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Here’s How a Bookstagram Can Get You Free Books

This side by side photo shows a photo of Megan Putnam with a book in hand and one of the books she's ready from her Instagram. She is a bookstagrammer.


Megan Putnam has been a bookstagrammer for 10 years. “I started bookstagram during a time in my life when I desperately needed a creative outlet,” she stated. “I used to be a keep at dwelling mother with two small youngsters, an avid reader and was typically at dwelling.” Photo courtesy of Megan Putnam

When Whitney Richardson’s library closed because of the pandemic, she was at a loss. She missed her provide of free books and e-book suggestions.

“I looked at my husband and said, ‘What do I read now?’“ said Richardson, a speech therapist from Evansville, Ill. “My librarian and I have a good relationship. She usually suggested books for me.”

She began looking out on-line for e-book suggestions, and that’s how she found the bookstagram neighborhood.

Bookstagrammers — individuals who put up opinions and pictures of books on Instagram — say their interest supplies a artistic outlet and connects them with different readers.

It additionally will get them free books.

Richardson was impressed, so she began her personal Instagram account (@whitfulreads).  Two months later, she’s already obtained greater than 30 books from publishers.

Megan Putnam has been a bookstagrammer for for much longer — nearly 10 years. The mom of two and psychological well being counselor began her bookstagram as a result of she needed a artistic outlet. Her Instagram account (@_popreads_) now has greater than 5,000 followers.

“I started bookstagram during a time in my life when I desperately needed a creative outlet,” she stated. “I was a stay at home mom with two small kids, an avid reader and was often at home.”

We requested Richardson and Putnam to share their greatest ideas and recommendation for aspiring bookstagrammers. Here’s what they informed us.

Make Your Reviews Stand Out

While many bookstagrammers put up the assessment that the writer or writer has offered on Amazon, Richardson writes her personal.

“I think that kind of sets me apart,” she stated. That additionally helped her develop her viewers.

“I posted my reviews and was really honest and raw about them,” Richardson stated. “When I first started I had about 100 followers, and in a matter of two months that was up to around 1,100 followers.”

Richardson additionally stated she solely writes opinions for books she actually likes: “If I don’t like it a lot, I’ll use the review from Amazon or Goodreads.”

Connect with Publishers and Authors

Richardson has gotten on lists of publishers like HarperCollins, each by actively reaching out to them and by making her contact info accessible on her Instagram account.

“I’ve had quite a few up-and-coming publishers contact me just through Instagram and ask, ‘If I sent you this book, would you be willing to read it and share your review?’” Richardson stated. “I said, ‘Absolutely, send it my way.’ I always want to learn about new authors out there.”

Putnam additionally talked about bookstagram tour teams as a strategy to get free books whereas additionally supporting authors and publishers. Bookstagram excursions are organized by publishers and authors, who ship free advance copies of books to bookstagrammers. In return, the bookstagrammers are anticipated to put up concerning the e-book on agreed-upon days. The finish objective is to generate as a lot pleasure and curiosity within the e-book as attainable.

And at all times be certain that to tag the authors and publishers in your posts.

“I usually try to tag authors and publishers in my posts to make connections,” she stated. “I also receive direct messages and e-mails from publishers and authors about reviewing or promoting their books.”

In addition to tagging the writer and writer, bookstagrammers use hashtags like #booksofinstagram and #bookbloggers to get their assessment in entrance of different bookstagrammers, and so they’ll additionally decide hashtags concentrating on area of interest teams which may have an curiosity within the e-book.

You may observe authors on Instagram and attain out on to them.

Engage With Other Bookstagrammers

Bookstagrammers typically do giveaways, so partaking with them is a strategy to get extra free books.  Make positive to observe them and go away feedback and likes on their posts, and so they could do the identical for you.

You can discover bookstagrammers by following a few of these hashtags:

#books #e-book #bookmail #booksharks #bookish #booknerd #bookworm #bookworms #booksofinstagram #Bibliophile #bibliophile #biblio #studying #booknerd #learn #readersofinstagram #booklover #bookbloggers #bookblog #bookbloggersofinstagram  #bookphotography #bookreviewer #bookcommunity #booklife #furrentlyreading #studying

Take Good Photos of Your Books

Instagram is a visible platform, so to face out, you’ll need to guarantee your pictures are on level. These ideas may help:

Accent your pictures with crops, a cup of sizzling espresso, material, lace, candles, pinecones, and so on.
Keep your pictures contemporary. It’s good to have your personal fashion, however don’t at all times use the identical location or accents.
Give your e-book a background. Set the e-book on prime of items of wallpaper or on scrapbooking paper that appears like hardwood flooring or clouds.
Make positive your pictures are effectively lit with pure mild or lamps.
Take your books outdoors for a picture shoot.

Remember: Your objective is to make your followers image themselves studying that e-book.

Most Importantly: Have Fun

Putnam reads broadly throughout a number of genres like mysteries and science fiction, however she avoids genres she doesn’t like, reminiscent of romance or horror.

“I wouldn’t say that I make myself read genres that I don’t like,” she stated. “Bookstagram is a hobby for me so it has to be fun and enjoyable.”

Regardless of your style of selection, Putnam stated she recommends e-book lovers look into bookstagramming.

“If you love to read and want to talk books with other book lovers, sign up for Instagram, follow other bookish accounts, gain inspiration for your own photos and create,” Putnam stated.

“Don’t let it become a chore. It’s about reading the beautiful books we love and sharing them with others.”

Katherine Snow Smith is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder.

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