Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Understanding Bookstagram

by Avery Silverberg


We’re all on Instagram. But are any of us on Bookstagram? If you aren’t, you definitely should be.

Bookstagram isn’t a separate app or website; it’s a corner of the Instagram sphere where book lovers unite in posting photos, book reviews, “tbr” (to-be-read) stacks, new releases, beautiful photos, and most of all form connections–all based on one commonality we all share: an utter obsession with  books.


Building connections with readers

Pre-published authors: Why wait to build your brand and establish a readership until the day your book is sold? Start now by posting about books that are in the same market as the one you are currently writing. Young Adult novels currently dominate the Bookstagram scene, and many of the bookish influencers on that platform are in fact teenage readers. You can also connect with parent-bloggers who feature photos and reviews of themselves reading picture books to their children. Comment and engage with these people

Instagram engagement is the number one way to gain a following. Followers aren’t just going to magically fall into your app; you have to make real, genuine connections. Social media is one of the primary forms of book marketing; a viral book on Bookstagram is bound to sell thousands of more copies in comparison to books lacking in social media presence. What are just followers now can turn into readers later on–-a social media presence is important, no matter what stage of your career path you are currently on.




How do I find Bookstagrammers to connect with?

#Hashtags. Most people view hashtags as just an accessory, tagging onto the end of your caption. In reality, they do so much more. Instagram posts with at least one hashtag get about 70% more likes than those without; make sure your hashtags are relevant to the Bookstagram community, and to what you are actually posting about. You want your hashtags to compliment each other: (do not #nonfiction and #fiction, for example). If you click on these hashtags, you will find Bookstagrammers posting about similar subjects.


Book Promotion

The best part about Bookstagram is that you don’t need an entire publicity or marketing team behind you to support you in reaching all of these accounts. It doesn’t matter if you are self-published or traditionally published either; using the Bookstagram community as a marketing tool fits in everyone’s plan. Reaching out to Book Bloggers isn’t too different from the querying process. In other words, make sure you are reaching out to bloggers who read the kind of books that you write! If you’re a YA contemporary romance author, don’t reach out to a feed full of fantasy novels. Personalized messages are much more likely to catch their eye: “Hi, [NAME]! I see you that love to read about strong female protagonists. You would love my novel, [TITLE], about a teen girl who secretly fights crime. Could I send you a copy in exchange for an honest review? Thanks so much!” 




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Book Tours, Q&A’s, Giveaways: Get creative with your social media presence and involve the Bookstagram community. It’s 2020 and COVID has temporarily canceled the joy of “IRL” book tours, but we can still enjoy and plan them virtually. Plan it exactly like you would a real book tour, inviting book bloggers to highlight your book at different “stops” in the tour. Ask bloggers if they would like to partake in a Q&A, or a giveaway.


As a Bookstagrammer myself, there truly is no better feeling than connecting with an author or illustrator over our mutual love of children’s books. I love this little community, and I encourage you to come by, have fun posting some stacks of books, and grow your following all at the same time.


Let’s connect! Follow and @a.gemofabook on Instagram/”Bookstagram”