Bookstagram! A World of Opportunity
Emily Waller is a book blogger, writer and avid reader from Perth, Western Australia. Since launching her bookstagram account in 2017, Emily has worked with a number of authors, publishers and companies to bring to life a vast array of bookish projects. Intrigued by the art of storytelling from a young age, Emily is also a passionate creative writer who spends the majority of her time pretending to listen to you whilst crafting fictional worlds in her head. She is currently working on her debut novel. You can follow Emily’s bookstagram @littlewaller
As a self-professed bookaholic, I was one of these literary fanatics who, upon discovering the community, didn’t think twice about starting an account. In the blink of an eye, I quickly fell for the platform and was blissfully engulfed in a world of whimsical ‘booktography’. Bookstagram became a creative outlet where I could retreat to quieten the hungry cries of my inner bibliophile and I viewed the community as little more than a source of light-hearted entertainment. I never could’ve anticipated my decision to start bookstagramming would lead to the amazing opportunities I’ve been fortunate enough to experience in the few years since creating my account.
In addition to providing an inviting space to share my bookish interests with a likeminded audience, bookstagram also unexpectedly opened many doors that’ve equipped me with some fantastic knowledge, skills and exposure. Firstly, and perhaps most notably, bookstagram has taught me the basics of navigating the marvelous world of book marketing. By means of uploading hundreds of posts to my account, I, overtime, have managed to develop versatile photography, editing and graphic design skills alongside a refined ability to interpret social media analytics and compellingly write for an audience. It is the application of these skills that have allowed me to create engaging content, grow a substantial online following and gain collaboration deals with a number of publishing houses—an incredible privilege through which I’ve been able to liaise with professional marketers and publicists and further my knowledge of the publishing industry.
As an avid writer currently working on my fictional debut, the opportunity to acquire marketing knowledge through bookstagram has been an invaluable asset. In the current publishing landscape, where both self and traditionally published writers have more responsibility than ever to promote their work, and the prospect of securing agent representation can sometimes rest on the size of your platform, both the marketing skills I’ve attained and the devoted audience I’ve garnered on bookstagram are nothing short of a godsend!
Alongside the important marketing skills I’ve learned on bookstagram, the platform has also served as a useful vehicle through which I’ve been able to get my work noticed. After a year and a half of bookstagramming, my account attracted the attention of Los Angeles-based media company, Frolic Media. After being invited to write a guest blog for their website, I found myself signing an author agreement, and I’m now a regular writer and content creator for the company. The opportunity to write for Frolic has been transformational, as its not only encouraged me to regularly practice my craft, but also made it possible to get my work published online and prove to myself that I can earn from my art.
In addition to working with Frolic, bookstagram has also been the portal through which I’ve received a variety of offers to collaborate with a number of other companies and authors. Last year, I was fortunate enough to be approached by both the Sydney and Melbourne writers’ festivals to undertake content creation work. My account also started attracting attention from authors interested in collaborating to create promotional book content, and a quote from a review I wrote was even selected for printing on the front cover of newly released novel! As someone who didn’t undertake a formal artistic education, and instead has a science degree hanging on her wall, being approached to provide my artistic services was the important catalyst I needed to fuel my determination to confidently and unapologetically pursue my creative ambitions—thanks bookstagram!
Alright, so, there you have it. Whilst starting and growing a bookstagram account may not be easy, I’m proud to say I’m living proof that with enough patience, persistence and commitment, establishing a presence in the community really can open doors to a world of opportunity. Within a few years on the platform, I’ve gone from an existence of creative obscurity to finally putting the first smatterings of my work on the map. I’ll be forever grateful that bookstagram has not only made it possible to explore my literary interests with a loyal audience, but also work with some amazing clients, learn a range of useful writing and marketing skills, and, perhaps most importantly, share my art with the big, wide world!