrowBox/ Overdrive
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Your local library will probably use one of these apps to allow their members to access eBooks and audiobooks. My library uses BorrowBox but I think most use Overdrive, either way, it’s definitely worth knowing about and using! I so far have never paid for an audiobook, I only use my libraries options.


3) NetGalleyImage result for netgalleyNetGalley is a reviewer website, where you can access advanced readers copies of books. If you sign up you can request books from publisher to review before they are released. It’s a great way of reading new releases, it helps the books get publicised before they’re published and it’s free! The only ‘downside’ is that it is eBooks only, if you don’t like reading eBooks/ on your phone or e-reader then it wouldn’t be for you. I personally love reading ebooks, I find them quicker to read and I own a kindle so it isn’t an issue for me, they are sent directly there for me!


4) Giveaways

Image result for goodreads logoGoodreads has a giveaway section under the browse option.
There is a huge selection of giveaways going on at any given time, they’re very quick and simple to enter. I have personally won quite a few books through there.
It’s always worth entering!
Image result for twitter instagram facebookAlso be sure to look at Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for giveaways and contests on there!


5) #BooksforTrade on Twitter

If you are a blogger/Instagrammer and receive ARCs, the best place to unhaul them is on Twitter. Trading is a great way to unhaul books and get new ones in exchange!
You can trade any books/arcs/merch on there, loads of the book community is involved and trading. You will have plenty of opportunities to get rid of a few things and gain some new in the process. Win, win situation!
Just be careful when trading, make sure you see pictures of the books/merch beforehand. Make sure the person’s account is legit if it doesn’t look very active or no pictures/tweet, question it. It’s better to be safe than sorry.


*Not sponsored by any of these companies, I have personally used these sites and want to recommend them. 

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Books · Tips & Tricks

Reading On a Budget: Where To Find Cheap Books

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A great way to get books cheap would be to buy them secondhand. New books, especially new releases can be pretty pricey, when I can, I always buy my books used/secondhand. You can save so much money by buying used books, yeah okay sometimes you can’t get new releases but unless I’m super desperate, I’ll wait until I can get it secondhand or the price drops.

Have a browse through your local charity/secondhand/thrift shops for books, I’ve have found some really cheap books from there. In one of my local charity shops, they have a deal of 3 paperbacks for £1!
Another way to find secondhand books would be at any local fayres or car boot sales, they’ll be dirt cheap! I recently went to a summer fayre at a local church and the paperback books for just 20p!
The best thing about buying secondhand books in person is that you can see the quality and condition they’re in for yourself. Whereas online, they can say it’s in ‘very good condition’ but it could come a bit damaged.

Online – If you don’t fancy going rummaging around charity shops and car boot sales, you can always buy secondhand books online.
My favourite places to shop for secondhand books online are; World of Books, Amazon Marketplace, eBay and Music Magpie.

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From World of Books, I ordered Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor and it came as a first edition SIGNED copy. I was so excited, I had no idea when I ordered. You can really get some hidden gems when buying secondhand!

With places like Amazon Marketplace and eBay make sure you read the reviews/feedback of the sellers, so you know they’re legit. Also, make sure you check the location of the seller and the delivery charges so you aren’t caught out! If you’d rather stick to big sellers go for World of Books or Music Magpie, I’ve never had any trouble ordering from them (+ the delivery is free!).

Amazon Marketplace is good for both new and used books, you can compare prices and find the cheapest option available, usually, there are places cheaper than Amazon themselves.

amazon-marketClick underneath the Amazon prices to look at the Marketplace prices and compare, as shown in the picture above, you can save a lot by buying from other sellers on Amazon.
Amazon usually has some sort of deal on paperbacks, sometimes the offer is 2 for £7 or 3 for £10, if you prefer to buy your books new, this might save you some £££.

Other places to buy cheap new/ unused books would be The Works, they have a decent book selection and always have deals and offers going on. I’ve seen deals like 6 paperbacks for £10 online and in my local store, it’s 3 for £5.
My local WHSmith has a clearance section with hundreds of discounted books, I have got brand new books there for just £1. It’s worth seeing if any of your local bookstores have a clearance section too!

That’s all my tips for now! The next post in this Reading on a Budget series will be how to get books for free! Stay tuned for that!

**Disclaimer – This post is NOT sponsored, all the companies mentioned are ones I personally use and my opinion is based on my experience using them. 


Comment and let me know your favourite places to buy books! 

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