Behind the Bookstagram | A Behind-the-Scenes Look at my Instagram Process

I’ve been on Instagram for…a while, but I didn’t really start focusing on it as a part of my writing platform/presence until a couple of years ago. It’s such a great community for book lovers and writers, and it’s probably my favorite social media platform as a writer!

It can be a daunting task to keep up with from time to time though, and it’s taken a lot of trial and error to figure out a system that works for me without feeling overwhelming. So I thought it would be fun to share a behind-the-scenes look at my current bookstagram process and share some of my favorite tips and resources!

(Note: This isn’t a sponsored post or anything like that—I just wanted to share some things that have been helpful in my own experience!)

S T E P   O N E   |   P L A N N I N G

The thing about building a platform on social media is that you need to be consistent—and that is really challenging for me. So I’ve been trying out different ways of planning and preparing things in advance to make it easier to stick to a posting schedule. Instagram has definitely been the easiest to figure out! Currently, my posting schedule is consistently Mondays and Wednesdays, with the occasional photo on the first or last day of the month, or for a special occasion like a holiday or cover reveal. This usually means I need to have 9-12 photos ready for a month, which is easier to manage than a post for every day of the month! 

I keep track of ideas on some scrap paper in my social media planner, and note any challenges I may want to participate in as well. Then a few days before I want to take photos, I’ll spend a half-hour or so planning out what I want to post on my scheduled days. 

A favorite prompt resource:
Kell Jasmer’s Bookstagram Challenge Website


S T E P   T W O   |   T H  E M E   &   P R O P S

I tend to stick with the same theme for most of the year, but I do like to mix things up a little around the holidays. (My current theme uses a backdrop made from a foam presentation board and some wallpaper. I spent about $10 on supplies, and about ten minutes making it.)

Some of my favorite props to use are bits of fabric (like the teal/purple vintage scarf I use almost all the time), or scrapbook paper to add texture to the backdrop. To help convey something about the book featured in a photo, I also like to match props to the book’s setting, theme, or cover design. 

For December, I wanted to capture the bright, festive colors
of Christmas to lend the photos a fun, winter look...

...while January conveys a cozy but darker winter tone.

I don’t vary my setup for photos very much, since I usually take flatlay style photos, but I do like to give each photo its own unique look as well. I like to make a photo “feel” like a scene or moment, which usually influences how many or what kind of props I add for each book, or whether the photo is from a closeup or zoomed-out view, or what angle the photo is taken from.

Favorite props: faux hot chocolate mug, fairy lights, stationery, old books, figurines, or bookish merch!


S T E P   T H R E E   |   P H O T O   D A Y

I used to take my photos the day of posting, but that can become super time-consuming, especially where props are concerned. Now, I try to take each month’s photos in a single day. This usually takes about two hours (depending on how many photos are being taken and props and books featured), but still saves soooo much time. Plus, it’s easy to create a consistent look for each month’s photos this way.

Most of the time now, I don’t use my phone camera to take IG photos. It’s easier for me to keep lighting and certain settings consistent with a camera than it is with my phone, so that’s why. It’s definitely not a requirement though! 


 S T E P   F O U R   |   E D I T I N G

Once I’ve transferred photos to my computer, I pick out my favorites and start editing. Usually, I just add a filter or adjust brightness, contrast, and temperature. I may also crop or resize photos, if necessary. Editing usually takes an hour or two, depending on how many photos need to be edited for the month. 

For adjustments, filters, and quick edits I usually use PicsArt, since it has a ton of free features and it’s available for computer or mobile (the Hobbit-themed photo was edited in this program). For more advanced edits, like adding in a book cover for a cover reveal (like the photo below), or fixing more intensive flaws, I use PaintShop Pro.


 S T E P   F I V E   |   S C H E D U L I N G   &   P O S T I N G

I first tried scheduling posts in 2020, and it has made keeping up with posting so much easier. While it does take a bit of time and prepwork, it leaves me more time in the long run since I don’t have to sort through photos and caption ideas the day I need them!

I load all my photos into Later (the scheduling tool I use), then arrange them in my calendar on their assigned days and time with the hashtags that go with each photo. I like to batch captions as well, though I don’t always get all of them done at the same time. When a post is scheduled, I get an alert on my phone about it, with a prompt to indicate whether it’s a post for my feed or Story. The app automatically copies the saved caption so I just have to paste it and publish the post. 

And that’s what goes on in my bookstagram prep each month! I’d love to hear about your favorite tips, tricks, and props for keeping up with bookstagram (or any social media!) too, so feel free to share them and your IG in the comments!


  1. This was GREAT! I always love seeing how people manage their social media. I'm a constant hunt for tips and tricks to make things easier. It looks like we do things similarly! I never post every day either. I seriously don't know how people do that. o.o And stocking up on all the posts I need for a month, YES! That helps soooo much!

    I need to give PicsArt a try. That sounds great! I usually use Snapseed on my phone to edit photos. It's a fun photo editing app and super quick to use. Though it doesn't have any filters I'm super wild about, so I need to check out other things!

    Thank you so much for sharing this. It was great seeing your process! I just love your pics and IG. You do such a beautiful job! <3

    1. I've only recently started using Snapseed, but it has so many neat features! (Especially as a free editor!)

      Thanks! XD


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