My Instagram Truth

Let´s talk about Instagram again. About my latest features and the difficulties I had with each pic and about my personal struggles as a Bookstagrammer.

I´m slowly reaching my 2 year mark on being a Bookstagrammer. And as I´ve mentioned before- Taking pics, using filters, adding captions and finding time isn´t always a walk in the park. In fact- I struggle quite often with Instagram.

Here´s a tiny list of things I struggle with as a Bookstagrammer.

 

Problem #1 – Time

Time is my biggest enemy. There´s never enough time to get stuff done. While I´m already struggling with keeping a schedule outside my schedule I can´t find time to maintain a Insta-routine. And using an app for Instagram… Another app? I already use too many apps. Don´t need or want another one.

 

Problem #2- Engaging people 

I can´t, not even if my life depended on it, type up anything interesting that would engage a person into having a convo. This is somewhat of a problem for me because I do love to chat but can´t seem to get a few lines up that would help get a convo started. Weird, right? A total lack of talent in that department.

 

Problem #3 – Filters

Those blasted filters. Those blasted edits on each filter. The problem here is- When there are too many options I can´t seem to find something to use. That´s information overload for me. I´m so indecisive. It takes so long for me to settle on a filter. Sure, there are those lucky pics I take that don´t need a filter but the rest? Brutal.

 

Problem #4 – Insecurities

Yes, I have my moments of weakness, too. What no one really knows… I have insecurities when it comes to Instagram. While this is a personal struggle I do believe I´m not the only one suffering from the pic pressure. It´s totally unnecessary, I know, but it still happens. It´s the algorithm. It´s my lack of commitment because of the algorithm. It´s because there are so many little turds younger bloggers who spent half their lives on Instagram because they have nothing else to do. I start questioning everything, even myself.

Is it because I´m older? Am I not hip enough? Maybe I care too much?  Maybe I don´t care enough? I´m telling you… the struggle is real and it´s not pretty.

 

See? Working Instagram isn´t as easy as it seems ( for me ). It´s fun, most of the time but not always easy.

Nevertheless- Here are my recent Instagram features, including a small description on how the pics were made.

 

1.The Quick Set Up

Believe it or not- This pic was one of the easier ones to take for me. The candle, book, book box, the letter B and the mug were already on the diningroom table. This pic took less than 5 minutes and I only used 1 filter. YAY, for me.

 

 

2. The Disaster Shot

It seems like the more I work on my pics the messier they get. This happens when you have an idea and can´t make it happen. A book, a mug and my laptop. 2 Photoshop programs weren´t able to turn this into something presentable. 30 minutes.

 

 

3. Action Pic

I can´t really take credit for this pic. It was the husbutt who took this shot. I love reading outside. And when the in-laws are on vacation I can scoot out of my hiding place and enjoy reading without interruptions. This time, the baby followed me and we both read in utter silence ❤ I used 1 filter for this shot then uploaded it on Instagram. 2 minutes, tops. My favorite Insta pic.

 

 

4. The Polished Issue

I just made myself a hot chocolate when the idea for a Mug Monday shot hit me. No one would believe me when I´d say that it took me almost an hour to get this pic done. Yupp. Not kidding. First, the book was too large. Second- the mug, as much as I love it, was a pain in the ass to take a pic of. So glossy. No matter what angle I tried I kept seeing my own reflection in the mug. No bueno! Took ages and 3 filters to get this beauty Internet ready.

 

 

5. Stolen Goods

Book mail arrived and I came up with the brilliant idea to do a book feature. All I needed was sand and some seashells. Preparations for this feature took a little longer than I had planned but the pic itself took less than 2 minutes to take. I sent the girls to the playground with a ziplock bag and told them to steal sand and then steal the seashells from Grandma´s garden. Voila! The things you can accomplish with stolen goods. I used 2 filters for this baby.

 

Do you have troubles with filters / captions / taking pics for Instagram? Do you even use the app? Am I the only one winging Instagram? Let´s chat! ❤

 

I hope you enjoyed my little desperate moment of sharing my hardships with Instagram pics.

Sending lots of book love to each and every one of you!

Morgana ❤ ❤

 

 

 

Why You Shouldn´t Feel Bad About A Small Book Collection

This has been something that´s been bothering me for a while now. Enormous bookshelf collections.

You´ve seen the bookshelves from Bookstagrammers and BookTubers. You´ve seen the pretty colorful collections all neatly stacked or organized by color, size, genre, series / standalones.

And you´re sitting at home / work / school wondering: ” How?

Who wouldn´t feel a little book envy after seeing all those amazing bookshelves from book bloggers or avid readers? Uuhm… Not me. I have many questions before any sort of envy can pop up.

What do these people do for work?

How long have they been collecting?

Do they have a social life?

What jobs do they have to be able to afford so many books?

Do theses people know people who know people?

Have they slept with a librarian?

How many publishers have they had dinner and drinks with?

 

SO many books. So many bookshelves.

 

But guess what? There´s no need for book envy. Of course, we´ve all had those             “Aw, I´d like to have something like that one day.” moments. But if you really think about it- Those pictures are just pics from people showing off. Because most don´t just take a pic from a particular bookshelf spot ( as many do ). There are no cool angle shots. Nooo, they give us people a nice view of the whole deal, showing off their impressive book collection. Something like this:

rainbow book
Picture taken from Pinterest

Lovely, isn´t it? I actually pity the person who owns that. Just the thought of dusting off all those books ( and it looks like it´s close to 400 ) gives me a headache. This is a clear example of showing off the pretty. Which is fine. I show off pretties, too.

 

The amount of books you have does not show any of us how much of a devoted reader you are.

 

I have a feeling that this needs to be stressed out a little more, although I believe many readers share my view.

  • You are not more intelligent if you have a room full of books.
  • You are not worth more or less because of your book collection.
  • You should not feel ashamed for owning 20 books instead of 500.

 

While this isn´t necessarily a case of unrealistic expectations ( because I truly believe all those people ( who upload those kind of pics ) have a room full of books. It´s more of an intimidation issue.

It pains me to hear bookworms say ” My bookshelf isn´t impressive.” That sentence is so wrong on so many levels.  I can hear the sadness and imagine the shame in their words. Okay, fine. So you don´t have 500 books. Neither do I.  Who says you have to? You have books- That´s impressive enough. I know people who don´t own books. ( A shocking reality for us book people. I always imagine books in their homes when I visit.)

Look. I don´t have the money to buy tons of books every month. And to be honest- I don´t have that much time to read. But I am more than proud to own the collection I have.

Isn´t it enough to just own books? What difference does the size of a book collection make? A bookworm is a bookworm, am I right?

The bottom line is: There´s no rule on to how many books you have to own to be a member of the book loving gang.  As long as you find joy in reading. You can have 10, 20, 50, 100 or more books…. you´re still awesome.

Own the fact that your bookshelf is the size of a cooler. Be proud to have 1 bookshelf with all your favorite books.

 

You don´t read for anyone but yourself.

 

So, in celebration of being a happy owner of a micro library… Here is my personal book corner.

private library

One would think that, as a book blogger, I´d have more books. And, you´re right. I do have more. But I´m weird. I have all my golden copies ( that´s what I call my absolute favorite books ) in the bedroom in a drawer ( Yes, I have a book drawer. Stop judging. Lol. As I said- Weird ). I´ve also cleaned out my bookshelves recently ( books I wasn´t too fond of found new homes). But that´s another topic for another time. And and and * waves arms * You should also know that my husband and kids have their book spaces as well.

 

Feel free to add your 2 cents! I´d love to discuss book collection sizes. 

Feel hugged and appreciated.

Morgana ❤ ❤

 

 

 

 

Instagram – Meet The New Book Box

1 year and 4 months.

Wow. That´s how long my Book Box on Instagram lasted. Pretty inpressive, if you ask me. I thought I´d give up much quicker. But I set a goal and I even reached beyond that goal. Now…

It´s time, though, to slowly send the old book box into retirement and let the new generation take over.

But before I introduce you to the new addition let´s take a moment to appreciate the old one.

book box

Old and beaten but still wonderful. When I started out taking pics with this box it still had 4 removable legs.

Now, the box has one leg missing ( it´s somewhere in the field in the next village ) and 2 legs broke off. The box now has one remaining leg.

I will miss using this box. Not so much the fact that it´s a real pain in the ass to carry it around ( because, it truly was a tad bulky and didn´t fit into any backpack or bag ). No. I´ll miss using this for creativity purposes.

The box will stay a part of my deco in the house.

As for the new kid on the block…

It´s much smaller. Much handier. It fits in all my bags and doesn´t take up half the space in my car trunk.

The box itself is smaller than a large paperback book. But don´t worry. I wasn´t planning on stuffing a book inside the box anyways.

Morgana´s Book Box on Instagram is getting a tiny make over with this little cute baby.

Tadaaaaa!!

book box 2

Isn´t it cute?

The little inscript on the lower left corner? IT WAS ALREADY THERE! * faint *

As if some higher power wanted me to put the first book box out of it´s misery. And besides, a million ideas flooded my brain when my eyes caught this little gem. A win / win for me 2x over.

Normally, I dislike replacing stuff with new things ( because if it´s not broke, there´s no need for a replacement). In this case, though… It was kind of necessary.

 

So, there ya have it. Be sure to stay tuned for more, new Instagram features  with and without the new book box.

If you haven´t already then just click here and say hi.

I´d love to chat.

Much love,

Morgana ❤

Instagram Feature: Morgana´s Book Box

So, it´s been a little over a year since I started my Instagram project- Morgana´s Book Box.

During my Insta – year I´ve learned many things about Instagram.

  1. The algorithm is the cause of all evil
  2. Bookstagramming ( Book + Instagram = Bookstagram, Book blogger on Instagram = Bookstagrammer ) is tough

A year ago I had a mission to grace the pic – world with my idea of book promotion.

And in that year I´ve seen alot, met many wonderful people and… well, I´ve basically seen pics. Wonderful pictures, crappy pictures… Pictures that made my nose wrinkle and pictures that had me rolling on the floor, laughing.

Instagram is a fun place to hang out.

My grande plan to make the book world a prettier place slowly died down around September ´17. The idea to present a new kind of book promotion became harder and harder with each week. I gained followers but it seemed like those numbers weren´t really that interested in my content. Or they were but the algorithm made it hard for them to see my features. Either way, it sucked.

Don´t get me wrong- I had ideas. I still have them. It´s just that book blogging doesn´t seem to function over on Instagram. Fun bookish stuff? Absolutely. But actual book blogging? Not so much.

I had a slight feeling that my book box idea was getting old.

As much as I wanted to, I couldn´t stick to one theme. It was time to expand my horizon.

Try out new ways to promote books. Because, that´s what I do, right? I book blog.

Besides, I´m pretty sure no one is interested in the bomb that went off in my kitchen or the unmade bed in my bedroom.

So, here are my new book features, sans book box.

 

  1. Inside a book. I like open book pictures. They look cool no matter what book you use. A huge plus point is the little snippet you give from a featured book.

Hey Bookstagrammers! 🤓how's it going? Have you ever been inspired by a book so much that you felt the need for a tattoo? My inspirational moment came after reading The Book Of Life by @debharkness. Or should I say- I've always had the idea but needed that special spark to seal the deal. I wanted my star sign but Aquarius doesn't have alot of nice symbols. And I wanted something small. Since Aquarius is an air sign- and the alchemical symbol for air looks simple and plain and not obvious or pushy… Voila! Thanks to Diana Bishop for that last push! 😉📖🖤 . . . . . #bookstagram #deborahharkness #thebookoflife #adiscoveryofwitches #dianabishop #witches #tattoo #alchemytattoo #symbol #starsign #aquarius #read #books #ilovebooks #inspriation #bookphotography #libraryofinstagram #bibliophile #zodiac #air #paperback #bookworm #booklover #booksbooksbooks #bookblogger #booksgalore

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2. Indoor Book Box. I´m an outdoor person. Nature provides so much to work with. Indoor pics are cool but not everyday. I feel limited when I´m doing indoor features.

Powerful & emotional. My daughter overheard a discussion I had with my husband over this book and asked the following over dinner, "Are you against people loving each other?" It wasn't the question that made us smile. It was the fact that our child didn't refer to the people as gay. She referred to them as people loving each other. My work as a parent on that department? ✔💪🤜🤛💕 Our mission to raise open minded munchkins is working. 😉 I still answered her, if not a little too proud, "Nope. I have nothing against people loving each other, babe. The story I was telling your dad about was just about people NOT approving of love and destroying that love." ⭐BOOK BOX FEATURE⭐ I highly recommend The Silver Cage by Anonymous. Despite the warnings I think this is something people should grab and settle down with. A book worth reading. A book that'll set all kinds of emotions off. I really think there should be more books like this out there. ⭐REVIEW available! Please Follow the link in the bio and check out my thoughts on the book. I hope you all enjoy your Monday! Don't forget to share the 📖💖 . . . . . #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookish #bookpic #bookphotography #read #mmromance #romance #tragic #novel #anonymous #thesilvercage #bookblogger #booksbooksandmorebooks #bookworm #bookninja #bookworld #allloveisequal #eyeopener #paperback #bookfeature #ilovebooks #instabook #libraryofinstagram #germany

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3. Close Up. A super SUPER close up of a bookish item. When you don´t have a book at your disposal then you dig out your swag.

 

4. Flowers. Another indoor feature. Since it´s freezing cold outside and nothing is blooming I´m stuck with working with fake flowers. Not all too terrible. I quite like the flowers after using 6 filters. 

HAPPY FRIDAY!! I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am that it's Friday. I could and would do cartwheels and dance the twist but I'm afraid I'll break my hips so I'll just sit on the sofa until it's time to get back up… on Monday. 😂😂 Why don't we start the weekend with a BEAUTIFUL book cover? Oh yeah, baby… this is something purdy💓💕💗 Sadly enough- I lack the energy to do a full blown #bookfeature. So, a super quick #shoutout to all romance readers who haven't read 'Prelude' by @audendarauthor yet. 📖📣 Read this. I really think you might enjoy it 😉💕 Now, if you'll excuse me- this spring chicken is going to play dying fish until Monday. Share the 📖💗! And have a wonderful weekend! Much love…. moi. 💗💗 . . . . . #bookish #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookphotography #bookpic #prettybooks #romance #paperback #audendar #bookblog #bloggersofinstagram #bibliophile #bookworm #read #booklove #ilovebooks

A post shared by Morgana's Book Box (@morganasbookbox) on

 

5. Me. Yes. It´s happened. I crossed the book promotion line and posted a pic of myself. It´s book related. Anything book related goes, right? 

 

Anyone following Morgana´s Book Box on Instagram will be seeing more than just book box pictures. It´s time for creativity to take over!

Instabanner

 

Authors and Social Media

Author´s and social media – One can´t really live without the other.

When an author starts out the first thing they need is to become a public figure. And what better way to become a name ( with or without a face) than on social media? There is no better way because, believe it or not… Social media is where half of the magic happens. Social media is, also, where an unimaginable amount of people spend a lot of their time.

And when an author is great at mingling with the common foot folk then social media is a blessing.

But have you ever stopped to think for a second about what exactly happens behind the scene´s? Does an author have to use all social media available for exposure? What does an author have to do in order to become known? Question after question….

The ugly truth is- Author´s cannot avoid social media. It´s nearly impossible. If they do try to avoid any social platform then there´s a high chance no one besides family and friends will ever get to read an author´s work.

Here are a few of the many places where author´s can hang out:

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Tumblr

LinkedIn

Google+

Personal Blog

Pinterest

Youtube

Meetup

etc.

There isn´t really an end to the profitable social media list. With time, each social media site will celebrate their highs and suffer from lows but that still doesn´t change the fact that they´re still necessary. Author´s need to be where the crowd is, right?

But, where, exactly, is the crowd?

I don´t have an aswer for that question. Rumor has it that it completely depends on the genre. Some say it´s better for a paranormal author to spend all their free time on Facebook, and others say Twitter is the place to be for romance writers.

Many authors swear on Instagram being fully Fantasy, Young Adult/New Adult…..

But that´s just absurd because

  1. There hasn´t been an actual study done on the topic.
  2. Social Media platforms are not bound to genres / books. They´re for everyone.

No one and nothing can support that rumor because it´s different for everyone. Every author, every reader has their own thoughts on what works where.

There´s no true formula on which social platform´s the best.

There are a few author superheroes that make us believe they have it all figured out, though. Maybe they do know a few tricks on how to work social platforms. Maybe they develop 8 arms when the moon hits it´s peak. ( Okay, okay. That was unnecessary. But I often can´t help what pops into my mind.)

Unless an author has a wonderful team of minions who´re willing to help, there´s no way an author is able to be everywhere, at the same time. Aside from the miracle worker authors- I´ve noticed not all authors use every platform available. They use what works for them the most.

Some authors focus on Facebook and Twitter. Some work the Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest mill.

Some even go through the efforts over at Youtube and upload book trailers, reading sessions, etc. Writers have become creative in alot of ways and it´s often really cool to witness.

My verdict on what social media is the best for authors is:

Everywhere! Meaning: Every platform is a good place for a writer because it doesn´t depend on where the most people are- It depends on which platform an author feels most comfortable with.

If Facebook works for an author- great.

Twitter? Sure!

Instagram? I´m on board with that.

The key isn´t to chase after the crowd. Author´s aren´t door to door salesmen. The key is getting the crowd´s attention.

Which brings me to my next point:

When a writer has their prefered social media platform where they´ve already grown roots.. It´s not wise to think all the work is done. Especially when the love gushing over a certain book has died down ( a painful fact author´s have to come to terms with ).

When the hype is gone, the fan base will cool down. Only a selected few hardcore book activists will stay. What then? Is it time for an author to move on and write something new? Perhaps it´s a better idea to stick with one book and find other ways to promote it? Maybe find more hardcore book activists?

This is where social media can be an author´s best friend.

Social-Media

 

Every platform is filled with book lovers from all corners of the book world. But what a few aren´t aware of is that Facebook and Co. are also filled with book clubs, book / author groups that offer wonderful extra´s for author´s and readers. Book people like to hide in groups where they can share their latest reads with fellow readers.

Let´s say the hype for an author´s book has died down. Comments slow down. Likes vanish. All the people who have been super supportive have disappeared into thin air. ( Don´t believe it doesn´t happen. It does. Every. Damn. Time. ) It´s a crucial moment. Even devastating because an author depends on likes, follows, shares, etc. Once the interaction slows or stops it can make authors doubt themselves and their abilities.

When that happens it´s time to take the next step. It doesn´t matter which step. It´s the action that matters. Preferably immediately.  If an author doesn´t take matters into their own hands then no one else will.

No matter how many blogs support a writer with posts and graphic quotes or honorable mentions…. Blogs and fans don´t own the author´s work, therefore, their hands are tied.

Of course, there are author´s who depend on blogs and fans to do all the dirty work promotion but that´s a different bedtime story for another night.

Author´s who want exposure and want their names to stay in people´s minds need to stay in the picture.

You cannot imagine how often I´ve seen certain books on social media. Sometimes it´s annoying when I see the same book over and over again ( especially after I´ve read it ) But that´s not the point. It´s the fact that the book is still around… even a year after publication date. Why is that?

Because author´s use their tools. They don´t fully rely on others to get the job done. They´re always on the look-out for new groups and games they can participate in so they can introduce their book to new readers. They collide with other authors.

They make it look like they never sleep.

It all ALWAYS boils down to the same point. Work the self-marketing mill as if it were your religion.

Social media is a warped place but it CAN be very useful for authors if they use their platforms well.

Get to know your social platforms. Learn to use them.

 

NOTE: This doesn´t just apply to authors. This article can be very helpful for book bloggers as well.