If I were to pick one single thing I look for in a book, I would go with love. I am a helpless romantic, so more often than not I find myself picking up books that promise a good, emotional, heart-wrenching love story.
In the first of our WildMind Creative Bookstagram Interview series we chat to The Bibliotheque, book blogger, die-hard romantic and professional page-twirler. She fills us in on getting started in bookstagram, how authors can work with her and her top reads of the year, so far.
Please give us a brief overview of yourself and how you started out in bookstagram
I discovered bookstagram a year after I started out as a book blogger. Although I was more of a book aficionado that was keen to read all the books and post about them on her tiny corner of the internet. Looking back, I realize now how little I knew about the world I was about to discover. In complete fairness, when I created my Instagram account I had no idea of what I was doing aside from wanting to take pretty photos of my pretty books. I would have never - ever - imagined how big my account would grow. It still baffles me that so many people are following me and putting up with my nonstop rambling. It’s equal parts crazy and amazing.
How would you describe your bookstagram aesthetic?
One of the pillars of my bookstagram account is, in fact, the aesthetic. My aesthetic keeps my account together. My photography skills are not particularly outstanding and the quality of my content is not as great as many other big accounts so I focus as much as I can on my aesthetic and editing skills. If I had to pick a few words to describe it, I would go for bright, simple, summery, feminine and cozy. I had a pink theme for a while and now I am loving the warmer tones. What I try not to do is change it too often or too drastically. For me, the aesthetic of an Instagram feed is what gives the account personality, what sets it apart from others. That’s why I take good care of all the elements present in my photos and of how I edit and assemble them together on my account. Or in other words, I am positively obsessed with anything aesthetic. Yup.
What do you look for in a book?
That is a tough question. If I were to pick one single thing, I would go with love. I am a helpless romantic, so more often than not I find myself picking up books that promise a good, emotional, heart-wrenching love story. Or at least, as the escapist reader that I am, a story with a happy ending. There is enough negative in the real world already.
What about a book cover catches your eye?
I can tell you what catches my eye in a negative way: faces. It astounds me the amount of book covers out there featuring people. Faces. Very rarely I will fall in love with a cover like that, and even if it’s one of my favourite authors we are talking about, if the cover has a model’s face I will most likely get the e-book instead of the physical copy. As for the rest, I can be on board with basically anything.
Is there any particular incident that has happened along your bookstagram journey that you’d like to share?
It’s funny how some people use any social network for tinder purposes and even though bookstagram is not a place where that is very common - thank goodness we focus on sexy words - I have still gotten a number of messages regarding one of my body parts: my feet. At first I recognise being shocked and little bit weirded out by the messages asking for more photos of my soles, but after the third one I just learned to take them as a compliment. And hey, we may as well admit that, #socksunday takes reading in knee socks to a new level. After all, reading is and can be very sexy.
How did you build your bookstagram following?
Tenacity and interaction. That is one of the questions I am asked the most, even by people outside the bookstagram universe. There is no simple answer to it, as the same strategy doesn’t necessarily work in every case. But I find that being constant both posting and interacting with the community are is key for building up your following. When I first started, I was posting every single day - some days even twice - and I would spend a big chunk of my time leaving comments and chatting with people. Interacting with the community is as essential as posting, and honestly, it’s one of the best parts of bookstagram. It can be a little bit scary at the beginning but instead of sitting and waiting for people to know me, I just put myself out there. And the best thing? The amazing people I got to meet and I consider now my bookish besties.
Any Instagram tips for authors or fellow bookstagrammers that you’d like to share?
It’s not often that I find an author that has a bookstagram account. Most of the authors keep their own personal accounts and include promotional or bookish content every now and then, so I find truly refreshing and amazing when authors have accounts where they post and discuss books. Honestly, I love to read about what books my favourite authors read, love or hate. I find that fascinating - and yes, I love me a good old prying.
Any advice for authors wanting to work with the bookstagram community?
Every once in a while I receive a review request from an author that has really taken the time to snoop around my social networks and blog and has genuinely tried to know me. Not as a bookblogger or a promotion tool but as the person behind it. That always puts a big grin on my face. I get that an author can send out many review requests in a day, and hey, I am not criticizing the copy-paste side of it. I honestly understand it. But when an email comes in and I can tell the person behind it is interested in an author to blogger interaction and not in a mere business transaction, I can’t help but feeling special. In those cases I will most likely welcome that book with open hands and I will even pick it up in a different way. After all, I am a helpless romantic in every sense of the word.
How can authors work with you?
For me to accept a review or collaboration request, the book needs to fit my audience’s interest or have something special that catches my eye. For instance, mine is a Young Adult and Fiction community. My followers will devour anything I post about that, and funny enough I have even carved for myself a little romance niche and some people come to me for those particular recs. So anything that fits my or my follower’s interest will have half of the way done.
What has been your favorite read of the year so far?
I recently finished reading an advance reader’s copy of The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (releasing beginning of June) and to say that I absolutely loved that book would be an understatement. It’s a refreshing and heartwarming love story like no one I have read before. Other titles I have loved and will hold a place in my top 2018 reads are To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo, Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young or From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata.