Tag Archives: Instagram

As Seen on Bookstagram | A Never-Ending Unread TBR

After five years of blogging, sometimes it’s hard to come up with new ideas. So much has changed over the years, including my blogging style, many times over, and I’ve gotten so much more into taking photos and posting on Instagram as a part of my love of books and bookish merch!

In an attempt to keep things interesting and fun, I wanted to started a little something new for me where I take a post that I had originally shared on Instagram — or “bookstagram” for those in the book community — and took it a little further in a blog post. There’s a limited  number of characters that you can share on Insta and the point of those posts is more to get to the point, rather than writing a whole narrative, but sometimes each post deserves a few extra words, and “As Seen on Instagram” is a fun way for me to do that!

 

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I guess an unread TBR is redundant, but you know what I mean, right? The TBR keeps growing and all I can think about is how many books I still want and NEED to read. The ones I feel the most guilty about are the books that I’ve borrowed (seriously, don’t let me borrow things. Although I HAVE warned these people) and ones that I’ve purchased on friend recommendations.

I purchased PARALLEL (or did I get it as a gift? Gosh, I don’t even remember at this point. Maybe Goodreads knows but I’ve changed my shelves around a few times) a whiiiiile ago. Like, has to be years at this point. I know Andi (Andi’s ABCs) loves this book and it seems like a total me book! But with the TBR forever growing and less and less time to read, it’s still gone unread, sitting on my shelves even though it’s something that I really want to get to. (Don’t even get me started about the copy of TWIST that I’ve had at my house forever. I told Andi I’d take forever to read it. I didn’t think I meant this long!!)

Do you set priorities for the books you want to read? How do you figure out what you want to read next? Do you skip over high priority books that never get read??


How do you prioritize your TBR? Tell me in the comments below! What books have you been meaning to read for ages??

If you want to read the original post, check it out above or head to my Instagram page where you can follow for all kinds of bookish photo updates! 

As Seen on Bookstagram | A Bookish Candle & Bookish Coffee

After five years of blogging, sometimes it’s hard to come up with new ideas. So much has changed over the years, including my blogging style, many times over, and I’ve gotten so much more into taking photos and posting on Instagram as a part of my love of books and bookish merch!

In an attempt to keep things interesting and fun, I wanted to started a little something new for me where I take a post that I had originally shared on Instagram — or “bookstagram” for those in the book community — and took it a little further in a blog post. There’s a limited  number of characters that you can share on Insta and the point of those posts is more to get to the point, rather than writing a whole narrative, but sometimes each post deserves a few extra words, and “As Seen on Instagram” is a fun way for me to do that!

 

On Sunday, I managed to snag a small moment of relaxation before heading to the shop for another long day of making candles! These moments have been few and far between so it was extra special to take some time to drink my coffee and inhale the smells of one of my favorite bookish candles that I liked to save for weekend mornings!

Today I wanted to share a few of my favorite things with you and some recent bookish obsessions! These are some awesome companies that you should definitely check out if you haven’t already!

THE COFFEE | First, let’s start with the coffee. It’s bookish! There are so many tea companies out there but I’m really not a tea person so I was so excited to find a book-themed coffee company! They’re called Book Lover’s Coffee (easy enough to remember, right?) and they sell whole bean AND ground coffee. If you don’t have a coffee grinder for the whole bean products, you can request to have it ground prior to shipping so don’t let that hold you back! There are several different flavors and they run from generally bookish to relating directly to a book or series. My personal favorite is Book Haul which is vanilla and cinnamon! It comes pre-ground since the cinnamon pieces would be too hard on a normal grinder and it’s positively delicious! The pricing is pretty reasonable for a small business selling some pretty good coffee too!

THE MUG | This Ravenclaw mug is one of my new favorite things (well, I guess it’s not THAT new. I got it as a birthday gift last March (I can’t remember if it was Alyssa or Amy who got it for me but it was from my best friend — that covers it haha!) and it’s from Little Paper Mama! I actually don’t know if she’s still selling them (they’re not currently listed in her Etsy store as of today) but her lettering and artwork is gorgeous! She does have a Stars Hollow mug and lots of prints, bookmarks, and more! I love the lettering on this Ravenclaw mug and it’s simple yet perfect!

THE CANDLE | Last but certainly not least is my current favorite bookish candle. I love Laura from Three Knocks Candles and she sent this #amwriting candle to me and I am SO THANKFUL she did because since I’m not a writer, I probably wouldn’t have purchased it for myself… But the scents are heavenly!! I love Laura’s candles because she has an amazing knack for blends and some really creative ones that I wouldn’t normally think to put together (and I also do this for a living haha!). The #amwriting candle combines coffee, cedarwood, and patchouli which blends to create an earthy blend behind a coffee top note. I don’t normally like patchouli a whole lot but it really adds to the feel of the candle more than taking center stage, and I never knew that cedar and coffee made such an interesting combination! It’s my favorite candle to burn in the mornings while I’m drinking my coffee and I highly recommend it, writer or not!


Have you tried any of these bookish companies? What’s your go-to for candles & coffee?

If you want to read the original post, check it out above or head to my Instagram page where you can follow for all kinds of bookish photo updates! 

** Note: I am not a rep for any of these companies nor did they ask me to post about their products, but some if not all of them have Instagram reps with coupon codes so be sure to check out their pages to find those! I’m just sharing things that I love! ** 

As Seen on Bookstagram | All the Crooked Saints

After five years of blogging, sometimes it’s hard to come up with new ideas. So much has changed over the years, including my blogging style, many times over, and I’ve gotten so much more into taking photos and posting on Instagram as a part of my love of books and bookish merch!

In an attempt to keep things interesting and fun, I wanted to started a little something new for me where I take a post that I had originally shared on Instagram — or “bookstagram” for those in the book community — and took it a little further in a blog post. There’s a limited  number of characters that you can share on Insta and the point of those posts is more to get to the point, rather than writing a whole narrative, but sometimes each post deserves a few extra words, and “As Seen on Instagram” is a fun way for me to do that!

 

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Yesterday was the release date for ALL THE CROOKED SAINTS and I’m still stalled on page 56. I had actually put the book down to pick back up as audio once it was released because Maggie Stiefvater’s writing is so important that it was too hard to read this book on my lunch break at work when everyone else is talking. I wasn’t able to concentrate like I needed to and I was having a hard time getting into the book without being able to focus on the writing so I decided to wait and let the audiobook focus for me!

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of The Raven Cycle and THE SCORPIO RACES. I adore Maggie Steifvater’s writing and how much she gets readers invested in characters while another detailed plot is forming. I had started reading ALL THE CROOKED SAINTS and I didn’t feel that character investment yet and I knew it was my headspace so I’m excited to start it over again as an audiobook! I borrowed the audio from Hoopla (woo!) and started it this morning so instead of picking up where I left off, I’m just going to restart from the beginning so I can pick up anything I missed.

Already, the writing is similar to the books that I love and it’s also very different. Just by changing the setting, a whole new tone is set up and maybe it wasn’t a bright idea to binge re-read The Raven Cycle because I need to adjust my brain to allow myself to fall into the setting of ATCS. I’m trying to let myself be pulled into the book, which I think might be easier now that I’m listening, so I’m interested to see how it goes!

I was also having a hard time with the religious tones because I’m not a religious person and sometimes it’s a turn-off. I mean, “saints” is IN THE TITLE so I don’t know what I’m expecting but I’m curious to see what the Stiefvater spin is on this concept and what the miracles and miracle-workers actually are. It still seems like there are a lot of magical realism elements which I’ve been enjoying lately so I hope it’s something I’m able to connect with!


Have you read ALL THE CROOKED SAINTS already? No spoilers — how did you feel about it? Is it easy for any Stiefvater fan to enjoy or do you have to enjoy specific elements?

If you want to read the original post, check it out above or head to my Instagram page where you can follow for all kinds of bookish photo updates! 

As Seen on Bookstagram | Subscription Boxes

After five years of blogging, sometimes it’s hard to come up with new ideas. So much has changed over the years, including my blogging style, many times over, and I’ve gotten so much more into taking photos and posting on Instagram as a part of my love of books and bookish merch!

In an attempt to keep things interesting and fun, I wanted to started a little something new for me where I take a post that I had originally shared on Instagram — or “bookstagram” for those in the book community — and took it a little further in a blog post. There’s a limited  number of characters that you can share on Insta and the point of those posts is more to get to the point, rather than writing a whole narrative, but sometimes each post deserves a few extra words, and “As Seen on Instagram” is a fun way for me to do that!

 

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I’ve dabbled in a few bookish subscription boxes and certainly have my favorites. Owlcrate is one of the largest, most-respected, and well-establish bookish sub boxes and the one I purchase from the most! I love the care that goes into each box and each item is from a high-quality bookish shop. This was an unboxing for September’s Owlcrate which was the theme of Mythical Creatures. I’m not a big creature person but I had (correctly) guessed the book which I knew I wanted and the promise of a Book Beau lured me in (before the manufacturing drama hit)!

I wanted to share a little more about this Instagram post on my blog today because I wanted to talk a little bit more about my experiences with purchasing subscription boxes! If you want to see more about the items in the September Owlcrate box, head on over to the photo above for links to each shop and a description of each item! 

I can’t even imagine what it’s like to own a subscription box company! I’m a perfectionist at heart and I want EVERYONE to be happy ALL THE TIME and with so many different items in a box that are all a surprise, it’s impossible to keep every single subscriber happy, but it’s also part of the charm and part of the fun. I do like surprises so I keep on coming back but I also am the worst kind of bookish  box subscriber because I’m so picky about my fandoms! I’m the black sheep on some of the bigger ones, haven’t read others, and then there are times when I’m subscribing for my fandom and it’s for an item that I don’t like or won’t use. It’s funny because one of my favorite boxes was less specific fandom items, more geared toward the theme and I loved it because I didn’t feel like I was missing out on any fandoms.

I don’t like writing negative posts so I don’t want this to feel like a negative thing about this box. It’s more of a general subscription box + me post. I’ve been having a hard time justifying spending money on subscription boxes lately. While I can always appreciate the quality of the items selected for any given sub box, IT’S ME. It really is. I usually pick out two or three things that I’m excited for out of … five? six? seven items? So it’s starting to get discouraging when I feel like I’m giving more away than I’m keeping, and again — that’s no fault of sub box company. I’m too far outside of a “normal” subscriber to appreciate everything. I’m outside of the fandoms, or not wanting jewelry, or not using bath items, or not wanting coin purses. I mean, this is why my friends tell me I’m hard to buy for at the holidays HAHA.

It really is me, and I know that. I but I think I may have to start saving my pennies and NOT subscribing and then seeing if there are any leftover boxes or finding a way to make a trade if there’s an item I really, really want. I know Owlcrate has a Buy/Sell/Trade group — for their items AND other young adult books/merch/sub boxes — and I’m a member of it but I’ve never actually done any buying/selling/trading, although it is appealing. But that involves me gathering up all those items which I just don’t have time for. I also have a hard time selling the items, which is silly but also not. I paid for the items so it only makes sense to be monetarily compensated for them if someone else wants them… But I also hate selling another shop’s item. I don’t feel like it’s mine to sell and often times, those items are sold for way more than the shop might retail them which just feels icky. I get that part of it is to cover shipping costs but sometimes it’s not and I just haven’t been able to bring myself to do that. I’m more likely to engage in a trade but then I’m being picky about what I’m trading for and we’re right back where we started!

One thing I have enjoyed is using some of those items as bookstagram props, even if I won’t actually use them for their intended purpose! The Pride & Prejudice headband from Storiarts was lovely but I surely can’t pull that look off, so I’ve been using it as a literary background to add a touch of black and a splash of words to my photos! I’ve also used a gorgeous Harry Potter-inspired necklace as a prop for some Harry Potter photos and a nautical necklace for some ocean/sea themes. I absolutely love them both but I don’t really wear jewelry and I never wear necklaces so this was a fun way to still put those items to use even if I’m not wearing them.

When it comes down to it, I’ve decided to cancel most of my subscriptions and just buy the box after the fact (if I can) unless it’s something fandom-specific. Nerdy Post’s boxes are based off of specific fandoms (like this Harry Potter one!) each month so it’s hard to be disappointed, but that’s resulted in me skipping several months because of fandoms I’m not a part of. It feels more satisfactory but I have to be more vigilant about unsubscribing and resubscribing when I need to. I’ve been more happy with one-off boxes like ones from The Bookish Box where they appeal to a specific book or fandom like their Princess Bride box or their Harry Potter House box! I loved both of those and almost all of the items in there so it was so much easier to feel like I was getting my money’s worth there!

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when you forget to unsubscribe to a specific month and take a photo anyway… 

I love the idea of subscription boxes but I think I need to know when they might just not be for me. I’ve been leaning more towards boxes with specific fandom-themes that I know I’ll love and I’ll sign up for that surprise, but it’s so hard to have a box appeal to all of my fandoms when they’re either so small in number or so far spread in genre!


Do you regularly subscribe to any bookish sub boxes? What are some of your favorites? Do you have the dreaded fandom problem like I do? (Aka being too picky haha!)

If you want to read the original post, check it out above or head to my Instagram page where you can follow for all kinds of bookish photo updates! 

As Seen on Bookstagram | The Cozy Life

After five years of blogging, sometimes it’s hard to come up with new ideas. So much has changed over the years, including my blogging style, many times over, and I’ve gotten so much more into taking photos and posting on Instagram as a part of my love of books and bookish merch!

In an attempt to keep things interesting and fun, I wanted to started a little something new for me where I take a post that I had originally shared on Instagram — or “bookstagram” for those in the book community — and took it a little further in a blog post. There’s a limited  number of characters that you can share on Insta and the point of those posts is more to get to the point, rather than writing a whole narrative, but sometimes each post deserves a few extra words, and “As Seen on Instagram” is a fun way for me to do that!

 

A post shared by Brittany S. (@bookaddictsguide) on

I recently shared a post featuring this Little Mermaid print from Nerdy Post‘s Disney box from a few months back on top of some book cozies from The Cozy Life. The photo just started out as me digging through my “Instagram Prop Box” to see what I hadn’t photographed in a while — if ever — and I hadn’t even taken a close-up of this beautiful print with a quite from The Little Mermaid! I tend to play around with the layout of my photos a lot and didn’t like the first shot of the print by itself, so I put it on top of my stack of book sleeves from my favorite book sleeve company, The Cozy Life.

Even more inspiration to write this post today was that I went a little overboard on Steffani’s restock yesterday with some really fun fall and flannel prints! I realized that I didn’t have a book sleeve big enough to fit my RENEGADES ARC and since I tote my books around in my purse, it really needs one! My purse is a tad too small and I’m not exactly gentle with it so I need that extra cushion and protection so I don’t beat up my books!

On my Instagram post, I had shared a little bit about how I came to purchase from The Cozy Life. Book Beau was the big name in book sleeves on the scene at the time but I never had luck snagging one before they were all sold out, and I got really discouraged in many ways. I gave up for a little bit until I found The Cozy Life! I purchased one of Steffani’s book sleeves and fell in love! I was hoping to grab a book sleeve before I had to leave to stay in Indiana at the hospital with my husband for two months and I REALLY wanted to get a sleeve before I left so I knew I could keep my books safe, both in transit and while I was staying somewhere new. I had ordered my very first and left a note in the comments for Steffani, letting her know my situation and that I had to leave in a few days, requesting if possible for it to be shipped quickly but being a small business myself, I know that’s not always possible so I totally understood if she couldn’t. My Cozy shipped immediately, arrived in lovely packaging, and was just beautiful! I became an instant fan and have only shopped at The Cozy Life since!

Steffani has three different sized book sleeves (and I love that they’re named after trees): Sapling, which is meant to hold ereaders and mass market paperbacks; Pine, which is meant to hold paperbacks and smaller hardcovers; and Redwood, which is meant to hold larger hardcovers and thicker books! I had instantly purchased a Pine and later followed up with another Pine and a Sapling. I just snagged my first Redwood yesterday and I can’t wait to receive it!

I’ve loved everything I’ve received so far and I’m so excited for my new fall book sleeves! I got a few flannel prints that will also work well for winter and I can’t wait to show them off on Instagram too!

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Do you have any book sleeves from The Cozy Life? Which prints have been your favorites? I didn’t think I needed more than one in each size but I’ve somehow become addicted and need different seasonal ones! Damn you, collector’s spirit!

If you want to read the original post, check it out above or head to my Instagram page where you can follow for all kinds of bookish photo updates! 

Social Media Support Sunday | Instagram

Social Media Support Sunday

Social Media Support Sunday is an idea I’ve been fiddling with for a long time now in various forms. There are SO many times where I realize I’m not following some of my friends on social media somehow or I’m looking for new accounts to follow and I just have no idea where to begin. Sometimes we get stuck in our own social groups on social media or just the opposite — get lost in the sea of social media users and followers — that it’s hard to find new accounts. I’ve also been toying with the idea of posting “social media hacks” (which are really just any tips or tricks I’ve learned over the years). I don’t claim to be an expert on any social media site but I find that it’s always helpful to share information because you never know who has been looking for just that thing for a long time! I decided to combine these two things into Social Media Support Sunday with the hopes that I can help some book bloggers who are aiming to grow their social media presence in the easiest way possible!
Note: These posts are not designed to tell people “how to” or “how not to” use social media. They are simply packed full of helpful information to get knowledge out to people about various functions on social media sites that they may not be aware of or would like to learn more about. I am in no way saying there is a right or wrong way to run your social media accounts! The “best” way can only be determined by each individual user!

Over the next few Sundays, I’ll be doing features for multiple social media accounts that a prevalent in the book blogging community/book industry. Hang tight for:

TWITTER (11/8/15) | GOODREADS (11/15/15) | INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST


I’m always in awe of people’s gorgeous Instagram photos and I’m not going to lie… I try my hand at coming up with some beautiful ones too but let’s be honest. I’m no photographer. Try as I might, my Instagram photos still suffer from so many photography faux pas but it doesn’t stop me from trying! Anyway, this post isn’t really about how to take better Instagram photos because A) that’s not the goal here and B) I’m not the best person to offer that advice but I WILL offer up some of the things that I’ve learned to help those photos look even a little bit better so you’ll see a couple very basic photography tips (since that is the only knowledge I possess haha)!

Instagram is a hard social media outlet to really give tips/details on since most of the results are dependent on how you photograph and how you edit… Because of that, this post will be a LITTLE bit heavier on the “how-to” tips instead of just detailing features you may not have known about Instagram but please —  I am not a photographer so note that these are “tips” from an amateur and maybe geared a bit more towards Instagram beginners vs. long-time pros and of course, you can take or leave any of them!

INSTAGRAM BASICS

Instagram is fairly user-friendly but just in case you’re looking to start a new Instagram account or are looking for more details on the main functions, here’s what I got for ya:

Instagram basics

  • Search. Most of the basics of Instagram are pretty self-explanatory (locations explained more below) and easy to catch on with some exploration but the search function is pretty nice! You can search for a user, for a hashtag (which is helpful if you’re a host of a feature/event that’s using a hashtag!), and even photos tagged in a specific location.

TAKING A PHOTO

  • Photo set-up. Photo set-up is something that I’m still learning. I’m trying to organize things in an appealing fashion but sometimes it feels like something you need to learn or something you have a natural eye for (neither of which I have). It also depends on how you really want your pictures to turn out and again, is personal preference (yadda, yadda, repetition) but I enjoy neat backgrounds that don’t distract from the main objects or on the flip side, enhance them. I usually try to fit everything in the frame nice and neat but often times my “accessories” that I include for decoration clutter it up or I’m trying to photograph too many books and they just don’t fit well together. I’m always checking out other accounts for inspiration (INSPIRATION. Please do not copy other people’s photos. Obviously, but you know. I have to say it.) to see how they’re arranging things and what I might be doing wrong. An angle here or clutter there can really make a difference.
  • Your camera. I actually have a nice DSLR camera that I ended up using when I broke my iPhone 5 screen and had to temporarily switch back down to a 4S (the phone was SO crappy that I couldn’t take any decent picture with it). I found that my pictures were so much better. They were higher quality, clearer, and the focus was better as well. I know we don’t all have DSLR cameras but if you do have one and are willing to do the work to photograph, upload to a computer, and then email to yourself to get it on your phone (seriously. That’s the work I do sometimes because the pictures are that much better and there’s no fancy email function on my camera (I WISH)), then that might be a nice idea!
  • Screen size. Any time I take a photo with my phone that I know is going to Instagram, I take it on the square setting instead of the regular rectangular option (on the iPhone). It will allow for less editing later and better composition because you can see how things will fit inside of that square frame.
  • Multiple photos & angles. I always, always take tons of pictures of the same thing from different angles, with flash on/off, positioned in lighting differently, etc. There have been too many times where I take one picture, disassemble my set-up, and then realize it was a terrible photo. I’m either stuck with a bad photo or nothing. Taking many different photos allows more options to choose from and I never, EVER take a picture through the Instagram app. I always take a picture with my camera so in case I do something and accidentally close out of the app, my photo isn’t gone forever.

PHOTO EDITING

  • Filters. Filters are one thing I instantly ran with when I first signed up for Instagram and the app has many, many filters to choose from. I loved the variety they added to my pictures and it was an easy way to edit and get creative. Personally, I don’t use a lot of the pre-set filters anymore because I’ve started to get pickier about the lighting, color, and sharpness of my photos so I’ve opted to manually edit things myself but the filters are always there for a quick and easy edit option. Once you choose a pre-set filter, you can also tap on the filter you selected again (or double-tap) to see a scale of how you want that filter to be used. The auto-setting is 100 and you can scale down from there.
  • Borders. Each pre-set filter comes with a pre-set border. You can find that border on the filter screen (when you double tap to adjust), one the right side of the screen. I also don’t really use borders so much anymore because I don’t like the way they look in my feed but as always, it’s a personal preference!
  • Tools. The tools menu is the thing I use the most. Instead of the pre-set filters, I generally adjust lighting, saturation, highlights, shadows, sharpness, angles/cropping, and more from this menu. I find it’s easier to get that final finish that I’m really looking for and I think the pictures come out nicer if I edit them on my own instead of trying to get a filter to do the job. It’s usually just a matter of playing around with things and seeing how they affect a photo for me.

instagram filters & tools

  • Photo editing apps. I don’t always use Instagram for my photo editing and other people swear by outside apps to do a better job for them. (They really do a great job — sometimes I’m just lazy and I go straight to Insta.) Ones that I’ve used are Aviary and VSCO. Both of these apps offer similar photo editing options to Instagram’s tools but each one is a little bit different and may offer you a better edit on your photo depending on how you use them.
  • Editing once you’ve posted. The nice thing about Instagram vs Twitter is that if you screw up a caption or hashtag, you CAN edit after you’ve posted. The not nice thing is that you can’t edit your photo at all. If you end up with a picture you don’t like, you have to delete and start all over if you decide not to keep it. If you do decide to immediately scrap it, copy your caption, start over, and then paste that same caption so you don’t have to do THAT all over again! You can also add/remove a location once you’ve posted a photo and add/remove a tag.

SHARING

  • Cross-posting. I link up other social media accounts (specifically Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook (to my blog’s page, not my personal page)) and cross-post my photo so people who aren’t following me on Instagram can still see, or someone who’s on another social media networking site will be brought to my Instagram page. You can set up which accounts you want to cross-post to by going to your options and selecting “Linked Accounts”. From there you can add more social media accounts that Instagram will also post to. These are NOT automatically selected when you post a photo to Instagram so you do have to manually select them each time you post — or leave them unselected if you don’t want to cross-post. NOTE! If you link up your Facebook account and you want it to post to a PAGE and not your personal account, you do need to go in and select that and maketagging instagram sure your personal Facebook feed is not selected.
  • Mentioning vs. Tagging. You can tag a specific account in a photo instead of just mentioning them. What’s the difference? A mention is just using that person’s handle in your photo’s caption. They will be notified by Instagram that they’ve been mentioned and that’s about it. Ever tap on a photo and see that little black box pop up with someone’s name in it? That’s someone who has been tagged! The main difference is that besides showing up as “in” the photo, you can go to your own profile (and other people’s profiles) and see “Photos of You”/”Photos of X user” so other people will be able to see the photos you’ve been tagged in whereas they cannot see which captions you’ve been mentioned in.
  • Location. You can add locations to your Instagram photos too. If you allow it, the app will pick up on where you are and it will make suggestions for you in the screen where you enter your caption, etc. If you don’t like those suggestions, you can always search for your own. A nice thing about Instagram’s location feature is that if you do a #latergram (or post any time you’ve moved out of the area where the picture was taken), you can actually search and tag any location at all, unlike some check-in apps that will only pick up what’s in your immediate area. Anything has a location attached to it will be included on your map of photos in your profile. NOTE! If your smartphone automatically geotags your photos, they WILL be added to this map aka, if you ever take pictures in your house and post them to Instagram, they’ll show up on your map. (I had 585 photos tagged at my home and then went to edit and remove them all so it wasn’t traceable to my actual address. Good thing I looked!!) Here are some instructions on how to turn that off on your iPhone/iPad if you want to do it that way. You can also keep the geotag on your phone, if you so desire, and then remove the tag in Instagram after you’ve posted.
  • Hashtags. I think we pretty much all know how to use hashtags by now but I’ve seen a lot of questions on how many is the “right” amount to use. Honestly, that’s a question that may not have an answer. I’ve seen some “advice articles” say to keep it minimal and I’ve seen others say to get a good mix in there but no more than 10-15 and if you need more, add them as a comment instead of in the caption. Honestly, I think it’s a personal preference thing. As a book blogger, I feel like it’s common to throw a whole crap ton of hashtags on a picture because we’re used to using our social media platforms as “advertising” for our blogs. Personally, they don’t bother me and I do feel like they’re helpful! I always hashtag my book pictures with #books, #bookstagram, and #instabooks because they’re some of the most popular hashtags for book-lovers!

Linking accounts to Instagram

locations instagram

ICONOSQUARE

  • Iconosquare. Iconosquare is a really helpful tool that I began using in order to facilitate the use of Instagram from a desktop/laptop and not on my phone. I can’t be on my phone all day at work and I hate typing a ton on my phone when typing on a computer keyboard is so much faster… So I use Iconosquare to check up on my #weeklybookstagram hashtags to make sure I catch them all and to reply to comments instead of doing that from my phone. It’s also a great place if you’re looking to check in on Instagram stats. It’ll tell you who’s followed you/unfollowed you, most-commented photo, most-liked photo, and really so much more. I use the free version but you can upgrade to a paid version if you really need more in-depth stats.

INSTAGRAM LINK-UP

Here’s the part where we share and explore! Feel free to add your Instagram account to help others find you on Insta! Part of this process is also to find other people to follow and for us to support each other on social media so please do click on at least a few accounts that you don’t currently follow to check them out. It’s just a common courtesy since people will be doing the same for you!! Try to find at least a couple accounts to follow, or follow back some people who will be new followers to you. This is all about community!

Some of us have Instagram user names that are different than our blogs/other social media accounts so please add your first name and your Goodreads user name to the “name” section. (So for me it would be “Brittany/bookaddictsguide” — I’ll get it kicked off here!) Your link should be the link to your Instagram account, NOT your blog! 

I know most of us use Instagram strictly from our phones but you DO have a URL for your Instagram account. You can find it by signing in with your credentials on Instagram.com OR just insert your username at the end of http://www.instagram.com/ (for example, mine is http://www.instagram.com/bookaddictsguide).

** This feature is mostly directed to book bloggers since I feel like that is who will use it most but authors and other active book community members are also welcome to link up and share as well! Again… community! ** 

My Latest Bookish Addiction [15] – Instagram

MLBA

In keeping with the theme of my blog, I decided to start bringing you updates of the newest and greatest bookish addictions in my life so I can share with you some awesomely bookish things or discuss if maybe we share the same bookish loves. It seemed like a great way to get a little discussion going in a very relaxed way.

This Edition’s Bookish Addiction? Instagram!

Instagram isn’t really a bookish thing… but I never used it before I started blogging (I didn’t even know what it was until I saw fellow bloggers posting pictures of books on Instagram) so it’s always been a bookish platform for me! My account is pretty much all books, all the time with some personal pictures thrown in every once in a while. I don’t know why but lately I’ve become a little bit obsessed with posting bookish pictures so Instagram seemed like the perfect topic for My Latest Bookish Addiction!

I’ve always been interested in photography and wanted to take Photography as an elective class in high school but I had to buy my own camera. I wasn’t quite willing to shell out the dough for it so my dreams of taking that class fell by the wayside. A few years back, Shane actually bought me a really nice DLSR camera for my birthday but I usually just use that for vacations, landscapes, and some creative photos which never turn out well. (I’m really not a very good photographer so I just bring it to special occasions.)

A photo posted by Brittany S. (@bookaddictsguide) on

Anyone can be a photographer with a smartphone (again, I’m still not a good one) and I really enjoyed the fact that I could take a quick picture, post it on Instagram, and I avoided all of the steps to email or upload a photo in order to share it! I’m (very) slowly learning how to take better photos and it’s been a lot of fun working on my Instagrams! I spend way too much time setting up and staging pictures but it’s worth it to see the results when they actually turn out well! I mostly just really love sharing pictures of books in any way, shape, or form — new books, according to a theme, recapping the week, what I’m currently reading — and I NEVER get tired of seeing everyone else’s beautiful book pictures!   I also love doing book tags on Instagram! Sometimes it’s hard to come up with picture ideas on my own and not get tedious (I’m sure you’re already sick of constant pictures of The Lunar Chronicles and The Grisha Trilogy…) so I love getting tagged to participate in a specific themed hashtag! I think it’s really fun and a great way to keep ideas and pictures flowing!

I used to participate in photo-a-day challenges but life just got too hectic to keep up daily! Since my Instagram obsession was growing, I decided to try my hand at creating my own challenge — a weekly one instead of daily — and titled it #weeklybookstagram! I have a post detailing all the ins and outs of the challenge but it’s really fairly easy — just post once a week (any time during the week) according to the theme! The next round of themes starts TODAY so you can hop in now or really at any point in time! It’s never too late to start 🙂

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Are you on Instagram? Love bookish photos? Let’s be friends!
The Book Addict’s Guide on Instagram: @bookaddictsguide

#weeklybookstagram | A New Instagram Photo Challenge!

I’ve recently become quite a bit more obsessed with Instagram and I pretty much find any excuse to post pictures of books and bookish things! I first started Instagramming about two years ago and really got into it at BEA 2013 when Alyssa introduced me to Book Soulmate‘s Instagram challenge (#BSMPhotoADay) to take a new picture each day, with each month having a theme. I immediately hopped on for June and loved the idea but I kept forgetting to take a picture one day or put it off another. Some days I’d catch up but I ended up giving up the project because I just couldn’t keep up with it from day-to-day, even though I really wanted to!

Years later, I’m growing even more obsessed with Instagram — sharing my own pictures and checking out everyone else’s (I LOVE book pictures!) — and I wanted to pick up #BSMPhotoADay again but realistically, I knew that I just wouldn’t be able to keep up. I tried searching for a weekly challenge but I Googled and searched in IG high and low and couldn’t find a weekly hashtag… so I wanted to create one of my own!

#weeklybookstagram is going to be my new weekly bookish Instagram project. I’ll post a schedule of weekly themes and participants can post any time during the week (or multiple times if you’re really an over-achiever *wink*) and just use the hashtag #weeklybookstagram to play along! Some themes will be somewhat specific and others more vague so you can play around with the idea and interpret it how you want to! I just want everyone to have fun with it! So without further ado, here’s the schedule for the first round of #weeklybookstagram!

#weeklybookstagramApr20toMay31

Feel free to have fun with these topics! You can snap a simple picture or get a little bit more creative. No matter what it is, I’m excited to see your bookish photos!  I’ll be posting the image above on Instagram and Twitter to invite everyone to play along and you should feel free to do the same!

The first week will officially start on Monday, April 20th and this little schedule goes through the end of May. I’ll post a new set of weekly topics once the end of May is nearing!

  • 04/20 – 04/26: April Showers
  • 04/27 – 05/03: Into the Woods (not the musical/movie — find some woodsy bookish themes!)
  • 05/04 – 05/10: Stack it!
  • 05/18 – 05/24: Pastels
  • 05/25 – 05/31: Circles

TAG IT!
#weeklybookstagram
INSTAGRAM: @bookaddictsguide
TWITTER @bookaddictguide

Sound like fun? I hope so! I’m really looking forward to this project/challenge so I hope you’ll join me once a week to share your bookish pictures!


Are you obsessed with sharing your bookish pictures? Here are a few of the Instagram memes & hashtags that I know about — feel free to share more if you know them!

I know I’m missing TONS so if you participate in any photo challenges (book-related, please), do let me know so I can add them to the list! I’m not participating in any at the moment so they’re hard for me to remember but I want to give shout outs to all of the photo challenge hosts!

Book Blogger Love-A-Thon: Snapshots

BANNER - 2015 LOVEATHON

2015 Book Blogger Love-a-Thon
Hosted by: Alexa Loves Books
Dates: February 21-22, 2015, 9AM-9PM EST

SNAPSHOTS

I love taking pictures of my books! Oh boy do I ever… so if you follow me on Instagram, that’s about 95% (maybe more?) of my pictures. I’ve been in and out this Love-A-Thon but I can’t resist sharing some of my favorite Instagrams of all-time!

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My recap after ALA this year! Holy cow, I did not do well at restraining myself… but SOOO many good titles!

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 12.52.25 PMMy Grisha collection grows!!! I just swapped recently for the ARC of Shadow and Bone and I couldn’t resist showing off the collection all together! 

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So of course we need a picture of my Lunar Chronicles collection too… 

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When I finally got to meet Marissa Meyer back in October!! 

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With my besties at BEA! <3 

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And a picture of my favorite thing in my house… My bookcase! Gahhh, it makes me happy every time I see it. 

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And this might be my favorite little section!

Seriously Social! Survey, Infographic, and Giveaway

One of the things I really wanted to do in 2014 was work on my social media. I’m on Twitter a LOT but I tend to neglect the other forms of social media on my blog like Facebook and Pinterest, and let’s be honest — I have no idea what I’m doing on Tumblr.

There are SO many forms of social media to use for your blog that I really wanted to explore what other bloggers had to say and see what we think is best for our blogs. I created the “Seriously Social Survey” to check out what other bloggers had to say! I collected all the data, spent lots and lots of time on this infographic and HERE IT IS!

Social Media Infographic Survey

 So what do you guys think? Agree with the general results?  Twitter seemed to take the cake on almost everything, including most visually appealing which I was actually surprised about!

THE NEGATIVES

  • FACEBOOK. Facebook was declared the least popular form of social media. You guys said that Facebook is the social media site that’s on its way out, especially with Facebook users having to pay for ads in order to reach news feeds. This pretty much renders most blog Facebook pages useless, in my personal opinion. I know I’ve noticed that I’m getting FAR less views on my Facebook posts and that really discourages me to use it as a form of social media because it becomes far more work than it’s worth. That seems to be a general consensus with Facebook also being the website that was voted the most work to maintain and a chore to keep updated.
  • DRAMA. There seems to be an increase in author/blogger drama this year (which I try my best to avoid!) with the most drama-filled websites being Twitter (61%) and Goodreads following (19%).
  • TOO MANY SOCIAL MEDIA SITES. Like blogging, updating social media should be fun, but there’s no denying that sometimes trying to cover all the bases gets overwhelming. If you try to keep up with all of the social media sites you can use to promote your blog, it becomes quite a chore to post to ALL of them. We already mentioned that Facebook was the biggest chore, but Pinterest wasn’t too far behind. Juuuuust behind Pinterest were Goodreads (which I was surprised!) and Twitter (even more surprised).

IMPORTANT THINGS TO TAKE AWAY

  • TWITTER IS KING. Twitter is the winner for almost all of the positives and seems to be a crucial way to interact with bloggers, authors, AND publishers. Ever since I joined Twitter, I can clearly see how it’s the most valuable social media site for bloggers! Even with its occasional drama, it’s still the most important blogging tool when it comes to social media, and there are ways to avoid the drama if you don’t want to see it in your feed. It was also a landslide vote that aside from directly emailing an author or publisher, Twitter was the best way to interact with them!
  • UP-AND-COMING SOCIAL MEDIA. Twitter was also voted the most up-and-coming social media site, but that may be because it’s just so dang popular. The survey-takers also had their eye on Tumblr and Instagram being used more and more for promoting blog posts and reaching out to followers. What else do we need to keep an eye out for? StumbleUpon, Snapchat, and Vines. StumbleUpon isn’t so much used for social media but is a good place to start posting your blog posts to help get them out there in the blogosphere!
  • DONT OVER PROMOTE. It can be a little overwhelming with bloggers promoting their posts all over the internet. I think the most important thing is to make sure you mix it up! I totally think it’s okay to promote your links a few times a day on places like Twitter where information comes and goes within minutes or even seconds before it’s out of sight, but Twitter also really supports our blogging community and it’s also where we talk to each other. If ALL you’re doing on Twitter is promoting yourself, it’ll get tiring fast. I asked if using a large amount of social media and various forms is helpful or hurtful and 27% people agreed HELPFUL — you need to connect with people wherever you can. A whopping 71% of people said it’s a mix of both. It’s helpful to cross-promote, using different sites to reach different groups of people but seeing the same links over and over can get tiresome. Only 2% said that large amounts of social media is absolutely hurtful.
  • NEW SITES CREATED BY BLOGGERS. There are some awesome new sites made just for bloggers by bloggers. If you’re not aware of them yet, you should definitely go check out BookBlogging.net and Literally.io! They’re still being developed although BookBlogging.net has been around for longer and is much further developed at this point, definitely keep a lookout for both of these to really start taking off!

SOUND BITES FROM THE BLOGGERS

  • “FB on its way out is maybe more wishful thinking than anything else. I’ve never used it for blogging, only personal, and I hate how it works. I think if everyone who complained about it would stop using it, instead of sticking with it out of habit, the site would lose a lot of its power to do anything for its advertisers with no regard for its users.” (Maybe we should all stop using it… I actually think I might shut mine down soon seeing the results of this survey!) 
  • “My only comment is about over promoting. Making sure you space out your tweets, making them interesting without all ME ME ME. It’s difficult and I think it takes time and finesse to get there. Also, people need to turn off their Pinterest updates via Twitter. No one needs to see that.” (See: overpromoting.)
  • “I don’t really distinguish between my personal and ‘blog’ social media. I don’t want social media to feel like it’s a chore or a job and I’m not so worried about privacy, so I don’t see the need (plus I do social media for work, so this would be triple rather than double duty for me).” (I totally agree with this! My personal life, although initially completely separate, easily seeps into my blogging social media accounts. I often Tweet about daily life and post personal pictures on Instagram as well!) 
  • “I try to only post positive things on social media and only @ authors if my review is a 4 or 5. I have no desire to get sucked into the drama.” (Yay, no drama! I still post my negative reviews but I don’t mention the authors or publicists on Twitter if it’s a negative or generally blah review.)

GIVEAWAY

So that’s it for the Seriously Social Survey! I hope you guys got some great insights and I have to thank you again for all of the awesome responses!
Now that we’ve got some fresh ideas and thoughts from other bloggers, let’s get connected! In 2014, I really wanted to work on connecting with people through social media other than Twitter. Let’s get together! If you already follow me through various social media sites, you get bonus entires in the giveaway below! Don’t follow yet? It’s never too late! Let me know what social media sites you use and I can follow you back!

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Enter to win this stack of books! One winner will receive them all! It’s a mix of ARCs, hardcovers, and paperbacks (and the one on the top is a spiral-bound copy of The Break-Up Artist). Good luck!!!
Must be 13 or older to enter — Sorry, US and Canada only!

a Rafflecopter giveaway