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Thursday, January 17, 2019

Bookstagram Etiquette

I wanted to start this year with a post about Bookstagram "etiquette".  And I use the word etiquette loosely because let's face it, it's your damn platform, you do whatever the hell you want.  Post whatever you want.  Comment or don't comment. Interact or don't interact.  It's YOUR account. But as we've all been privy to, there are just certain things that can get QUITE annoying on BG and this is where I'd like to address some of them.  Please keep in mind that these are my opinions alone.  While some might agree, maybe some of you won't.  And that's FINE.  I'm not trying to ruffle any feathers (or maybe I AM a feather ruffler, who knows!) (Plus this goes back to my first point, this is MY platform and I'll write whatever I want - *curtsy*). In any case, here I GOOOOOOOOOO....

The Follow/Unfollow Phenomenon:

I'm guilty of when I first started of following EVERY account I could find - especially the one with a large follow count.  Then as I grew and as I realized I didn't have much in common with 15 year olds who strictly posted YA (don't get me wrong, I'm an absolute lover of YA), I unfollowed and pared down my account to where I was following people that I either had things in common with or that I enjoyed interacting with regardless of our different tastes. (Diversity is everything you guys).

I've also found that Instagram sometimes has a mind of its own and would follow or unfollow accounts without my permission or even knowing about! SO FRUSTRATING.

Here's the thing though - do NOT follow, unfollow, follow, unfollow just to try and get someone to follow you.  More than likely that person will end up blocking you, DMing a friend about you and wondering WHY you think this is a good idea.  

Look, we all like to have a lot of followers and those who say they don't are probably lying.  It feels good to hit those milestones.  Ultimately though, if that's SOLELY what you're here for, well... then I don't know what to tell you - I don't understand that but that's my feelings on it.  I use this as my online book journal and love interacting with fellow bookworms, promoting books and giving away books - whether gifting them, running giveaways or donating them locally.  Speaking of Giveaways..... 


If you've been following my account for any amount of time, you know I love collaborating and doing giveaways! I know some Bookstagrammers feel this is a cheating way of getting followers. 🤷 I personally just love spreading the wealth.  If a publisher wants to put a book out and asks me to collaborate - ABSOLUTELY I will.  If I have extra copies then of course I want to spread the BOOK LOVE.  I sometimes just gift books randomly.  I find this so satisfying and I never expect anything in return - that's what gifting is truly about now isn't it? 😉

Here's what I find interesting though - getting DMs from people who enter wanting to know why they haven't won a giveaway yet. Well, there are literally hundreds of people who enter the giveaways and I have no say in what the random selector does. You DMing me and telling me it's not fair that you haven't won yet isn't going to help you. Sorry, not sorry.  

Why don't I post the random selector picks like some other BGers do in my stories? Well, because there are rules and not everyone who enters follows them so if I find that the selector chose one particular BGer and then I check to make sure they're following who they need to, etc and they haven't?? Well then I need to pick someone else.  Look guys and gals, this takes time and I just don't have enough time to put that out there.  It's not you, it's me.  

Also, please don't message me and ask if I could just pick you as the winner.  Are you kidding/not kidding? I really don't know.  In all my giveaways I am completely fair, mark every single entry and check to make sure all rules are followed before announcing the winner. Asking when the winner will be picked because life got in the way and I couldn't do it first thing in the morning will also not help in making you the winner.

Posting Other Peoples Photos/Copying Profiles

This has been a source of pain in the community.  There has been an ABUNDANCE of people stealing photos and copying profiles.  While technically this isn't illegal (which I believe is still up for debate), it's RUDE.  Some people spend  hours creating the perfect picture and/or caption.  Some people just snap and go.  Either way they are taking time out of their lives to create a platform for you to enjoy.  Stealing it is like stealing a part of their soul. And for goodness sake, if you don't care and are going to do it anyway, be a doll and at least give credit where credit is due - not just a side note, not in a teeny itsy bitsy tag at the bottom of (their stolen) caption, but where it's plain and easy to see.  ASK FOR PERMISSION, it's really that simple.

Now, I don't mind when publishers/promoters/authors repost because that's completely expected (and appreciated by me).  But for anyone else... well, just play nice.

Follower Count & Look at My Page Requests

We are all on Bookstagram for the interaction and love of books with like minded people.  If you want your page to stand out or get some notice, then rather than commenting on someone's post to "Look at my page - please acknowledge my posts"... well, do the same to the person you're commenting on.  INTERACT.  Don't just request.  I get these a lot - and these people typically don't acknowledge my posts, follow me or interact about the posts at hand.  Come talk to me about books! Or life in general.  Let's get into a conversation.  THIS is how I follow people whether their book interests mirror mine or not.

ARCS.. and how to get them

The question I get most is how do I manage to get so many Advanced Reader Copies.  The best advice I can give you is this:  Get on NetGalley.  Create an account and start requesting books you are truly interested in.  Read them, review them. Build relationships with the publishers.  AND/OR, you can look up the publisher email via their website and request the book you're absolutely DYING for.  But be professional.  Don't just ask for a free book.  Explain how you can promote the book and why you want to read it.  Create a symbiotic relationship and eventually it'll explode and you'll be buried in books and wondering how you're going to get through all the books landing on your front step. 😉📚  But please don't ask me for my contact's information - this is trudging on awkward territory sometimes and puts people in the middle. Do your research.. it'll all be worth it, I promise.

(Yes, I absolutely still buy an abundance of books!)

Authors, PLEASE....

There's nothing I love more than promoting all the authors! But I kindly request that you do not spam me on any social media platform with the same post to read your book.  The exact same message across several posts over and over and OVER AGAIN.  Quite frankly, this makes me NOT want to read your book, EVER. 

It would help if you provided a synopsis of what your book is about.  Just saying, "Hey, I love your page, if you're interested, please read my book."  This gives me absolutely no information.  

Authors are also guilty of the follow/unfollow phenomenon.  This does not help your case either.  I had one particular author who I did this, I eventually agreed to do a spotlight of the book and then got an abundance of messages asking when I was going to read and review the book.  I had already said I was passing due to my ginormous TBR stack and the spotlight was all I could do for the moment.  I then eventually received a SCATHING message saying that I didn't say it (Um, it was clear in the messages when I scrolled up) and that they didn't want me to review it now anyway and basically called me a bitch. Sigh. I have since deleted their spotlight (obviously).

Listen, this is not very common thank goodness. The majority of the authors I have worked worth are absolutely delightful and I appreciate their patience.  (My sincerest apologies to those authors whose books I haven't gotten to quite yet - I'm getting there, I PROMISE!)  I have also made great author friends via social media and I'm truly grateful for each and every one of them. 💖  

REVIEWERS:  Be kind in your reviews.  You can not like a book and still be gracious in your reviews.  Don't get me wrong, I get amused by some scathing reviews I've read but ultimately this is their heart and soul out there and while yes, they need a strong backbone and can't expect every review to be a good one, it's still nice to be polite.

Interestingly enough, I had an author a while back who didn't agree with my review, which I thought was very respectful though the book did NOT work for me. This author proceeded to slam into me about my immaturity and how I SHOULD HAVE written my review. BYE.

On the flip side, when I receive that email from an author who says thank you for your time and honesty, it really makes it all worth it.  

ANYONE: One more thing - please do not DM me, or any Bookstagrammer, asking for free books. PLEASE.


I absolutely love the Bookstagram community.  And while there are certain nuances and annoyances as noted above, at the end of the day, this community is mostly about love, sharing, compassion and a common love of books.  I couldn't do what I do with my platform without any of YOU!  So, if you're reading this, whether you agree or disagree with any of the above, know that I appreciate YOU!

You'll find great friends that you have the most in common with or just clique with immediately.  You'll find books you never would've even though of picking up due to others posting about them.  You'll see your bank account diminish slowly at first and then in an avalanche from buying book after book after book!  

I know that I'm going to post this and then think of about a zillion other things I wanted to note.  Happy 2019 everyone and I look forward to conversing with you via BG, Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, etc. 


  1. LOVE this! It all rings so true!

  2. Oh, Chandra! This made my day!!

  3. Great post. I also don't want people to follow me for the sole goal of getting me to follow them back. This goes with your point about follow/unfollow patterns. I only follow people whose accounts I have a genuine interest in and hope those following me are doing so for the same reasons. Otherwise they aren't going to pay attention to my posts and then what is the point? As you said, we all would like more followers, but this isn't about numbers, it is about interaction.