What I’ve Learned from Creating a Collaborative Bookstagram

What is a bookstagram? Good question. A bookstagram is an Instagram dedicated to books! 

In May 2020, I reached out to two of my best friends with an idea: “Let’s create a collaborative Instagram account dedicated to sharing our favorite books.” The goal would be to create a diverse, virtual library to inspire each other and our followers to pick up a new book or try a new author! 

In June 2020, our bookstagram, @quotethisbook was born!

Co-founders, Carina (bookitbabe.com), Danielle (bibliotrips.com), and I have always been passionate about reading. Even if we don’t always share the same taste in book genres, we often discuss our current reads and recommend new books to each other. I wanted to take this amazing mini community to the next level. Since then, our bookstagram has evolved into such a fun and creative part of each of our lives. I’m so grateful for their friendship and our mutual love of reading!

Photo credit: Danielle Befeler

Here are the top five things I’ve learned through starting a bookstagram: 

  1. It’s so fun to collaborate creatively with your friends! 
    • The key is to find friends with similar drive and passions. Each of you may have different strengths: maybe one person is always on top of the posting schedule and keeping everything organized, and someone else is more creative and thinking of new ways to engage your audience, but the most important part is that you are all aligned with the same end goals.
    • Tip: Even though the three of us chat almost daily, we set up monthly facetime calls to go over the bigger picture items and ideas. These are some questions we’ve gone over in the past: Do we allow guest posts? What kind of Instagram story engagement methods do we want to try? How often will we post? Discussing these key questions helps us manage expectations. It’s also super fun brainstorming new ideas and having an excuse to chat with my besties and catch up!
  2. Simple is better.
    • I made it clear when I proposed the idea that I wanted the bookstagram to be super low-effort, with room for it to get more involved in the future if we chose. The three of us work busy, full-time jobs, and we’ve agreed to never force ourselves to post if we don’t have time or energy. Luckily, since there are three of us, usually one person is able to pick up the slack when the others get busier. It’s really worked out great so far!
    • Tip: Don’t overcomplicate things. A lot of times, people never follow through with their ideas because they get overwhelmed in the details. What color scheme should my account have? What font should I use? How should I standardize my captions and hashtags? These are such minor questions and concerns!! It’s more important to just start with something simple and manageable and over time you can tweak and improve it to be exactly what you want it to be. Any creative project is a work-in-progress. Just start somewhere!
  3. We’ve learned a LOT about content creation and social media: 
    • None of us knew much about graphic design or the intricacies of Instagram. Now, Canva is our new best friend, and we’ve connected with our audience on Instagram through polls, bingo, and interactive stories. We had to learn it all as we went along! Luckily, there is a how-to guide for everything on the internet. Don’t be afraid to do your research and learn something new. It can be fun! Recently, we even had a complete stranger reach out to us with a new opportunity because of our professional account. It’s been so rewarding to learn a new skill.
    • Tip: Canva is an easy-to-use graphic design app that makes it easy to draft up quick and attractive posts. It’s free too!! 
  4. Working together is SO inspiring.
    • Since we’ve begun our bookstagram, the three of us have been extra motivated to pursue our own personal goals. 
      1. Carina, who had a book blog long before our bookstagram, was inspired to completely revamp her website, bookitbabe.com. She was also the first of our group to take Canva graphic designs to the next level by making us a Quote this Book gif and custom book bingo that we shared with our followers. How cool is that?
      2. Danielle launched her own personal blog, bibliotrips.com, which has been her dream for years. Our bookstagram gave her that extra nudge to show her how rewarding it is to share your passions with friends and family. She also applied for a writing fellowship. Give it another year or so and you’ll see us posting about her first novel on our own bookstagram! You go, girl!
      3. I (Sophie), was inspired to get back into my own blogging endeavors with this blog! I even created a companion Sophie Explains Instagram account. I’m so excited to reach an even wider audience and create a community of goal-driven individuals. 
    • Tip: If you ever need a nudge to push your creative pursuits to the next level, reach out to your like-minded, passionate friends and create a group chat to discuss your goals, hold each-other accountable, and inspire each other! I promise it works!
  5. Reading is the best! 
    • It just is. End of story.
    • Tip: Check out my post on How to Rediscover Your Love of Reading. Now is the perfect time to dive into a good book, learn something new, gain understanding of someone different than yourself, or escape to a far-away land!

For AMAZING book recommendations check out: Quote this Book

Photo Credit: Sophie

Please also support some awesome, creative ladies:

Find Carina at bookitbabe.com

Find Danielle at bibliotrips.com

And follow Sophie Explains on Instagram and Facebook for more content.

Thank you!